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BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme Fact Sheet

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We offer eye testing (‘eye scores’) for inherited eye diseases under the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club/International Sheep Dog Society (BVA/KC/ISDS) Eye Testing Scheme


What is the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme?

For over 30 years BVA has operated a hereditary eye disease screening programme in conjunction with the Kennel Club (KC) and the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS). The scheme now covers 11 inherited eye conditions in over 50 breeds of dog.   The purpose of the scheme is to test for such eye conditions in dogs or bitches used for breeding, so that the incidence of these diseases can be reduced in the breeding population.


The eye scheme is also used to screen litters of puppies <12 weeks of age to check for congenital hereditary eye disease.


Which dogs can be tested?


Any dog that is likely to be used for breeding can undergo a BVA/KC/ISDS eye test by a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist. This includes non-Kennel Club registered animals and crossbreeds.


Litters of puppies can undergo a ‘litter screen’ to check for congenital inherited eye diseases. A litter screen is particularly recommended in those breeds that suffer congenital hereditary conditions such as Collie Eye Anomaly, Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia and Hereditary Congenital Cataract. Litter screening should be performed when the puppies are between five and twelve weeks of age.


What is involved in the BVA/KC/ISDS eye test?


The eye testing requires a visit to our practice where an eye examination is carried out to screen for inherited eye diseases. No sedation or anaesthetic is required and the entire process (including time taken to dilate the pupil with eye drops prior to the test) takes around 30 minutes.


Please note the following important points:


  • If your dog is Kennel Club-registered then you must bring your original Kennel Club registration document with you, otherwise we shall be unable to complete the certification


  • All adult dogs undergoing a BVA/KC/ISDS eye test must also have readable permanent identification (usually microchip) otherwise we will be unable to perform the test


  • However, permanent identification is not required for litter screening (puppies <12 weeks old)


Following the test you will receive a Certificate of Eye Examination stating the results of the eye test. The results are entered as affected/unaffected for each certifiable condition. For Kennel Club-registered dogs, the results are also sent to the Kennel Club for inclusion on their database, and we will stamp the KC registration certificate to confirm that an eye test has been performed.


How often should I have my dog tested?


Breeders are generally advised to submit breeding dogs and bitches for annual eye tests, since many inherited eye diseases develop later in life.


How do I book a BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Test?


You can call us directly to arrange an eye test, there is no need for you to ask your vet for a referral. However, we will usually send a copy of the results to your vet, so we will normally ask you for your vet’s details so that we can do this.

What is the cost of a BVA/KC/ISDS eye test?


Fees are set by the BVA, and are reviewed annually. For the latest fees and more information about the scheme please see:


Further information can be found at:

Linnaeus Veterinary Limited trading as Davies Veterinary Specialists 01582 883950

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