UF Small Animal Hospital to offer free eye exams to service animals May 30

Caryn Plummer, D.V.M., is shown with an Alachua County K-9 and his handler in this file photo taken during a previous National Service Dog Eye event held at the University of Florida. (Photo by Sarah Carey)The University of Florida’s Small Animal Hospital will offer free screening eye examinations to service animals May 30 as a part of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists’ National Service Dog Eye Exam event.

Service animals typically include guide dogs, disability assistance dogs, detection dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs and formally trained and certified therapy dogs.

Only active working animals that have been certified by a formal training program or organization, or that are currently enrolled in a formal training program, qualify for the exam.

Caryn Plummer, Ph.D., an assistant professor and board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at UF Health, will provide the examinations.

“Healthy eyes and vision are critical for a service animal to be able to perform to the best of its ability,” Plummer said. “Regular screening may help detect problems early that are potentially sight-or comfort-threatening, so that intervention may be possible.”

If veterinarians determine that further tests are needed, owners will be able to schedule additional appointments for their service animals.

Owners or their representatives are required to fill out a registration form online at www.acvoeyeexam.org and then asked to call UF’s Small Animal Hospital at 352-392-2235 to schedule an appointment for the eye evaluations.

Callers seeking additional information should ask to speak to ophthalmology technician Holly Kitchen, or leave a message requesting a callback for scheduling.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer these screenings for this incredibly important group of animal heroes,” Plummer said.

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is supported through funding from UF Health and the UF Institute of Food of Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

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