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ISU Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center offers free eye exams to service dogs in May

May 7, 2013

Dr. Rachel Allbaugh, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, (515) 294-4900
Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602 


AMES, Iowa – The Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University will provide free, eye exams to eligible service dogs during the month of May.

The Lloyd VMC is one of many veterinary clinics across the United States and Canada that will participate in the sixth national service-dog eye exam event organized through the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Nearly 200 veterinary ophthalmologists will conduct eye exams during May to pay tribute to the service dogs that help humans in numerous roles every day. For these dogs, eyesight is critical.

Since the program launched in 2008, nearly 16,000 service animals have been examined, according to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. In addition to dogs, other service animals including horses and even a service donkey named Henry have received free sight saving exams.

Veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Rachel Allbaugh explains what specialists look for during an eye exam. “We perform a complete eye exam looking at all ocular structures, including thorough lens and retina evaluation following pupil dilation, just like when a human sees an eye doctor. If abnormalities are found their significance is discussed. The vast majority of animals examined through this program are found to have healthy, normal eyes, but it is also very important to identify those service animals with ocular issues so treatment can be instituted if needed.”

“We performed three service dog exams last week and have more appointments scheduled this month,” Dr. Allbaugh said.

A few appointments are still available. Please go to the following website,  ACVO Eye Exam Service Animal Qualifications, before calling the VMC to be certain that your service animal qualifies. Registration is closed through the website, but if your dog qualifies, please contact the VMC at (515) 294-4900 to schedule an appointment. 

To Media: Please call us if you’d like to observe a service dog exam.