Fourth Annual AVCO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam

April 8, 2011 · Posted in Doggie Healthcare · Comment 

Don’t forget that the Fourth Annual AVCO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam event is coming soon! Registration started April 1 and qualified service animals throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico can receive free eye checks throughout the entire month of May.

Eligible animals must be actively working and certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in one. The certifying organization can be national, regional, or local. Other service animals such as horses, cats, etc., can participate as long as they meet the qualifications. For more information visit:

The registration form is to be available online starting April 1.

The AVCO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam event is a philanthropic effort generously provided to the Service Dog public by the board certified veterinary ophthalmologists of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

The ACVO has teamed up with Merial the last several years to put on this event. They report that in 2010 the number of service dogs seen had more than doubled, with more than 3,200 dogs examined. Additionally the program saw an increase in the number of service horses examined. Not only were police horses examined in Louisville KY but the famous Golden Gate horse patrol benefited from ocular examinations. The event was featured on Good Morning America last year as well.

Have a story about your assistance dog and this event? The ACVO is asking you email your story to and include photos under 5MB if you have them.

I learned the importance of eye examinations several years ago when my retired service dog, Morgan, developed a degenerative eye condition and almost lost his eyes. Dr. Kennard, a veterinary ophthalmologist with Eye Care for Animals in Albuquerque, literally saved his eyes and his eyesight.

I called my veterinary ophthalmologist to register Whistle and to schedule his eye examination. I hope you will too!