A rainy, damp Saturday in May didn’t keep puppy parents and their service dogs in training away from WCC’s Healing Quarters for its spring Eye & Heart Day. In fact, 89 dogs had their eyes examined, and 17 dogs had heart exams.
Special thanks to ophthalmologist Dr. Nancy Bromberg, VCA Southpaws Veterinary Specialists, and cardiologist Dr. Neal Peckens, Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates (CVCA), who both lent their time and talents to ensure the health, livelihood, and longevity of these service dogs in training who will go on to help many Service Members and Veterans. Partner, Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), also brought some of the dogs from its program to be screened.
“Our goal is to have dilated ophthalmologic exams done all dogs in training, breeding dogs and retired breeding dogs annually,” said Molly Morelli, director of Dog Programs, WCC. “Although we do genotype testing on all our breeding dogs, there are other eye issues that can show up at any time during a dog’s lifetime.”
The number of echocardiograms was much lower, as they are performed on only those dogs that are considered breeder potentials. A disease called Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia does not often cause a murmur, and the only way to screen for this is via an echo done by a board-certified cardiologist.
Offered twice a year, the next WCC Eye & Heart Day is scheduled for November 12.