Animals qualified to receive the complimentary eye exams must meet the qualifications as outlined by the ACVO.
More than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, will be donating their time and resources to provide free, sight-saving eye exams to thousands of eligible service animals, including service horses and a service donkey.
I previously interviewed Dr. William Miller, a veterinary ophthalmologist at Advanced Animal Eye Care, to learn more about this event. This interview is a continuation of that conversation.
What was the inspiration behind this annual event?
Dr. Miller: I, like many of my colleagues examined service dogs pro bono for years and observed eye issues that could have been prevented has an ocular exam been part of the dog's routine health care. Since so many of us were doing the exams anyway, it was not difficult to convince members of the ACVO to participate in an annual event to gather greater exposure not only to the great service these dogs do for us everyday but that more service dogs could be examined.
How have you witnessed this event grow within the veterinary/ACVO community? The service dog community?
Dr. Miller:We have grown from seeing less than a 1000 dogs five years ago to over 5000 last year. It is through the efforts of Merial Pharmaceuticals providing resources to promote the event, primary veterinary care providers, and service dog organizations getting the word out that we have been able to examine so many service dogs.
Any tips for referring veterinarians who would like to help out with this campaign?
Dr. Miller: Go to the web site www.acvoeyeexam.org. Ask their local ophthalmologists if they are participating and if not who is the closest to them who is participating.
Thank you, Dr. Miller, for answering these questions about the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Exam event.