Valuing the sight in service

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Beginning in 2008, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists annually honors service animals by hosting the National Service Animal Eye Exam Event. During the event, more than 250 veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S. donate their time and resources to provide free eye exams for thousands of guide dogs, detection dogs, handicapped assistance animals, therapy animals and search-and-rescue dogs.

These animals need good eyesight to perform their daily duties. Ophthalmologists are able to detect subtle eye problems before they progress to possibly life-threatening or blinding diseases.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 22,700 service animals have been examined, including animals from fire, rescue and police agencies; military dogs; psychiatric service dogs for returning soldiers and individual service animals.