Although there are noteworthy exceptions, most of the ocular diseases of dogs which are presumed to be hereditary have not been fully characterized. Genetic studies require examination of large numbers of related animals in order to define the mode of inheritance (recessive, dominant, etc.).
In a clinical situation, related animals are frequently not available for examination once a suspected inherited disorder is identified in an individual dog. This is compounded by the fact that many ocular conditions do not develop until later in life.
Due to the potential for disease to arise from inherited genetic defects at any age, the OFA and American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO) Genetics Committee recommend annual eye exams.
Until the genetic basis of an ocular disorder is fully defined in a published report, veterinary ophthalmologists rely on statistical information available from registry organizations and informed opinions and consensus from ACVO diplomates. Several companies now provide genetic testing, which greatly assists in defining the genetics of canine ocular diseases.