Professor, Royal Veterinary College, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK
The British scheme is run jointly by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the Kennel Club (KC) and the International Sheepdog Society (ISDS). It was initially established some 30 years ago to provide help in the control of PRA, but it has evolved to form the basis for the control of 13 known inherited diseases whilst providing an early warning system for the emergence of "new diseases" and old diseases in new breeds.
The author will discuss some of the features of this scheme but encloses here some introductory details together with the lists of diseases, the breeds affected and copies for the certificate and litter screening forms.
The BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme is primarily concerned with the examination of the eyes of dogs for inherited eye disease, but also includes a general examination of the eye and adnexa (adnexa = lids, lacrimal apparatus, orbital and periorbital areas).
Certificates of Eye Examination (Annex A) are issued tin respect of inherited conditions of the eye only and not for inherited conditions of the adnexa.
Dogs may be examined as part of a litter up to the age of 12 weeks and such examinations are recorded on the Litter Screening Eye Examination Form (Annex B). Examination of individual dogs may be recorded on the Certificate of Eye Examination at any age.
Eleven different inherited conditions in pedigree breeds of dog may be certified under the Scheme (Annex C and Part III). In addition, a number of other conditions in other pedigree breeds of dog are listed as "Under Investigation" (Annex D) and eye examination should also be encouraged in breeds which are not listed under the Scheme so that potential inherited problems can be identified.
Panelists can contribute information on inherited, or potentially inherited conditions, directly to the BVA for collation and thence to the Eye Panel Working Party (EPWP), on eye certificates or little screening forms.
Group examination of dogs may be arranged by, for example, an individual, society, or club. In such cases the panelist should ensure that the session is advertised correctly and that all the arrangements (especially the facilities and finances) have been agreed in advance. The fees for eye examinations in which litter screening forms or certificates of eye examination are issued must be charged at BVA rates. Traveling expenses may be charged on such occasions and it is sensible for such charges to be in line with BVA traveling expenses. If the organisers are charging an administration fee this must be made clear.
Gonioscopy is recommended in those breeds in which goniodysgenesis is listed as an inherited problem. A separate fee is charged for this procedure. Technical information on gonioscopy is given in Part III, however, it is important to emphasize that a panelist should not offer this examination if they lack confidence about the technicalities of gonioscopy and the diagnosis of goniodysgenesis.