Just as in people, genetics plays an important role in an animal’s development. Their physical traits and habits are often determined by DNA, and genetic testing can help identify potential health issues in pets (including their eyes) so that owners can make informed breeding decisions.

Our practice is proud to provide Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Eye Certification Registry examinations. By screening an animal’s eyes before breeding, we are helping OFA to achieve its goal of promoting the health and wellness of companion animals by reducing the risk of genetic disease. The eye exams should take place before breeding, and the outcome will help dog owners and breeders determine potential heritable eye diseases before they are passed on to future generations.

There are currently 11 ocular disorders for which there is an unequivocal recommendation against breeding in all dog breeds. These include cataracts, glaucoma, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), lens luxation or subluxation, retinal atrophy and others—which frequently result in blindness and for which there is definite evidence of heritability in one or more breeds.

In addition, there are ocular conditions that are a direct result of facial conformation (excessively prominent eyes, heavy facial folds, etc.), which breeders consider desirable. These conditions include entropion, ectropion, macro blepharon and exposure keratopathy syndrome.

Only a board-certified ophthalmologist can perform OFA exams. The eye screening itself takes about 20 minutes. At the end of the screening, we return the completed form to the owner for their submission to OFA.

OFA Eye Exam

For more information about OFA eye certification registration exams and ocular disorders against breeding, visit our Virtual Library.

If you are a breeder or a health-conscious pet owner and would like to schedule an OFA Eye Certification Registry consultation or appointment, please call us at 757-749-4838.