The actual diagnostic procedure

Although the HEDs affect the respective parts of the eye anatomy, the organ of sight has to be examined as a whole while considering the overall diseases with reference to the medical history. The examiner shall check the animal’s identity prior to the actual examination and shall record the result in a protocol.


Recommended algorithm of an ophthalmic examination

(progressive assessment of the following structures)

  • Lacrimal apparatus (patency, Schirmer test)
  • IOP measurement
  • Orbit surroundings
  • Eyelids
  • Conjuctiva
  • Eyeball
  • Cornea
  • Anterior chamber, iris (gonioscopy, pupillary reflexes)
  • Lens
  • Vitreous
  • Fundus (direct, indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus camera)
  • Other examination (bacteriological and mycological examination, cytology, USG, OCT, ERG, VEP)

Increased attention must be paid to predisposed structures by breed – see annex 2 – Hereditary/congenital eye diseases in dogs (registered users only). It is preferable to document the pathological findings in the form of images. Results of the examination shall be recorded in an official protocol – see annex 3 – EESVO certificate template. The protocol shall be issued in one original copy (for the owner) and two other copies (examiner, breeders’ association). The final evaluation of the patient may have the following values:

  • Affected – evidence of the HED
  • Undetermined – the animal displays changes, however, not specific of the given disease
  • Unaffected – no evidence of the HED specified
  • Suspicious – the animal displays minor clinical signs of the specific HED; further development of the disease may confirm the diagnosis and re-examination in at least 6 months is recommended.

At the end, the examiner shall make a record of the eye examination in the certificate of animal’s origin.


Processing of the results of screening

The HED Monitoring Committee collects information on all the examinations performed by examiners within the given period. The Committee shall meet once a year with the representatives of the Cynological Union to compare the screening results with their statistical evaluation by the respective breeds. The material obtained in this way shall be published by the Committee in the East European Journal of Veterinary Ophthalmology as its annual report.



  1. List of recommended literature for the examination of a HED examiner (registered users only).
  2. Hereditary/congenital eye diseases in dogs (registered users only)
  3. EESVO HED diagnostics protocol template