Veterinary Services

Leader Dog Birth

We have two full-time veterinarians, one full-time licensed veterinary technician (LVT) and one part-time LVT, as well as several volunteers. Two days a week are dedicated to x-ray and entry exam for the 13-month-old dogs that have just arrived on the property to begin training. We do a thorough PE at this time, and while they are sedated, we examine them more closely and perform dental prophies, ear cleaning, nail trims as needed, blood drawn for HWT, vaccines, and X-rays of hips, elbows and chest. All dogs that are entering training are scheduled for neuter. We wait until this time to neuter/spay all the dogs so that we can choose new candidates for our breeding colony. Our afternoons and Fridays are spent seeing appointments. These include ultrasound or x-ray of our breeding bitches to confirm pregnancy (we have an average of six litters born every month), well or sick visits for breeding stock dogs, puppies that are being raised locally, graduate dogs for whom we are the primary care veterinarian, and examination of litters of puppies before they are placed in homes to be raised for us.

We have digital radiography, digital dental radiography, laser surgery capabilities, surgical electrocautery, ultrasound, arthroscopy and endoscopy that we can use for cystoscopy, vaginoscopy or GI endoscopy. We have a slit lamp, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopes. We do everything here for our dogs, and rarely need to refer to outside specialists. We do endoscopic FB retrieval, c-sections on a regular basis, abdominal exploratories, root canals, orthodontic work and orthopedic surgery. We have a cryogenics lab in which our breeding manager stores the collected semen for later use. We do transcervical inseminations via endoscope, or surgical inseminations with our thawed semen. Our veterinarians take turns being on call to provide emergency care for our dogs if needed. You will have an opportunity to assist in breeding and spend some time with the training team during your externship.

We have approximately 100 breeding dogs in our colony (2/3 Labrador retrievers, 1/3 golden retrievers and German shepherds), raise 600 puppies each year in our program, and graduate 15–20 dogs every month, year round. Our facility has room for 300 dogs at a time, with an average of 175 dogs on campus at any given time. We have a team of 22 guide dog mobility instructors who work with our dogs and our clients, teaching them how to use their dogs before they take them home. Our visually impaired clients live on our campus for p to 25 days while learning how to work with their dogs from our outstanding instructors. We have a residence facility that houses our clients who come from all over the world to receive our dogs at no cost to them. Our veterinarians have the opportunity to give a health lecture to the clients on how to care for their dogs, as well as do a physical on the dog with its new handler present to answer the handler's medical questions about his or her new Leader Dog.