The purpose of the diagnostics of hereditary eye diseases in small animals is to provide for large-scale screening the results of which shall serve as a basis for gradual elimination of these diseases from breeding population. In order to meet this objective, the EESVO have established the Hereditary Eye Disease (HED) Monitoring Committee hereinafter the HED examiners. The basic mission of the HED examiners shall be the following:

  • to elaborate and implement the rules of the diagnostics of hereditary eye diseases (HED)
  • to establish requirements of registration in the list of HED examiners
  • to process and publish results of the HED screening

Criteria for registration in the list of HED examiners

Any Veterinarian can become a HED examiner provided that they meet the following criteria:

  • they are a member of the EESVO
  • they are a holder of a Certificate of Compliance with the Conditions for Practising Veterinary Curative and Preventive Activities
  • they have minimum equipment that enables to perform direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy, gonioscopy, tonometry, biomicroscopy with the minimum magnification of 10x and a recording device to be used for documenting the results
  • they have passed a specialized professional examination for HED examiners

The examination shall be held by the EESVO. An applicant shall lodge a written application. EESVO shall specify the date of the examination based on agreement with the Examination Board. The fee for the examination shall be 250 €. An applicant for the examination must:

  • have 3-year experience in veterinary ophthalmology;
  • document the examination of at least 500 dogs; at least 150 of these dogs shall be examined under supervision by two different HED examiners recognized by the EESVO. A record shall be kept for all animals examined.
  • must document the examination of at least 100 cats; A record shall be kept for all animals examined.

The recommended literature for the examination – List of recommended literature for the examination of a HED examiner (registered users only).

The Examination Board shall be appointed by the EESVO from among the members of the HED Monitoring Committee.

The examination shall consist of the following parts

  • Every candidate shall assess images of HED 10 affecting the anterior eye segment and 10 the posterior segment. They shall determine the diagnosis (1 point) and breed predisposition (1 point). Every candidate can thus obtain the total of 40 points.
  • In a written section the candidate shall prove their knowledge of three HEDs (each for 0 – 5 points) with the focus on clinics and diagnosis.
  • At the end, the candidate shall present their own case study including images (histological, pathological specimen, as the case may be) of HED (max. 5 points).

To successfully pass the examination, a candidate must obtain at least 45 points out of the total of 60 points. Should a candidate fail, they can reapply for the examination (including the obligation to pay the fee anew), however, not earlier than in 6 months.