Free eye exams for service dogs at the Veterinary Medical Center

ACVO/Merial nation Service Dog Eye Exam

Columbus, OH – Veterinary ophthalmologists from The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center will offer free sight-saving eye exams for service dogs in May. Service Dog handlers and owners must pre-register by April 29, 2011 with the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Drs. Anne Metzler and David Wilkie, board certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, are two of more than 195 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada offering these eye assessments to thousands of service dogs nationwide as part of the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Day.

Service dogs include those who assist people with physical limitations, as well as search and rescue dogs, police dogs, lead dogs, and pilot dogs. This is the third year that Ohio State has participated.

“We were pleased with the response from the first two years and are looking forward to participating again,” said Dr. Metzler. “We saw 12 dogs the first year, 19 dogs last year, and hope to see more this year.” A variety of assessments are performed on the dogs as part of the exam. “We look as several things,” said Dr. Metzler. “We check the dog’s response to a seemingly threatening gesture, and observe them navigating through an obstacle course. We also talk with the owners. Often they may have noticed changes in behavior such as bumping in to objects or missing a treat.” Medical exams include looking at the eyes, checking eyelids, lens, cornea, and the optic nerve for abnormal symptoms.

In order to participate, dogs must be active “working dogs” that were certified by or currently enrolled in a formal training program or organization; owners or agents for the dog(s) must register the animal online at  www.acvoeyeexam.org.

Once registered, the owner or agent can call The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital at (614) 292-3551 and ask to speak to Kelley Norris or Chris Basham to schedule an appointment. The exams are sponsored by sponsored by ACVO®/Merial® , Hill’s Pet Nutrition, OPTIGEN, and Kong Veterinary Products.

Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has led the veterinary profession for 125 years, offering cutting-edge expertise in animal care, research, teaching, and community involvement. Our Veterinary Medical Center serves 35,000 animal patients per year. Leadership in animal care includes expertise in all specialty areas, cutting edge diagnostic capabilities - many in partnership with The Ohio State University Medical Center – and clinical trials that provide our patients with the latest treatments available. Many of our veterinarians hold joint appointments in The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“Ohio State is the only veterinary school in the country on a campus with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges,” said Lonnie J. King, dean and Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine. “We are proud to be recognized among the top in the nation, and plan to continue to provide leadership in the field as we strive to ensure a healthier world.”

Known for advancements in total hip replacement in canines and the first feline leukemia vaccine, current research efforts include the Center for Retrovirus Research, the Comparative Pathology and Mouse Phenotyping Shared Service, the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, as well as participation in Ohio State’s interdisciplinary Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases program. International partnerships include a recently signed memorandum of understanding with the International Livestock Research Institute (www.ilri.org). We admit up to 160 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine with nearly 100 master’s and Ph.D students. Currently, 55 students are enrolled in our unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, a partnership with the College of Public Health. The college also boasts a five-veterinarian ambulatory practice in Marysville and offers all senior students a two-week rotation in large animal medicine. A unique partnership with the Capital Area Humane Society (CAHS) includes a resident in shelter medicine housed at the CAHS facility.