During May, WestVet’s own Dr. Carrie Breaux, Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist takes part in a national program which provides free eye exams for service dogs.
Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) partners with Merial to offer the National Service Dog Eye Exam Event. This is the 6th year for the event, since the program launched in 2008, nearly 16,000 service animals have been examined around the country.
Dr. Breaux is volunteering her time to see clients throughout the month and it has been fun to have these amazing animals in throughout the day for their examination. Today one of our patients was Aggrie. This beautiful dog works at a prison as a detection dog for contraband.
She was very sweet—and you could see her attachment and bond with her handler. She hopped up on the bench to be near her owner during the exam, looking for a little reassurance.
WHAT VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGISTS LOOK FOR DURING THE EXAM:
During the complete ocular exam, the veterinary ophthalmologists utilize their specialized equipment to look for problems including: redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. Early detection and treatment are vital to these working animals. “Our hope is that by checking their vision early and often, we will be able to help a large number of service animals better assist their human friends,” says Stacee Daniel, Executive Director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.
ABOUT THE ACVO
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® is an approved veterinary specialty organization of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Its mission is “to advance the quality of veterinary medicine through certification of veterinarians who demonstrate excellence as specialists in veterinary ophthalmology.” The event is primarily sponsored by ACVO and Merial. Other non-profit supporters include the American Veterinary Medical Association, most state veterinary medical associations in the U.S. and Canada, American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, and other national service animal organizations.