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On May 12, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Purdue University is offering free eye exams to qualified service dogs. The ophthamology service department of the Lafayette, Indiana, teaching hospital believes that detecting issues and beginning treatment early are of upmost importance to service animals. How well they serve their human companions is largely based on the dogs' health.
"Our hope is that by checking their vision early and often, we will be able to help a large number of service animals better assist their human companions," said assistant professor of veterinary ophthamology, Wendy Townsend, according to Purdue News.
To qualify for the free exam, dogs must be certified service dogs, enrolled in a training program or actively working. Eligible working dogs include search and rescue and drug detection dogs used by fire and police departments, assistance dogs for individuals with a disability other than blindness, hearing dogs, therapy dogs and guide dogs.
The free eye exams for eligible service dogs are offered as part of the American College of Veterinary Ophthamologists (ACVO)/Strokes Rx National Service Animal Eye Exam event, now in its seventh year. The American Board of Veterinary Specialists approved the ACVO as a veterinary specialty organization. The American Veterinarian Medical Association also recognizes it.
The Veterinary Teaching Hospital opened in 1959 as part of the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine. Functioning as the only veterinary teaching hospital in Indiana, it offers services to both small and large animals. The services the hospital offers include wellness and emergency care, internal medicine, ophthamology, and internal medicine, among others.
For more information about the free eye exams, visit ACVO Eye Exam. Appointments, filled on a first-come first-served basis, are limited.
Check out these articles on past ACVO Eye Exam Events:
ACVO Smashes Eye Exam Record
Service Dog Ocular Exam Event Sets Participation Record