Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences will provide area Service and Working Animals with free sight-saving eye exams this May. Each year, board certified veterinary ophthalmologists across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico collectively provide more than 7,500 free eye exams as part of The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO®)’s ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam event.
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists is an approved veterinary specialty organization of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties that board-certifies veterinarians as ophthalmologists. The organization developed the ACVO/StokesRX National Service Animal Eye Exam event in 2008, and since its inception, nearly 68,000 Service and Working Animals have received free screening eye exams — including approximately 7,625 in 2018 during the 11th year of the event.
“Our ophthalmology team is happy to donate our time and resources to provide free eye screenings to service dogs working in Oklahoma,” explained Dr. Katelyn Fentiman, one of two board certified veterinary ophthalmologists on staff at the Center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. “It is important to have regular eye exams for all pets but especially service dogs because their owners are depending on these dogs to perform specific tasks.”
The goal of the ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam event is to provide as many free screening exams as possible to eligible Service and Working Animals. The following types of Working or Service Animals may qualify: guide, handicapped assistance, detection, military, search and rescue, and current, registered therapy animals – all whom selflessly serve the public. The Center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital participated in this philanthropic event in 2018 and is proud to take part again this year.
This year’s event is sponsored by ACVO® and Stokes Pharmacy, as well as several generous industry sponsors. The board certified ophthalmologists and staff at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital volunteer their services, staff and facilities at no charge for Service and Working Animals and their owners/agents to participate in the event.
How to Register
To qualify, Service and Working Animals must be “active working animals” that have been trained through a formal training program or organization, or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The training organization could be national, regional or local in nature. More qualification details.
Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form beginning April 1 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org. Registration ends April 30.
“Once service dog owners/agents register online, they will receive a registration number,” continued Fentiman. “Owners need to call and provide that number to schedule an appointment, which will take place during the month of May. Owners should call 405-744-7000, ext. 1, and ask to speak with Carey McCully or Lisa Gallery to schedule their appointment. We do have a limited number of appointments in both morning and afternoon so call as soon as you are registered on the website.”
OSU requires that participants meet all event qualifications, pre-register at ACVO.org, and then provide the assigned registration number over the phone when making an appointment. Times may vary depending on the facility and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so owners/agents are encouraged to register and make appointments early.
About the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists®
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® (ACVO®) 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 successfully complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one-year internship, a three-year ACVO® approved residency and pass a series of credentials and examinations. For more information, please visit www.ACVO.org.
About Stokes Pharmacy
Stokes Pharmacy is a national, full-service compounding pharmacy specializing in the art and science of the custom formulation of prescription medicines for humans and animals. Leading the way in innovation, Stokes invites veterinarians to prescribe compounded medications online securely, quickly, and accurately via iFill, a cloud-based prescription management system. For more information, visit stokesrx.com.