News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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News from the
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
May 3, 2013

Release on
Contact: Chris Beuoy

Veterinary Dentists Offer Free Exams for Service Dogs

To help ensure that service dogs remain healthy and able to do their important jobs, veterinarians at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital will participate in a national program to provide free oral health examinations for guide dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and other dogs certified as service dogs.

"Dental problems are extremely common in dogs, with over 80 percent of dogs age 3 or older having clinically significant dental disease," said Dr. Sandra Manfra Marretta, a board-certified veterinary dentist at the hospital. "Because untreated dental disease can lead to discomfort, decreased activity, and altered performance, maintaining good oral health is especially important in service dogs."

Qualified animals must first be registered online with the American Veterinary Dental College at; the link to the Service Dog Oral Health Exam program is at the bottom of the page. Registration in open throughout May.

After registering with the dental specialty organization, owners may call Misty Croy, 217 333-5859, to schedule an appointment.

A limited number of appointments for the free exams are available throughout June 2013. The dogs will be examined for signs of periodontal disease, fractured teeth, discolored teeth, oral masses, and any other problem that may affect the dog's oral comfort and health.

Owners and handlers will learn about preventative oral care and the importance of dental health to overall wellness in their animals. A copy of the exam form will be provided to owners and to their animal's primary care veterinarian. If any problems are detected, owners will also receive a detailed treatment plan. Certified service animals are eligible for reduced fees at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Appointments are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, please visit