Penn Vet Ophthalmologists Conducting Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs

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Media Contact:Kelly Stratton | skell@vet.upenn.edu | 215-898-1475April 3, 2012

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Ryan Hospital is once again participating in the National Service Dog Eye Exam sponsored by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) and Merial.

During the week of May 14 – 18, Penn Vet’s Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, professor of ophthalmology; Dr. William Crumley, staff ophthalmologist; and Dr. Stephen Gross, staff ophthalmologist, will be participating as part of the 190 ACVO board-certified ophthalmologists conducting the eye examinations.

The ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam is a philanthropic effort generously provided to the public by the board certified Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists who donate their time and services to provide free screening ocular exams to qualified service animals.

These exams are free to registered service dogs across the United States and Canada. Through these efforts service dog health can be improved and potential disease averted, serving those dogs who dedicate their lives to serving us.

How to Make an Appointment

To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature.

1. Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form at www.ACVOeyeexam.org. Registration ends April 30th.

2. 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.

3. Owner/agent may then contact Ryan Hospital’s appointment desk (215.746.8387) to schedule an appointment.

Appointments will take place between May 14 – 18 at Penn Vet and throughout the month of May at other participating locations. Appointments are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

What Veterinary Ophthalmologists Look for During the Exam

During the complete ocular exam, the veterinary specialists 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.

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