Veterinary Externships

Externship for Senior Veterinary Students

We have provided externship opportunities to veterinary students for the past 20 years. As a nonprofit organization, we try to give back to the veterinary community through its students, offering a unique opportunity to follow the life of a Leader Dog from conception through graduation and beyond. Leader Dogs for the Blind has served the visually impaired community since 1939, and we are proud to share our mission and our passion for working dogs and their human companions with students willing to learn. Our organization can offer a unique perspective from that of a private practice, including kennel management, husbandry practices, theriogenology, puppy development and training, as well as cutting edge technology utilized by an experienced veterinary staff.

VetEx Melissa Theyyenni

The veterinary clinic is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. We expect our veterinary students to be here during those hours. Occasionally we have emergency duties that call us in after hours. The students have the option to be present at these cases if desired. Externships are scheduled through our assistant director of canine health who can be reached at 888-777-5332 or at

Housing is available in our residence facility, as long as there is a current class of clients on campus to receive their new dogs. A private room with a private bathroom is provided. There is WiFi available and a small refrigerator in the room. The kitchen staff who feeds our clients will offer you breakfast and dinner if their staff is in session. There is no fee for housing thanks to a grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust.

There is no stipend.

We see an average of 15 dogs daily for exam, and on several days a month we will see 40+ dogs per day. We average 12 spays/neuters per week. Our practice is limited to the dogs in our program. Most of our patients are Labrador retrievers or golden retrievers, ages 13–18 months.

Please feel free to contact us at 888-777-5332 or email if you are interested in an externship as veterinary student or veterinary technician student.

Learn more about our veterinary services

Living and learning at Leader Dogs for the Blind - A letter