(BVA/KC/ISDS Canine Health Scheme news release) At Crufts 2012 the Kennel Club introduced veterinary checks of the 15 high profile breed Best of Breed (BOB) winners.
Although the individual reasons why six of the breeds failed the veterinary checks will remain a private matter between the owner, the Kennel Club and the vet, the Kennel Club has confirmed that the overriding issue was related to eye conditions.
Some confusion has now arisen within the media regarding eye examinations that the dogs may have undergone before attending Crufts.
The British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club (BVA/KC) Canine Health Schemes operates a hereditary eye disease screening programme in conjunction with the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS).
The scheme covers 11 hereditary eye conditions in over 50 breeds of dog.
The conditions specified are those of the eye itself and not, for example, those involving the eyelids, or those relating to tear production and drainage.
This means that eyelid problems such as entropion, ectropion and distichiasis (extra eyelashes) are not certified under the Scheme but are noted in the middle section of the certificate and not the bottom section where the inherited eye disease status is recorded.
This information is sent to a consultant who collates the data on emerging conditions.
In addition to a routine eye examination gonioscopy may be offered in appropriate breeds. This is treated as a separate examination.
To help breeders tackle some of the breed-related eye problems that are not currently certified under the Scheme, panellists are increasingly focusing on providing additional information.
The Scheme is finalising a new design of the certificate to give greater prominence to the list of conditions that should be noted.
Commenting, Ian Mason, Chief Panellist, said:
“Following the veterinary checks at Crufts some confusion has arisen regarding the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme, which we would like to address.
“The Scheme does not currently certify adnexal problems such as entropion and ectropion, although this information may be noted and discussed during the eye examination.
“The Eye Panel Working Party is very keen to collect data on breed-related ocular problems.
“We are currently finalising a new certificate to give this information more prominence, and we discussed these changes with representatives of the high profile breeds at a Kennel Club seminar in November.
“We hope that the increased attention on eye conditions as a result of the veterinary checks at Crufts will allow us to educate more and more breeders and owners.”