ACVO®/Epicur Pharma National Service Dog Eye Exam Event
Registration is April 1-April 30, 2020 for the May 2020 event.
Guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To help support these dogs who dedicate their lives to serving the public, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the annual ACVO/Epicur Pharma (formerly known as Stokes Rx) National Service Dog Eye Exam Event for the month of May 2020. Angell’s Dan Biros, DVM, DACVO and Martin Coster, DVM, MS, DACVO are proud to be among more than 180 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, who traditionally elect to provide free sight-saving eye exams to thousands of service dogs. Registration for service dog owners and handlers begins April 1, 2020.
During the complete ocular exam, Drs. Biros and Coster will 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 dogs. Each year, more than 8,000 active service dogs received free eye exams throughout the month of May.
A sampling of groups served since the event launched in 2008 include: Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and military working dogs from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Puppies Behind Bars, an organization providing psychiatric service dogs to soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, local fire, rescue and police agencies, and also individual service dog owners and handlers who rely on these amazing animals daily.
Does Your Service Dog Qualify?
“Active working dogs” that were certified by an Assistance Dog International (ADI) accredited training program or organization or are currently enrolled in an ADI accredited training program will qualify for the free screening eye exams. This includes guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Essentially the dogs need to have some sort of certification and/or training paperwork to qualify for this particular program. Additional registration details can be found at ACVOeyeexam.org.
How to Participate at Angell:
- Register online at ACVOeyeexam.org: In order to receive the free eye examination you must FIRST register online for this event at ACVOeyeexam.org.
- Contact Angell’s Ophthalmology service: After registering at ACVOeyeexam.org, call Angell’s Ophthalmology service at 617-541-5095 to make an appointment.
- Visit the Angell ophthalmologist at the appointed time. During the examination an eye health screening will be conducted on each animal. While the examinations will confirm that most animals are healthy, for those in need of additional services Drs. Coster or Biros can discuss the condition and treatment options.
Dr. Martin Coster examines Bessie, an 11-year-old seeing eye dog – with Claudia Scenna, CVT
Dr. Martin Coster examines Salem, a 5-year-old seeing eye dog – with Tia Irving, CVT
As part of a national program to provide free eye exams, spearheaded by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO), Angell Ophthalmologists Dan Biros and Martin Coster—both board certified in veterinary ophthalmology—have examined a variety of service dogs, including
- guide dogs
- therapy dogs
- explosive detection dog
- medical assistance dogs
- medical alert dogs
- search and rescue dogs
All dogs receive a comprehensive ocular exam; the doctors check for health issues spanning redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts, and other serious abnormalities. Angell Animal Medical Center expects to continue participating in the national program as a way to give back to the Boston-area community, and reinforce just how crucial these dogs are for the people who rely on them.
For more information about Angell’s Ophthalmology Service, please visit angell.org/eyes or call 617-541-5095.