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Eye Certification

Why have eye certification ?

The reason for eye certification is to provide quality assurance of normal visual status. Eye certification in animals is well established throughout the world, and has been performed for decades. The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) has an extensive data base derived from over 200 or so veterinary ophthalmologists who contribute their data to a central data base. Data from this source has provided a list of genetically inherited eye diseases which is used at the time of certification in the USA.

In Australia, at this time we do not have such a data base established. This will probably change in the future and work is being done currently to this end. Unfortunately the funds to support such a data base do not exist. In time we hope to have a national eye scheme and data base.
Eye certifications are commonly performed by veterinary ophthalmologists, and for many reasons are a sound investment by breeders and the pet owner. If nothing else, eye certification by a specialist ophthalmologist often provides peace of mind for breeders / owners alike, especially in breeds with significant eye problems.

What breeds need eye certification?

Eye Clinic for Animals provides eye certification in all breeds of dogs. Traditionally only the common breeds and diligent breed clubs enforced eye certification. Nowadays most breeds have been shown to have variable genetic problems associated with the eyes. Not all of these problems are significant for vision, but are still potentially genetically inherited. Our aim is to minimize the number of animals that have a significant problem, or at least be able to inform our clients as to what to expect should there be a problem.

At what age can eye certifications be performed?

We encourage breeders to have their puppies checked at 8 weeks of age prior to sale. This early check up can identify congenital problems such as congenital cataracts, and collie eye anomaly. This gives the breeder some ideas as to which animals may be kept for breeding or sold as pets. However some problems are only detectable as the animal matures, and an examination prior to breeding as well as a yearly check up is recommended. There are some blinding diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts and glaucoma which tend to occur later on in life.

What diseases are we looking for?

Some of the more common diseases we look for include: retinal diseases, cataracts, entropion, distichiae, collie eye anomaly, retinal dysplasia and persistent pupillary membranes however there are many others as well. When we do an eye examination we look for all abnormalities.