All Eyes On… Dr. Clara Williams

At NEADS, the health and well-being of our dogs is crucial. From the moment they arrive on campus, our dogs have consistent health monitoring that includes routine care, vaccinations, orthopedic screenings, and eye exams.

Dr. Clara Williams, an ophthalmologist from the Veterinary Eye Center of NYC, generously donates her time to conduct quarterly eye clinics at NEADS. She begins each clinic in the Nursery, examining any puppies that are old enough to receive eye exams. Then, she examines any dogs that require an eye exam.

She starts the exam by doing a tear test and checking their ocular pressure. Then, we put dilation drops into the puppy’s eyes and wait for them to dilate. Once dilated, Dr. Williams looks at their lenses and retinas for any abnormalities. When the eye exam is complete, Dr. Williams does a complete physical exam of each pup to ensure they are healthy and ready to head out to their Puppy Raiser or travel to another Service or Guide Dog organization as part of the ADI North America Breeding Cooperative.

Dr. Williams also conducts dilated eye exams on our potential breeder candidates and active breeders. Potential breeder candidates require an eye exam as part of their health clearances for the breeder selection process to ensure that their eyes are up to snuff for breeding. Once a dog is an active breeder and part of the breeding colony, we continue annual eye exams to ensure that no eye issues pop up as their eyes age. Our goal is to breed dogs with healthy eyes so that they produce puppies with healthy eyes.

Eye Exams in the NEADS Nursery with Dr. Clara Williams, assisted by NEADS Assistant Breeding and Puppy Development Coordinator, Megan Kropf

(Note: for these steps, the lights are off so that she can easily see what’s going on in the eyes, but we turned the lights on for the purpose of photo-taking.)