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Companion Animal Practice
Hereditary eye disease and the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme: an update


THE main purpose of the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club/International Sheep Dog Society (BVA/KC/ISDS) Eye Scheme is to ensure that there is no evidence of hereditary eye disease in dogs that are used for breeding. In order to achieve this aim it is important not only that all dogs that are to be bred from are examined under the scheme, irrespective of whether there are known inherited eye problems within the breed, but that the scheme is kept under active review with regard to inherited eye diseases and breeds that should be included. This article describes conditions that are currently certified (Schedule A) and summarises those that are under investigation (Schedule B). Two categories of inherited eye disease are recognised: congenital (present from birth) and non-congenital (acquired later in life). This simple classification is not entirely satisfactory, because the eyes of puppies are not fully developed at birth and cannot be examined until a puppy is at least four weeks of age. In addition, because the eye is immature at birth, a number of other developmental conditions (eg, geographic retinal dysplasia) may not be apparent at litter screening, so it is more rational to describe inherited congenital conditions as those identifiable during the neonatal stage.

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