Eye Scheme for dogs

The Eye Scheme is run in conjunction with BVA, the Kennel Club (KC) and the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS).

The Scheme is based on a clinical eye examination and is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited eye conditions in dogs. Eye examinations are carried out by expert veterinary surgeons who are members of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Panel. The results of the examinations should then be used to inform breeding programmes and can also be used as an annual eye check-up.

The Scheme is open to all dogs and breeds including crossbreeds and non-Kennel Club registered dogs.

Hereditary eye disease in dogs

There are many types of eye disease, both congenital (conditions that exist from birth or soon after 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, blindness, or the need for lifelong medication, and should be taken into consideration when breeding dogs.

We recommend breeders submit dogs for annual eye examinations as some diseases have late onset of clinical signs.

Older dogs eyes should also be examined regularly for a number of reasons:

  • Several inherited eye problems may only be detected later in life
  • To collect longitudinal information
  • To identify age-related eye diseases

All dogs that have been used for breeding should have a final eye examination when they are over the age of 8 years – this examination is offered at a reduced fee. For further information on the importance of eye examinations for older dogs, read Professor Shelia Crispin's blog post.

Signs of eye disease in dogs

The signs of eye disease vary depending on the specific condition and between individual dogs and breeds. Some observable signs may include:

  • Redness
  • Dilated pupil
  • Discharge
  • Cloudy appearance

Please read our Hereditary eye disease in dogs leaflet (6.90 MB PDF) for further information. It is very important to discuss any concerns with your veterinary surgeon.

Acute closed angle glacoma

closed angle glacoma

Total hereditary cataract

labrador hc deres

Multifocal retinal dysplasia

spaniel mrd

Common breeds at risk of eye disease

All dogs, including crossbreeds are at risk of suffering from eye disease. Common breeds at risk are:

Many other breeds suffer from eye disease, visit the Kennel Club Breed Information Centre for further information.

See eye examinations results by breed (400 KB PDF) for 2018.

    • For vets
    • For dog breeders
    • For dog owners

    For vets

    The Eye Scheme

    The Eye Scheme is run in conjunction with BVA, the Kennel Club (KC) and the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS).

    The Scheme is based on a clinical eye examination and is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited eye conditions in dogs. Eye examinations are carried out by expert veterinary surgeons who are members of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Panel. The results of the examinations should then be used to inform breeding programmes.

    As some inherited diseases of the eye have a variable age of onset, more than one examination under the Eye Scheme may be recommended. All dogs of 8 years and older that have been bred from should also be re-examined under the Eye Scheme in order to identify later onset inherited eye disease and to gather longitudinal information.

    The Eye Scheme may also be used as an annual eye check-up for dogs that are not used in breeding.

    For more information on the Eye Scheme and eye disease, download our eye disease leaflet (15.3 MB PDF).

    Schedules A and B

    Schedule A (406 KB PDF) lists the breeds known to suffer from one or more of the inherited eye diseases the Eye Scheme examines for.

    Schedule B (400 KB PDF) lists the breeds that are under investigation for one or more of the inherited eye diseases the Eye Scheme examines for.

    Litter screening

    The Canine Health Schemes also offers litter eye examinations for congenital hereditary conditions such as collie eye anomaly and multifocal retinal dysplasia when the puppies are 5 to 12 weeks old.

    Information for your clients

    If your client would like to have their dog(s) examined under the Eye Scheme, they should contact one of our expert veterinary panellists directly to arrange an appointment.

    When taking a dog for an eye examination, owners should remember the following:

    • The Scheme is open to all breeds including crossbreeds (they do not have to be registered with the Kennel Club)
    • All dogs must be permanently identified by microchip before examination and certification, and the identification will be verified prior to the examination
    • If applicable, owners must have the relevant KC or ISDS owner registration document with them in order to present the dog for an eye examination and certification
    • Wherever possible, they should also provide any previous eye certificates issued for the dog

    Find an eye panellist near you

    Find a BVA appointed eye panellist near you. Upcoming group examinations in March (256 KB PDF) and April (252 KB PDF). See all our panellists and their contact details (PDF 235 KB)

    Cost of submission

    See cost of submissions and examinations for a full breakdown including reduced fees for older dogs and group examinations.

    Results

    Once the examination is complete, the expert panellist will issue a CHS Eye Examination Certificate (516 KB PDF) which records the inherited eye disease status relevant to the dog being examined. The results are recorded as Clinically Unaffected (does not have the condition) or Clinically Affected (does have the condition) with the exception of the results of gonioscopy which are graded.

    Publication of results

    The results of Kennel Club registered dogs will be published on the Kennel Club Mate Select website if a specific condition is known to be inherited and certified as such.

    Further information

    For dog breeders

    The Eye Scheme

    The Eye Scheme, run by BVA, the Kennel Club and the International Sheep Dog Society, is a clinical examination of the eye, undertaken by expert veterinary surgeons, otherwise known as Panellists, appointed by BVA. The examination is a means of identifying inherited and non-inherited eye conditions in dogs. The Scheme aims to ensure that there is no clinical evidence of hereditary eye disease in dogs that are to be used for breeding.

    Download our leaflet on hereditary eye disease in dogs (15.3 KB PDF) for more information on the conditions and the scheme.

    The conditions currently screened for under the Eye Scheme are:

    Congenital and early onset eye disease (condition exists from birth or soon after birth):

    • Collie eye anomaly
    • Multifocal retinal dysplasia
    • Total retinal dysplasia
    • Congenital hereditary cataract
    • Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous

     

    Non-Congenital eye disease (condition develops later in life):

    • Hereditary cataract
    • Primary lens luxation
    • Primary open angle glaucoma
    • Generalised progressive retinal atrophy
    • Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy
    • Breed-specific retinopathy

    Schedules A and B

    Schedule A (406 KB PDF) lists the breeds known to suffer from one or more of the inherited eye diseases the Eye Scheme examines for.

    Schedule B (400 KB PDF) lists the breeds that are under investigation for one or more of the inherited eye diseases the Eye Scheme examines for.

    Litter screening

    The Canine Health Schemes offers litter screening for congenital hereditary conditions, such as collie eye anomaly and multifocal retinal dysplasia, when the puppies are 5 to 12 weeks old.

    Information needed for litter screening:

    • 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 litter screening 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

    Booking a CHS eye examination

    1. Find a BVA appointed eye panellist near you ( full list of our eye panellists).
    2. Make an appoint with them to examine your dog’s eyes as part of the CHS Eye Scheme.
    3. When attending the examination, please bring any relevant registration documents.
    4. After the eye examination, the panellist will complete the eye exam, giving you a copy of the eye certificate with the results on and sending another copy to BVA.
    5. If your dog is registered with the Kennel Club, the results will also be published on the Kennel Club website.

    Watch our What to expect when you take your dog for a CHS eye examination film for more information on the process:

    To find out more about the examination and eye certificate, download our Information for Owners leaflet (412 KB PDF) 

    Find a BVA appointed eye panellist near you or download the full list of our eye panellists (235 KB PDF). The dates and locations of upcoming group examination sessions are below:

    March (256 KB PDF) and April (252 KB PDF).

    Cost of examination

    See cost of submissions and offers for a full breakdown including discounts for group examinations and for dogs over 8 years old.

    The results

    Once the examination is complete, the expert panellist will issue a CHS Eye Examination Certificate (515 KB PDF) which records the inherited eye disease status relevant to the dog being examined. The results are recorded as Clinically Unaffected (does not have the condition) or Clinically Affected (does have the condition) with the exception of the results of gonioscopy which are graded.

    We recommend always discussing treatment options with your vet once you have your results.

    Publication of results

    The results of Kennel Club registered dogs will be published on the Kennel Club Mate Select website if a specific condition is known to be inherited and certified as such.

    Appeals

    An owner has a right to appeal with regards to the results of an eye examination. The procedure can be found on our appeals page.

    Further information

    For dog owners

    The Eye Scheme

    The Eye Scheme is based on a clinical eye examination undertaken by expert veterinary surgeons. The exam identifies both inherited and non-inherited eye conditions. The results of eye examinations can then be used to make breeding decisions.

    Owners can also use the Scheme as an annual eye check for their dogs so that future management can be optimised and to flag potential problems in the future.

    DNA tests, when available, should be used in conjunction with the Eye Scheme.

    Understanding the results

    If you are going to purchase a puppy that could be at risk of inherited eye disease, it is very important that you see the results and/or eye certificates of the parents before you commit to buying the puppy. You can use The Puppy Contract to help you ask all the right questions.

    Dogs will be marked as Clinically Unaffected (meaning they do not have the condition) or Clinically Affected (meaning they do have the condition) for 12 inherited eye diseases.

    To find out more about the examination and eye certificate, download our Information for Owners leaflet (113 KB PDF).

    How to get my dog’s eyes examined

    For information on how to get your dog’s eyes examined, please see below:

    1. Find a BVA appointed eye panellist near you or download the full list of our eye panellists (PDF 50 KB).
    2. Make an appointment with them to examine your dog’s eyes as part of the CHS Eye Scheme.
    3. After the eye examination, the panellist will complete the eye exam, giving you a copy of the eye certificate with the results on and sending another copy to BVA.
    4. If your dog is registered with the Kennel Club, the results will also be published on the Kennel Club website.

    You can also get your dog’s eyes examined at a group examination session. The dates and locations of upcoming group examination sessions are below:

    Upcoming group examinations in March(256 KB PDF) and April (252 KB PDF).

    See cost of submissions and offers for a full breakdown including discounts for older dogs.

    Further information