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Eye Evaluation Criteria: What to Expect during an Exam

OFA Eye Certification examinations are screening exams performed by board certified veterinary ophthalmologists. The exams can take place either in the veterinary office, or at a special clinic held in conjunction with another event (such as a dog show).

Bring your dog’s information to the exam so the exam form may be completed properly. Required information includes: registration number, owner’s name and contact information, dog’s registered name, date of birth, sex, breed/variety, and if applicable, permanent identification (via microchip or tattoo).

The exam is performed 30 to 40 minutes after pupil-dilating drops are placed in the eyes. The Eye Certification exam consists of indirect ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp biomicroscopy. It is not a comprehensive ocular health examination, but rather an eye screening exam. For example, Eye Certification exams do not entail measuring tear production, staining the eyes for the presence of corneal ulcers, or measuring intraocular pressures. Gonioscopy, tonometry, Schirmer tear test, electroretinography, and ultrasonography are not routinely performed; thus, dogs with goniodysgenesis, glaucoma, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, early lens luxation/subluxation or some early cases of progressive retinal atrophy might not be detected without further testing. If a serious ocular health problem (such as glaucoma) is suspected during the Eye Certification exam, the examiner will recommend a more comprehensive ocular examination. The diagnoses obtained during an OFA Eye Certification Registry exam refer only to the observable phenotype (clinical appearance) of an animal. Thus it is possible for a clinically normal animal to be a carrier (abnormal genotype) of genetic abnormalities.

The following breeds are recommended to have a preliminary examination prior to initial pharmacological dilation to best facilitate identification of these disorders:

Portions of the material above have been reprinted with permission of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists from the publication “Ocular Conditions Presumed to be Inherited in Purebred Dogs”, 5th Edition, 2010, produced by the Genetics Committee of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, © American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Partners

Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)

Canine Health Foundation

Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)

Morris Animal Foundation

Animal Health Trust

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