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Penn Vet Ophthalmologists Offer Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs

By Taylor Blackston Published: Apr 17, 2014

Registration is now open through April 30

[April 17, 2014; Philadelphia, PA] – Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is hosting the 7th annual National Service Dog Eye Exam event sponsored by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) and Merial.

On May 6, 8, 12-16 and 21, Penn Vet’s Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, professor of ophthalmology; Dr. William Crumley, staff ophthalmologist; and Dr. Stephen Gross, staff ophthalmologist, will join 190 ACVO board-certified ophthalmologists conducting eye examinations across the country.

Penn Vet, ACVO eye clinicThe ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam is a philanthropic effort generously provided to the public by the board-certified Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, who donate their time and services to provide free ocular exams to qualified service animals.

As a way to serve dogs who dedicate their lives to serving us, these exams are free to registered service dogs across the United States and Canada. Through these efforts, service dog health can be improved and potential disease averted.

How to Make an Appointment

To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were 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.

  1. Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form at Registration ends April 30.
  2. Once registered online, the owners/agents will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area.
  3. Owners/agents may then contact Ryan Hospital’s appointment desk (215.746.8387) to schedule an appointment 

What Veterinary Ophthalmologists Look for During the Exam

During the complete ocular exam, veterinary specialists 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 animals.

About the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® is an approved veterinary specialty organization of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Its mission is “to advance the quality of veterinary medicine through certification of veterinarians who demonstrate excellence as specialists in veterinary ophthalmology.” To become board certified, a candidate must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one-year internship, a three-year approved residency, and pass a series of credentials and examinations.

Sponsors of the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event include: Merial, Ocu-Glo Rx Canine Vision Supplement, Welch Allyn, Aventix Animal Health and Eye Care for Animals, as well as many non-profit supporters including the American Veterinary Medical Association, most state veterinary medical associations in the U.S. and Canada, American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, and other national service animal organizations.

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is the animal health division of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please visit

About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit