Eye testing scheme BVA/KC/ISDS

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The Eye Scheme is run in partnership with BVA, the Kennel Club, and the International Sheep Dog Society.

The Eye Scheme was established in 1966 as a means of identifying inherited, and non-inherited eye conditions in dogs.  It is a clinical eye examination carried out by Specialist Veterinary Ophthalmologists.  The scheme is open to all breeds of dog including cross breeds and non Kennel Club registered dogs.


What is hereditary eye disease?

There are many types of eye disease, both congenital (conditions that exist from birth) and non-congenital (conditions that develop later in life) that affect dogs.  Many of these conditions can have serious effects on health and welfare, causing pain and or blindness, and possibly the need for lifelong medication.  All of these should be taken into consideration when breeding dogs.

Please click Here to view the list of Inherited Eye Disease and the breeds affected. 


What happens at the routine examination?


The Routine Examination

For this test we ask you to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. This is so we can administer dilating drops. These drops take between 20 – 30 minutes to work, and this enables the vet to see all the structures within the eye. While you are waiting one of our nurses will start completing your certificate, therefore you need to present the owners registration form as this is where we get all the information from, we will also stamp it on completion of the test (without this document we cannot issue your certificate). The test itself only takes a few minutes, and the vet will issue you the certificate, and tell you if your dog is affected ☹ or unaffected. Contrary to belief most hereditary eye diseases are not present at birth but appear in adult life, and for this reason it is recommended that breeding dogs are checked annually.

View a KC Owner Registration Certificate here.

Litter Screening

It is possible for litters to be tested for congenital hereditary conditions when they are 5 to 12 weeks old.

The procedure is the same as for the routine examination.

When organising and attending a litter screening, you will need to provide the following details:

  • Owner details
  • Parent details
  • Number of puppies born
  • Date of any previous examinations
  • The microchip number of each puppy (all puppies being litter screened need to be microchipped before they are examined)

After the examination, you will receive a litter screening certificate with the results on. The results of litter screening of Kennel Club registered dogs will also be available on the Kennel Club database.

Some inherited eye diseases can be seen in puppies aged between 5 and 12 weeks old, view our Litter screening checklist to see which breeds should be screened at this age. 

View our litter screening document here.