Photo/IllutrationA veterinarian checks a dog for eye disease. (Provided by Menicon Co.)

Dogs in Japan with eye disease may get help sooner thanks to the introduction of a new artificial intelligence service.

Starting in October, veterinarians can access online AI assistance to help them diagnose dogs during eye examinations and identify suitable treatments.

According to leading contact lens manufacturer Menicon Co., 9 million dogs are kept as pets in Japan, where eye disease is the sixth most common disease treated by animal hospitals.

The company's subsidiary Meni-One Co. will offer a service called Fundus AI, which analyzes images of the dogs' eyes filmed during exams and notify veterinarians of diseases they might have.

By comparing images taken in eye checks with stored images of abnormal canine eyes on Fundus AI, veterinarians can reduce their chances of overlooking symptoms.

The service also provides veterinarians with explanations of diseases and reference information, and advice on treatment options. It aims to help veterinarians who do not have specialized knowledge of and skill in dealing with eye diseases.

Meni-One hopes to earn 30 million yen ($277,200) annually after three years through the service, which it will charge veterinarians 15,000 yen per month to use.

It also intends to expand its projects in China, where Menicon has been developing a market.