Owners and handlers of certified active working dogs can register for free eye exams at IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital, on Indy’s southeast side, April 1-30 as part of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam event taking place during the month of May.
IndyVet’s ophthalmologist Dr. Heidi Klein is joining hundreds of board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists spanning the U.S. and Canada in a volunteer effort to provide complimentary ocular screenings to thousands of service animals.
Dogs eligible for sight-saving screenings include guide, handicapped assistance, detection, military, search and rescue, and registered therapy canines that all selflessly serve the public.
To qualify, animals must be “active working dogs” certified by a formal training program or organization, or currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization can be national, regional or local in nature.
During the exams, Dr. Klein will utilize specialized ophthalmic equipment to detect signs like: redness, corneal changes, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities.
Service dog owners and handlers must first register online at ACVOEyeExam.org between April 1-30.
Once registered online, the owner/handler can call IndyVet at 317.782.4484 and use the registration number to schedule an appointment with Dr. Klein in May. Appointments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Not all eye impairments come with noticeable signs,” Dr. Klein said. “That’s why we encourage handlers to take advantage of these exams so we can detect any underlying issues that could impair a dog’s vision, which would then affect their job.”