2013 National Service Dog Free Eye Exam Event!

Written on February 20, 2013 by Staff Veterinarian

The 6th Annual ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event brings together veterinary ophthalmologists and thousands of service animals for free eye exams.

 Registration runs from April 1st-30th, for the May 2013 event

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the 6th annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event in the month of May, to screen service animals who dedicate their lives to serving the public. More than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico, will be donating their time and resources to provide free, sight-saving eye exams to thousands of eligible service animals. Registration runs from April 1st-30th at www.ACVOEyeExam.org

A sampling of groups served since the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event launched in 2008 include: Transportation Security Agency (TSA), military working dogs, 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.


Dr. Nick Cassotis, DVM, DACVO performs a complete ocular exam utilizing specialty equipment to look for problems including: redness, squinting, corneal disease and retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. Early detection and treatment are vital to these working animals. The complimentary eye exam is of a screening nature. Should more services be needed or desired, you may discuss your options with the specialist. It is expected that the majority of animals will be healthy and will not be in need of additional services. But should such a need arise, we will discuss the condition, present options and best treat your animal.


To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Essentially the animals need to have some sort of certification and/or training paperwork to qualify for this particular program. Other serviceanimals are welcome to participate (i.e. horses, cats, etc.), as long as they meet the stated qualifications.  More information on qualifications can be found at www.acvoeyeexam.org.


Step 1: In order to receive the free eye examination you must FIRST register online for this event at www.acvoeyeexam.org  A confirmation and registration number will be sent to your e-mail address after registration. You will need to provide the registration number when scheduling your appointment with us.  If you do not register, you cannot participate in the event. 

Step 2: Once you have registered, the web site will push you through to a page that will allow you to search by state to locate a clinic near you. (Clinics may not be available in every state.)

Step 3: After locating Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital, call our office at (603)433-0056 and identify yourself as participating in the ACVO Service Dog event to make an appointment. You must provide the registration number you attained. The dates and times for an appointment vary throughout the month of May. We suggest you register early in April to ensure a better chance of securing an appointment. Those who wait to register may find it difficult to find open time slots of your choosing.

Step 4: Visit the ophthalmologist at the appointed time. Please call ahead if you will be late or have to cancel your appointment.  During the examination an eye health screening will be conducted on each animal.

Step 5: After your Service Dog’s eye examination is complete, we will provide you with a copy of your examination form and fax an additional copy to your primary care veterinarian to complete your medical records upon your next appointment. Your veterinarian is an integral part of the team needed to keep your Service Dog health.

Data collected on each animal will remain private and be utilized for research purposes only.

Remember, you MUST pre-register @ www.acvoeyeexam.org prior to making your appointment with the veterinary ophthalmologist. Registration for the 2013 event runs April 1st-30th with appointments booked throughout the month of May.

Further questions/information can also be attained via our website at www.ivghospitals.com or by calling and speaking with a member of the Port City Ophthalmology Team at (603)433-0056.






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