Vet: Vision tests important for service dogs

Created: 05/16/2014 2:41 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Ingrid Hendrix is never alone. Everywhere she goes, she brings her dog, Fenn.

"We've been a couple for quite a while," Hendrix said.

Fenn is a service dog and Ingrid's right hand for the past nine and a half years. So it's no surprise that Fenn's health is a priority.

Without Fenn, day-to-day activities for Hendrix would be difficult.

"I have muscular dystrophy and if I lean over, sometimes I can get myself back up, sometimes I can't. So having him there to keep me from having to do that is a relief," Hendrix said.

Fenn's vision, for example, has to be on point. Every year, Ingrid gets Fenn's eyes checked.

"I move my hand toward her eye and see if he can see it coming. He'll blink and move the eye if it does," said Dr. Nancy McLean, a veterinarian in northeast Albuquerque.

That is just one of the vision tests McLean uses for her animal patients. She says there are things dog owners can look for at home to make sure their dogs' eyes are healthy.

"Looking to make sure it's not red, doesn't have discharge, anything like that," McLean said.

Eye drops can help, but if you notice the problem isn't going away, McLean says to check in with your local vet.

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