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Free eye and heart exams for service dogs at UF on May 10

On May 10, the University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital will offer free screening eye and heart examinations to service dogs as a part of the sixth annual American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam event.

Service dog groups include guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs and formally trained and certified therapy dogs. Only active working dogs that have been certified by a formal training program or organization, or that are currently enrolled in a formal training program, qualify to receive the exam.

Regular screening may help detect early problems. If, based on the animals’ examinations, veterinarians determine that further diagnostics are needed, owners will be able to schedule future appointments.

The heart examinations will consist of a brief physical examination concentrating on the cardiovascular system, which will include auscultation, or listening to the heart. If certification is desired, UF cardiologists can fill out Orthopedic Foundation for Animals paperwork.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Owners or their representatives must contact UF’s Small Animal Hospital at 352-392-2235 to schedule an appointment for either the eye or the heart evaluations.

Callers seeking information about the eye examinations should ask to speak to ophthalmology technician Holly Kitchen. For the eye examinations, owners or their representatives must first fill out a registration form online at Callers seeking information about the cardiac examinations should ask to speak with either Melanie Powell or Bonnie Heatwole, cardiac technicians.

Registration is open until April 30.

About the Author

Sarah Carey's picture

Sarah Carey

Public Relations Director, College of Veterinary Medicine

Sarah Carey, M.A., A.P.R., is director of public relations at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, a job she has held since 1990. Formerly, she was editor of...Read More