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28 April 2018


Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs honors vets across the globe on world veterinary day.

Announce speakers for Veterinary Symposium at state-of-the-art mobility training centre in Melbourne 11-12 September 2018

Today is World Veterinary Day, and to celebrate we announce the speakers for the International Veterinary Symposium (September 11&12) and take a look behind the curtain at those unsung heroes who put in that extra mile to assure the best treatment for their patients: Our in-house veterinary team.  

Operating year round with two full-time vets and one veterinary nurse, our team ensure the wellbeing and good health of our onsite Seeing Eye Dogs, pups, breeding and expectant dogs by performing medical screening procedures such as X-rays and ultrasounds as well as medicine, general healthcare and small surgeries. 

Our kennel and puppy attendants are also highly trained and skilled in providing health care for our dogs, and specialists visit our state-of-the-art clinic on a regular basis to perform echocardiography (heart ultrasound) and ophthalmology examinations to ensure our dogs are not carrying any diseases that may impact their work, or that may be passed onto their offspring. 

The most common procedure for the team is general health check-ups for our constantly growing number of dogs. Because of this, any major health issues can be detected early and dealt with accordingly.  Our Seeing Eye Dog vet team also act as Obstetricians when our breeding dogs are giving birth, closely monitoring the whelp (birth) and, if necessary, performing caesarean to deliver the pups. 

And, this September 11&12, with the support of Royal Canin and Greencross Limited, the team will be hosting an international Veterinary Symposium at our National Training Facility in Melbourne:

Register here and enter the promo code 'SEDVET' for 30% off tickets.

The event has already attracted a number of delegates from both overseas and at home and features a stellar line up of speakers and a wide range of topics including:
•    Prof Claire Wade BSc (Hons) PhD UNSW GCertEd UQ, Chair of Computational Biology and Animal Genetics at the University of Sydney – Genetics for service dog programs 
•    Dr Richard Woolley BVetMed DipECVIM-CA(Cardiology) MRCVS - Cardiac valve disease in retrievers
•    Dr Sam Snelling BVSc FANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery) – Elbow Dysplasia
•    Dr Greg Burton BVSc (Hons) MACVSc (Small Animal Surgery), FACVSc (Dermatology) – Dermatology topics for retrievers 
•    Dr Steven Holloway BVSc MVS PhD MACVSc Dipl. ACVIM - Infectious Disease in Kennel Environments
•    Dr Trepheena Hunter BAgSc (Hons) MAgSc BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour) - Detecting and Managing kennel stress

The generosity of donors which has contributed to many valuable pieces of equipment, and our dedicated staff who are always supporting our dogs through their stay at the facility and keeping them healthy and comfortable, is essential to creating healthy dogs to serve people who are blind or have low vision.

Media enquiries: Matt Collins, 0415 188 523 or email
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April 2018

New Veterinary Symposium announced to coincide with Australian IGDF conference. 

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs’ to host symposium at state-of-the-art mobility training centre in Melbourne 11-12 September 2018

Vision Australia, the leading national provider of blindness and low vision services and advocator for the blindness and low vision community, has announced a Veterinary Symposium to coincide with the upcoming IGDF Workshop.

To be held in Melbourne at the state-of-the-art Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs headquarters on 11 and 12 September 2018, the event will bring together leading Australian and international veterinarians and experts in the dog guide, shelter and kennel medicine industry.  

The Symposium will focus on veterinary conditions, treatments and new research specific to the breeds, and veterinary challenges involved in producing and training dog guides, with discussions around subjects such as early intervention surgery for hip dysplasia; new options for elbow dysplasia; parasitology; shelter medicine; nutrition; and tricuspid and mitral valve disease in retrievers.

Register here and get ‘earlybird’ rates.

The Venue

Just a short ten minute drive from the City Centre, Vision Australia’s Seeing Eye Dogs National Breeding and Training Centre in Melbourne is a state-of-the-art facility offering Seeing Eye Dogs comfort, good health and an incredible quality of life. 

In addition to music, internal day yards with transparent walls allow Seeing Eye Dogs direct views of the staff and everything that is happening in the kennels – helping to reduce stress and limiting anxious barking.   Dogs have separate sleeping quarters with automatic filling water bowls, 24-hour climate control and an Australian-first kennel door management system.

The Centre also includes a rehabilitation pool which allows dogs to recover more quickly from injuries, bruising, soft tissue damage or surgery, by providing weightless exercise to prevent risk of further injury, while maintaining muscle strength. 

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs also opened a world-first under cover Mobility Training Centre at the site in November 2017, to provide a safe and realistic place for a person who is blind or has low vision to become familiar and confident, with either their newly-matched Seeing Eye Dog or their white cane.

Focused on innovation, the Leigh Garwood Mobility Training Centre, will be a crucial part of dog training in advance of them being matched with clients and will help matched teams to build confidence in working together.  It will also arm both children and adults with the necessary tools to safely navigate roads and public spaces, access transportation, avoid potential hazards and build mobility confidence that will take them to school, jobs, appointments and social activities.  

The Mobility Training Centre provides a mock outdoor environment that includes a simulated train carriage as well as a working escalator.  In the public environment, these are two of the most frequent causes of accidents and injuries amongst people who are blind or have low vision and their Seeing Eye Dog, and continued topics of advocacy for Vision Australia.  It also comprises pedestrian crossings, roadside kerbing, functional traffic lights with audio signals, a mock café, a reversing car, footpaths and varying surfaces to train Seeing Eye Dogs, handlers and white cane users.

About Melbourne

Hugging the tip of Australia's east coast and just a short 1-hour flight from Sydney, Victoria is Australia's second-smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometres –roughly the size of the British Isles.

A wealth of diverse regions and attractions are packed into this compact area, with sweeping coastlines, pristine beaches and national parks and forests teeming with wildlife, plus wineries, lakes and mountains offering skiing, climbing and hiking. Best of all, many of Victoria's unique and varied landscapes are easily reached as day trips from Melbourne.

Melbourne boasts a packed program of festivals and events, Australia's best and most stylish shopping, has a lively passion for eating and drinking, and supports a flourishing arts scene.

Media enquiries: Sharon Mackenzie, 0431 374 671 or email
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