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May is National Service Animal Eye Examination Month, a philanthropic event created by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists to provide free eye exams to qualified service animals. Since launching in 2008, the program has benefited nearly 22,000 service animals.
To celebrate and help spread the word about the event, we rounded up some of our favorite reader-submitted photos of dogs wearing glasses and paired them with facts you should know about ophthalmic exams and eye health.
Even in sunglasses, Malacita the Pit Bull has gorgeous eyes. Of course, no matter how beautiful your dog’s eyes are, it’s important for her to get an annual eye exam. Eye examinations can reveal signs of bacterial or viral infections, as well as some types of cancer, hypertension and diabetes.
After a long day of chasing his toy duck, Cooper the Golden Retriever relaxes in the pool. Even dogs who are losing their vision can still enjoy a game of fetch just as much as Cooper. Consider using a ball or object that makes noises or has flashing lights to make the game a little easier for your pup. And remember, if your pup is swimming (or floating) in water, it's always a good idea to have him wear a life jacket.
With his jersey, bandana and tinted Doggles, Roko the Boston Terrier is ready to cheer on his favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers. If things get a little too rowdy during the game, Roko’s goggles will help him stay calm.
Buddy the Schnoodle dons some sweet shades for a stroll along the beach in Outer Banks, North Carolina. The 16-year-old pup has cataracts, and he loves wearing his sunglasses to shield his eyes from the sun. Common causes of cataracts include genetics, diabetes, age, trauma and inflammation of the eye. If you suspect your pup has cataracts, take him to your veterinarian.
We wonder if Carlee the Pit Bull mix’s glasses actually help her see better. Dogs, it turns out, can’t perceive depth as well as humans can. Dogs don’t have 20/20 vision — their depth perception is more like 20/75, meaning that dogs can detect from 20 feet away what a person with normal vision could detect at 75 feet away.
Who looks super cool? This aviator-wearing Australian Shepherd-Labradoodle mix named Murphy.
Have you ever noticed stains under your dog’s eyes? Though Murphy's eyes may be stain free, some Poodles, Malteses, Bichon Frises and other similar breeds and mixes may have abnormal eyelid structure or tear duct obstruction, which can prevent tears from emptying into the nose and down the throat, as they do in most dogs. Bacteria in a dog's fur combined with the moisture from tears can lead to rust-colored staining. You'll need to work with your vet to get rid of the stains.
Ally is a fashionable Lab-Australian Cattle Dog mix who knows how important it is to protect your eyes. In fact, the best way to make sure your canine’s eyes are in tip-top health is to get her eyes examined by your veterinarian.
Ralphie the Goldendoodle looks toward the camera and channels his inner Johnny Cash as he poses for a picture. Training your dog to give eye contact on cue will not only help you get your pup’s attention, it will also help prevent fear and aggression when someone looks him in the eye.
Pink is really Millie the Pekeapoo’s color. She looks so pretty in her pink sunglasses. Pink eye in dogs, on the other hand, is not so pretty. Signs of conjunctivitis can include discharge from the eyes, swollen eyelids, bloodshot eyes, squinting and rubbing the eyes with a paw or against objects. If you think your pet has conjunctivitis, take her to your veterinarian.
Emma the “Philanthropug” was smart to wear her goggles for a fundraising event. Pugs, Bulldogs and other short-nose breeds have a high risk for eye injury due to their pushed-in faces. An annual eye exam can identify or help to prevent other eye issues before they happen.
Topanga the Dachshund is so glad that you’re reading up on canine eye health. Now if only she knew how to read.
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