May 11, 2017
AMES, Iowa – The Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University will provide free eye exams to eligible service dogs during the month of May. In Des Moines, ISU ophthalmologists will provide free eye exams at Iowa Veterinary Specialties.
The Lloyd VMC is one of many veterinary clinics across the United States and Canada that will participate in the 10th national service-dog eye exam event organized through the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Nearly 250 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 52,000 service animals have been examined, according to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.
“We love participating in this program!” said Dr. Rachel Allbaugh, board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Iowa State. “It allows us to offer free eye exams for working animals that provide an important service to humans.”
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.
“We hope to find normal healthy eyes, but if abnormalities are noted we can then discuss their significance and other considerations in light of the individual animal’s situation,” Dr. Allbaugh added.
How to Register for the 2017 Event:
To qualify, 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.
Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form beginning April 1, 2017 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org Registration ends April 30th. Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area. Then they may contact a specialist to schedule an appointment. Appointments will take place during the month of May. Times may vary and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
To Media: Please contact our media liaison if you’d like to observe a service dog exam.