June 01, 2013

 

 AVMA endorses program of free dental exams for service dogs

Posted on May 15, 2013

 

The AVMA has endorsed a program by the American Veterinary Dental College that provides free dental examinations for service dogs.

“I’m enthusiastic about this program, because it helps keep service animals healthy so they can do the important work that helps so many people,” said Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, AVMA president. “From helping the sight impaired to finding a lost child during a disaster or detecting explosives at airports, service dogs are tops in their field.”

The AVDC program is in its second year. During June, AVDC diplomates will provide complimentary oral examinations for service dogs. Owners and handlers will learn about the benefits of preventive oral health care.

On finding abnormalities, the specialist will discuss a treatment plan. The program also will offer grants to cover some of the expenses of the dental care these service animals might need.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for AVDC veterinarians to offer service dogs a necessary and potentially life-saving service,” says Dr. Jan Bellows, AVDC president. “The American Veterinary Dental College is proud to be the organizer of this fine event. Many of those service dogs that are in need of dental care can get it and continue to serve the public pain free.”

To qualify for a free oral examination, a service dog must have certification from a formal training program or be an enrollee in a training program. Owners and handlers of service dogs can register for the event through June 15 at www.avdc.org.