Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Nationwide Initiative with Free Eye Exams for Service Animals

By Trish Svoboda

In May, as part of a nationwide initiative, the ophthalmology department at Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center will offer complimentary eye examinations to qualified service and working animals.

Certified veterinary ophthalmologists from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Hong Kong conduct over 8,000 free eye examinations as a component of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists/Epicur Pharma National Service Animal Eye Exam event.

This year signifies the 15th anniversary of the event, which has facilitated around 81,000 complimentary eye examinations since its inception in 2008.

The professionals and personnel at the Veterinary Health Center, along with the participating certified ophthalmologists, offer their expertise, staff, and facilities for the event, free of cost to service and working animals and their handlers/representatives.

Besides conducting examinations at the Veterinary Health Center, the team will also travel to perform eye check-ups.

Their first stop will be at the Kansas Specialty Dog Service (KSDS), Assistance Dogs Inc., located in Washington. KSDS is a charitable organization that offers guide dogs for individuals with visual impairments or low vision, service dogs to aid those with physical disabilities, and facility dogs that support professionals in sectors such as education, counseling, healthcare, retirement, and the legal system. The team’s itinerary also includes visits to the McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita and the Fort Riley Army installation to conduct examinations for military working dogs.

Customers can arrange an appointment at the Veterinary Health Center by contacting the small animal desk at 785-532-5690. Each participant must register online before making a call to schedule an examination. Registration is open until April 30.

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