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 Dr. Cory Mosunic, the board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Newtown Veterinary Specialists, is providing free sight-saving eye exams for dozens of service animals this month.   

 Service animals that qualify for the free eye exams include guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs serving the public. To be eligible they must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or are currently enrolled in a formal training program.

 Dr. Mosunic has been participating in the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event for about seven years. She will perform a complete ophthalmic examination, testing ocular health, screening for glaucoma, and evaluating for any ocular diseases that could jeopardize their ability to perform their work.

 “It’s extremely important for service animals to have good ocular health to perform their jobs,” Dr. Mosunic explained.  “This is most obvious for guide dogs that aid the visually impaired, but also for police dogs that need to have comfortable, healthy eyes. I choose to perform this event on a voluntary basis and it’s most rewarding to honor those animals that protect, guide and serve us every day, and to give those whom they help the peace of mind that they are healthy,” she said.

 Her advice to all service animal owners is to act quickly on any ocular concern. Typically, the faster the eye is evaluated and treated the better the outcome. Signs of concern are redness, squinting, discharge or cloudiness of the eyes. She also recommends yearly screening eye exams to evaluate working animals for ocular diseases that may be asymptomatic. 

 For more information on the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event visit www.acvoeyeexam.org.

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