Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine offers free eye exams for service dogs

March 30, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine will offer free eye exams for certified service dogs on May 7.

"It's critical to help preserve the vision and quality of life of working dogs because they provide such a vital service to their owners and handlers," said Wendy Townsend, an assistant professor of veterinary ophthalmology. "The exams are important because small things that would be noticed by an ophthalmologist would likely not be noticed by a dog's owner or handler but could become a problem in the future."

To qualify for the free exam, dogs must be certified, actively working or currently enrolled in a formal training program. Types of working dogs that would be eligible include guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, and those used by police and fire departments for detection and search and rescue.

To schedule an exam, owners must first register online, after April 1, at http://www.mtgs-etc.com/registration/acvo/SD12/dogreg_step1_2012.htm. Once registered, the appointment can be scheduled at the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital by calling 765-494-1107. The available exam slots will be filled on a first-come basis.

This free service is being offered as part of the fifth annual American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam event, during which ACVO ophthalmologists donate their time to provide the screening to qualified service dog. The ACVO is an approved veterinary specialty organization of the American Board of Veterinary Specialists and is recognized by the American Veterinarian Medical Association.

The Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital, established in 1959, provides services to both large and small animals and is the only veterinary teaching hospital in Indiana. The hospital serves as a full-service veterinary medical referral center, providing specialty services that include ophthalmology, internal medicine, surgery, emergency and wellness care.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Source: Wendy Townsend, townsenw@purdue.edu