UVS Ophthalmologist Provides Eye Exams for Service Dogs

Jonas, a seeing-eye-dog, receives his ophthalmic screening exam as part of the ACVO/StokesRx event in May

Every May, UVS Ophthalmologist Dr. Christa Corbett donates her time and expertise to participate in the ACVO/StokesRx Service Animal Eye Exam Event. During this event, eligible service animals are invited to receive a free screening eye exam from a participating ophthalmologist.

Who participates?

A variety of service dogs will visit Dr. Corbett and the Upstate Veterinary Specialties ophthalmology department at 152 Sparrowbush Road in Latham during the event.

"Vader" will receive his eye exam with Dr. Corbett later in May

* Assistance animals such as seeing-eye-dog, “Jonas” are often registered for the event. The enhanced quality of life that these dogs provide to their owners is vital and events such as this ensure that they are able to support their human companions.

* Service dogs like “Vader” from the Latham Fire Department, has been scheduled for his free eye exam this month.  Search-and-rescue, bomb-detection and police dogs are also eligible for the event.

* Therapy Dogs with Therapy Dogs International have been scheduled for ophthalmic exams with Dr. Corbett. Although not engaged in the rescue operations we normally associate with service animals, their contributions to the community are important.

May is the Month for ACVO/Stokes Service Dog Eye Exams

ACVO/StokesRx Service Animal ExamsThis is Dr. Corbett’s sixth year of participation in the event and her third year of providing service dog exams at Upstate Veterinary Specialties. She has remarked that the ACVO Service Animal exams have only grown in popularity since she started with UVS in 2013.  During the past two years, Dr. Corbett has examined over 60 animals including search and rescue and police K9 officers.  Other types of assistance dogs who have participated in the free eye exam program have included “Seeing eye” dogs or seizure alert dogs.  Registered therapy dogs whose docile and calm temperament aids them as they visit nursing homes or serve as “reading pals” for children also participate in the event.

May’s appointment schedule of ophthalmic consultations, surgeries and follow-up exams is generally busy, but the ophthalmology department has set aside extra time to offer this opportunity to Service Dogs of the Capital District.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for dogs who devote their lives and skills to help others. I am very proud to offer screening exams, as I hope that early detection may keep these dogs healthy and able to perform their jobs for years to come.”  Dr. Christa Corbett, DVM, MS, DACVO

Participation in the annual ACVO/Stokes Rx Service Dog event is only one of the ways the veterinarians and staff of Upstate Veterinary Specialties share their expertise and care for animals in our community. Be sure to check out our hospital blog for upcoming news and information.