By Mary Beth Bissig
The total number of dogs examined for calendar year 1999 from CERF is 334, up from 299 dogs examined in 1998. Of the 334 examined, 240 total dogs were found to be "normal," 94 were found to have problems. Of the 94 problems noted, only 18 were significant defects which would make the dog unable to receive a CERF number - two instances of Optic Nerve Coloboma, two instances of Retinal Atrophy - Suspicious, two instances of Anterior Cortex - Intermediate, four instances of Anterior Cortex Punct., one instance of Anterior Sutures Intermediate, two instances of Equatorial Cortex Intermediate, three instances of Posterior Cortex Intermediate, one instance of Posterior Cortex Punct., and one instance of Posterior Sutures Intermediate. While the total number of exams done in 2999 was up from 1998, which is encouraging, the number of problems noted increased from 78 to 94, and the number of problems considered significant (making the dog ineligible for CERF) more than doubled - to 18 for 1999 and only 8 in 1998. Many of these significant defects were lens defects - CERF's Web site contains more info on these defects. Please examine the list of findings for a more detailed analysis of problems reported in Flat-Coats in 1998. While it only follows that the more dogs that are examined, the more dogs with problems will be identified, this only highlights the need to have all dogs intended for breeding examined, and examination of non-breeding animals would only give up a clearer idea of the potential for problems in our breed as a whole.
Also, a screening for glaucoma is not included in a regular CERF exam - it is an additional step and often cannot be performed at an eye clinic. This screening need only be done once in the lifetime of the dog. Please consider having this done.
(Full CERF results can be viewed in the FCRSA Inc. Specialty 2000 newsletter, page 166).