Ophthalmologists offer free eye examinations for service dogs

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ACVO Merial logoGuide dogs, assistance dogs, detection dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs rely on their eyes in their daily work. During the month of May, these service dogs are eligible for free eye examinations, courtesy of a program through the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and Merial.

More than 150 veterinary ophthalmologists in the United States and Canada have volunteered to participate in the third annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event. The ACVO has extended the program from a weeklong event to a monthlong event this year.

"If we can assist more dogs, then the dogs can better assist people," said Stacee Daniel, ACVO executive director. "This event is a success each year due to the outstanding support of our volunteer ophthalmologists, our sponsors, and the service dog community. All are instrumental in helping these dogs."

To qualify for a free eye examination, dogs must be active working dogs with certification from a formal training program or be an enrollee in a training program. Owners or agents of service dogs must register via an online registration form. Then they may locate a participating veterinary ophthalmologist and schedule an appointment for the month of May.

The Web site www.ACVOeyeexam.org provides additional details about the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event. The registration form will be available April 1.