WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The animals that serve Wichita got a free eye exam on Wednesday, courtesy of a doctor from the Kansas State University (K-State) Veterinary Health Center.
Dr. Jessica Meekins, associate professor of ophthalmology at K-State, stopped at McConnell Air Force Base in the morning and checked the service animals there.
In the afternoon, she provided eye exams for the Wichita Police Department K-9s. She said she was looking for any eye problems that could potentially impact their ability to perform their jobs.
“The major difference between a dog eye exam and a person eye exam is the ability of people to read the letters on a chart and actually describe what they’re seeing,” Meekins said. “So it’s a little bit more detailed and intricate for us to evaluate the acuity of vision in dogs.”
“We examine the entire eye. We screen for specific problems such as cataracts and malformations of the retina that could impact vision.”
Meekins said she can glean a lot from any abnormalities she sees during an exam.
“We do more of a subjective evaluation of vision,” she said.
She said early detection and treatment are vital for working animals. K-State has been taking part in the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists/Epicur Pharma National Service Animal Eye Exam event since 2013.
“We do some exams at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. That’s mostly for individually-owned service dogs,” Meekins said. “We’ve gone to Washington, Kansas, to KSDS, and this is our second site visit in the Wichita area combining the Air Force base and the police dogs.”