The 8th Annual ACVO®/StokesRx National Service Dog Eye Exam Event brings Veterinary Ophthalmologists and thousands of service animals together.

Garden City, Idaho –   Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs all selflessly serve people and the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is pleased to announce May 2015 as the 8th annual ACVO/StokesRx National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, offering free vision screening for service animals. Carrie Breaux, DVM, MVSc, DACVO and Amber Labelle, DVM, MS, DACVO, WestVet’s (and Idaho’s only) Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologists are offering free exams.

In the spring of 2012, Jenine Stanley and her dog, Swap, participated in the event, just as they had every year since the program’s inception in 2008. This time, Swap was diagnosed with Pigmentary Uveitis, a condition that would affect his vision later in his career. Their story is just one among hundreds where the vision screening process helped Service Animals and their owners manage or overcome a previously unknown ophthalmic condition.

Since 2008, more than 30,000 Service Animals have received free eye screening exams, more than 7,000 in 2014 alone;WestVet's Dr. Carrie Breaux, Veterinary Ophthalmologist, offers FREE eye exams to Service Dogs 40 dogs were seen at WestVet by Dr. Carrie Breaux.

Dr. Breaux and Dr. Labelle are holding service appointments throughout May. 

WHAT VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGISTS LOOK FOR DURING THE EXAM:

During the complete ocular exam, ophthalmologists utilize specialized equipment to look for: 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.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2015 EVENT

To qualify, Service Animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization, or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional, or local in nature.

More information regarding qualification of the event is available on the ACVO Eye Exam website. Registration is open from April 1–April 30. Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and then may contact a veterinary ophthalmologist at WestVet at 208.345.1600 to make an appointment. The exams will take place during the month of May 2015; times may vary and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

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 (AVMA). Its mission is “to advance the quality of veterinary medicine through certification of veterinarians who demonstrate excellence as specialists in veterinary ophthalmology.” 

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