You are currently browsing the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists tag.

7th Annual ACVO® National Service Animal Eye Exam Event

posted March 16th, 2014 by
  • Share
AVCO

AVCO 1MERIDIAN, Idaho (March 16, 2014) – Service animals including: Guide, handicapped assistance, detection, military, search and rescue, and registered therapy animals, selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the 7th Annual ACVO® National Service Animal Eye Exam Event throughout the month of May. More than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will donate their time and resources to provide free eye exam screenings to thousands of eligible service animals. Registration for service animal owners and handlers runs from April 1 – 30 at www.ACVOeyeexam.org.

Since the program’s launch in 2008, nearly 22,000 service animals have been examined. In addition to dogs, other service animals including horses and even a service donkey named Henry have received free sight-saving exams.

“Early detection and treatment are vital to these working animals,” Stacee Daniel, executive director of ACVO, said. “Our hope is that by checking their vision early and often, we will be able to help a large number of service animals better assist their human friends.”

Ben is a black American Field Labrador who can climb a three-story ladder, unassisted. Ben’s eyesight is vital to his job.  He is a search and rescue dog from Ventura, Calif. that can be called upon at any time to rescue someone who is alive, during a disaster. Ben’s handler, Eric Darling, has brought Ben to participate in the ACVO National Service Animal Eye Exam Event for three years in a row. “Catching something early is huge!” Darling said. “This event ensures that we have the opportunity to get this exam done, with no excuses.”

The event is sponsored by ACVO and generous industry sponsors. Other non-profit supporters that endorse the event include the American Veterinary Medical Association, most state veterinary medical associations in the U.S. and Canada, the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, and other national service animal organizations.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE 2014 EVENT:

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. 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 registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area. Then, they may contact a specialist to schedule an appointment, which will take place during the month of May. Times may vary depending on the facility and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Robert M. Gwin

Animal Eye Clinic    Tulsa, OK  74145

918-632-0508  or  800-256-6454

http://www.eyeclinicok.com/

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 complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one-year internship, a three-year approved residency and pass a series of credentials and examinations. For more information, please visit www.acvo.org.

7,700 SERVICE ANIMALS RECEIVE FREE EYE EXAMS DURING THE 6th ANNUAL ACVO/MERIAL NATIONAL SERVICE DOG EYE EXAM EVENT

posted June 27th, 2013 by
  • Share
AVCO

Record-Breaking Event Results Announced

Meridian, ID (June 24, 2013) – The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) today announced another consecutive year of record breaking results from the  6th Annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event.  With the help of more than 250 volunteer, board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia, more than 7,700 service and therapy animals were examined during the event.  Included in that number are 52 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Department of Defense dogs examined at Lackland Air Force Base this year. The 2013 total is far beyond the projection and goal of 6,000 participants this year.  Guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, registered therapy animals and other service animals including horses received free sight saving exams.

“I am genuinely touched by the gratitude we have received from the participants of this year’s event. The letters and Facebook posts that have been sent to us regarding the generosity of our sponsors and ophthalmologists have been heartfelt and amazing,” said Stacee Daniel, Executive Director of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. “I am honored to work with such quality individuals and enjoy knowing that the ACVO and Merial are able to ‘help just a little’ those that are so deserving. Educating people about the importance of animal eye health has never been more rewarding.”

Tootie Tatum and her Service Dog, ‘Moose’, (photo on the left) participated this year. Tatum says, “My FEMA urban search and rescue dog, Moose, and I want to thank you for sponsoring this event. He had his exam today and got a clean bill of health. It means a great deal to all of us handlers. As you know, it’s expensive to maintain our dogs so events like this are a godsend!”

One dog owner also reported in on the exam by sending ACVO  a note written directly from their dog, Sadie (photo on the right). “Thank you for the opportunity to get my eyes checked by a specialist. It was great and we learned why my one eye runs a little, it is nothing to worry about. We were worried, so thank you!!! Here is a picture of me in the exam room snoozing while waiting for my eyes to dilate. Xoxo”

The goals of the annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event are:  to benefit individuals and society who rely on Service Dogs, strengthen referral relationships between veterinary ophthalmologists and general practice veterinarians, to gather data relative to work performance for future work recommendations and to preserve the sight of those animals who serve us selflessly.

About the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® 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 promote excellence in veterinary ophthalmology through advanced training, certification, research and education.” To become board certified, a candidate must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one year internship, a three year approved residency and pass a series of credentials and examinations.

The event is primarily sponsored by ACVO and Merial.  Other sponsors included OcuGlo Vision Supplement, Eye Care for Animals, Optigen and WelchAllyn. Several  non-profit supporters include the American Veterinary Medical Association, most state veterinary medical associations in the U.S. and Canada, American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives, and dozens of national and regional service animal organizations.

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were $2.8 billion (€2.2 billion). Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see http://www.merial.com

Veterinary Ophthalmology Services

posted October 15th, 2010 by
  • Share

BY DERINDA BLAKENEY

Margi Gilmour, DVM, associate professor at Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is more than a veterinarian. A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, Gilmour is a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist. Board certification requires an additional four years beyond veterinary school. Currently the only ophthalmologist at the center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Gilmour and Carey McCully, a registered veterinary technician (RVT), provide ophthalmology services for the more than 900 patients they treat a year.

“We treat all species,” says Gilmour. “We see mostly dogs with horses being the second highest. The more uncommon animals we treat are at the zoo—penguins, sea lions, polar bears and ostriches to name a few.”

According to Gilmour, animals suffer from many similar eye problems as humans.

“We treat trauma cases, eyelid, corneal and retinal diseases, glaucoma, dry eye, and cataracts. Cataract surgery is the most common ophthalmic surgery performed. We also serve as a diagnostic tool for our veterinary internal medicine service. If they are seeing a patient that is ill, we often examine the eyes to look for a systemic disease such as high blood pressure, cancer, or a fungal disease.”

One of the most memorable cases the ophthalmology service treated during Gilmour’s nearly ten years at the veterinary hospital was a trauma case involving a dog.

“A golden retriever was running at Boomer Lake and ran into a branch. The stick had pierced the dog’s head just on the inner side of its eyeball. The owner had the calm nerve to remove the stick and bring her to the hospital’s 24/7 emergency room.”

Gilmour goes on to say that the dog was obviously in pain. They anesthetized her and began removing the splinters left behind from the stick.

“Under our microscope, each splinter looked like a tree,” recalls Gilmour. “We removed splinters from beside and behind the eye for at least 45 minutes. It was amazing to see how far behind the eye the stick traveled without penetrating the eye. It was a most rewarding case because the dog never lost its eyesight and healed well.”

While owners may not have a lot of control in protecting their animals’ eyes, there are few precautions they can take.

“If you own a horse with white around its eye, use a mask with specific ultraviolet protection,” says Gilmour. “Like in humans, ultraviolet light can lead to cancer. These horses are susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma cancer and can lose their eye. It is important to protect them from the UV rays.” “For dog owners, don’t let your dogs ride with their heads out the car window,” adds McCully.

While general practitioner veterinarians are equipped to measure tear production and stain for ulcerations, the OSU veterinary hospital has equipment and faculty/staff expertise to handle that and much more due to specialization.

“We have an electroretinogram to determine retinal function and an ocular ultrasound to examine structures in the eye not visible on the exam such as the retina behind an opaque cataract,” explains Gilmour. “We can measure eye pressure and use magnifying instruments that allow us to look both in the front of and the back of the eye in much greater detail.”

The list of services available at the veterinary hospital includes ophthalmic surgery involving the eyelids and the globe (cornea, lens, laser treatment for glaucoma), diagnostics, slit lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

Vision testing can be a challenge but Gilmour often uses how an animal tracks falling cotton balls or how they maneuver through an obstacle course to determine the extent of vision.

“A dog can’t hear cotton balls land and can’t smell them so they have to watch them. Using an obstacle course and varying the lighting can help determine if a dog has poor night vision or has difficulty seeing low-contrast items or low objects. Determining the level of vision loss can alter therapy. If an animal has permanently lost vision it is important for owners to know the necessary precautions for keeping their pet safe.”

Gilmour earned her DVM from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a one year Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship at the University of Georgia followed by a one year Residency in Ophthalmology at Veterinary Ophthalmology of New England. She then completed a three year Residency in Ophthalmology at The Ohio State University. After working in private practices in Florida, Kentucky and Washington, she came to OSU in 2001 to teach, treat patients and do research.

“I chose ophthalmology because it emcompasses both medicine and surgery and involves treating all species,” says Gilmour.

McCully earned her veterinary technician degree from OSU-OKC/ Murray State College followed by her certification exam to become a registered veterinary technician, which is similar to a registered nurse in human medicine. She came to OSU in 2004 and began working with the Ophthalmology Department in 2006. McCully is the ophthalmology RVT whenever Gilmour is on clinics.

Gilmour and McCully offer pet owners this advice: If you have a concern about your pet’s eyes, call and make an appointment. While 75 percent of their cases come as referrals from veterinarians, a referral appointment is not always necessary since the OSU’s veterinary hospital is open to the public.

“For some diseases, early intervention is key,” adds McCully. “If the disease goes on too long, the damage can’t be reversed. However, if seen early on, vision may be preserved.”

The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.