Screening Scheme Description

Eye testing

Old English Sheepdog

How can I get my dogs eyes tested?

Eye testing should be done under the KC/BVA/ISDS Eye Scheme or the ECVO Scheme.

BVA/KC/ ISDS Eye Scheme

The British Veterinary Association/ Kennel Club/ International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) Eye Scheme offers breeders the possibility of eye testing to screen for inherited eye disease in certain breeds. By screening breeding stock for these diseases, breeders can use the information to eliminate or reduce the frequency of eye disease being passed on to puppies. At the centre of the scheme are two schedules: Schedule A and Schedule B.

Schedule A contains a list of breeds and eye conditions that are known to be inherited in those breeds. Under the Eye Scheme one of a specialist group of canine ophthalmologists (the Eye Panel) examines a dog to look for clinical signs of inherited disease known to affect the breed in question. If no clinical signs are noted for these diseases, then the dog is declared ‘unaffected’; if signs consistent with one or more Schedule A conditions, then the dog will be declared ‘affected’ for the relevant disease. These results are passed to the KC for inclusion in the tested dog’s registration database. Only the results of Schedule A examinations are available to the Health Test Result Finder. List of breeds and conditions on Schedule A:

Schedule B is a list of breeds and conditions which are suspected of being inherited in those breeds. The panellists’ observations on Schedule B conditions are noted and returned to the BVA, but these results are not passed to the KC and so the results of Schedule B examinations are not available to the Health Test Result Finder. List of breeds and conditions on Schedule B:

In general, it is recommended that eyes are examined annually (except for glaucoma predisposition which should be done every three years by a separate gonioscopy test), with the advice given to breeders to only breed from dogs that are found to be unaffected (or clear) of all known conditions in the breed. For more information about the gonioscopy test, please click here:

For more information about the scheme, please visit

ECVO Eye scheme

In addition to the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme the Kennel Club now also record the ECVO (European College of Veterinary Opthalmologists) Eye Scheme.

The ECVO Eye Scheme was established in 1998 and covers 14 inherited eye conditions in dogs. Dogs are classified as unaffected, affected or suspicious. However, it also includes a general examination of the eye and adnexa, so it may reveal other (not inherited) eye diseases as well.

In general, the best age for eye testing is before a dog has reached one year old and thereafter on an annual basis. However, in some breeds, it is necessary to test them as young puppies (usually between six and twelve weeks of age) and so details of litter screening are also included in the literature although results of litter screening are not published.

How do I get my dog's eyes tested under the Scheme?

The Scheme is according to the ECVO protocol, by an ECVO diplomate, click here to find the ECVO diplomates in the UK. Partial or preliminary examinations are not permitted. Gonioscopy may be completed as an additional examination. A certificate is issued upon completion of the examination.

Details of all lesions and conditions found at the time of examination, whether relating to hereditary eye disease or not, are recorded in the descriptive comments section in the middle of the Certificate using drawings and/or written remarks.

It is recommended that “suspicious” cases, after the prescribed period, are re-examined by the National Panel or Chief Panellist, whose decision will be final.

Alternatively, re-examination of cases previously found "suspicious" can be done by the first examiner or another Panellist.

Where can I get more information?

Additional details can be found at


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