The following are some commonly asked questions that we have received:
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement before my dog can be CERF
registered? Is there a maximum age at which my dog can receive a permanent
A: No, there is no minimum age requirement for CERF certification. However, your dog MUST have a registration number by which it can be identified. No, there is not a maximum age where you can apply for a permanent CERF number.
Q: If I had my dog examined several years ago, can I still send in the
exam form to get it CERF certified?
A: A CERF exam is similar to a CERF certificate, in that it is only valid for twelve months from the date of examination. We cannot certify a dog's eyes from an expired examination.
Q: Does a CERF exam & Certification certify that the animal is free
from hereditary eye defects or does it certify that the animal shows no signs
of said defects at the time of exam?
A: Certification relates to PHENOTYPE (appearance) only at the time of examination; it implies no clearance for GENOTYPE (possible "carrier") or for heritable ocular disease developing subsequent to the date of examination.
CERF Research Reports
Programming is completed for a revision of the CERF research reports. With the previous reports, it is possible that the same animal could have been counted multiple times.
The new reports will attempt to halt this multiple reporting by only counting the last office visit of an animal. This, of course, still depends on the accuracy of the registration number that is filled in by the owner. Whenever a registration number is left blank, only partially filled in, or inaccurately filled in, the program has to assume that the case represents a new animal. The only other alternative would be to throw the record out, and we would lose much data by pursuing this alternative.
These reports are the result of input from both ACVO diplomates and concerned breeders. We are always looking for new and better ways to serve you, and we always welcome your comments and suggestions.
In the same avenue of CERF research reports, we would like to ask all of you to encourage the examining ophthalmologist to use the CERF forms for ALL the dogs that they examine. We have been getting reports of a few ACVO diplomates who will use a non-CERF examination form unless the breeder specifically asks for a CERF examination.
This practice tremendously undermines the ongoing CERF research efforts by eliminating many dogs and their potential problems from the database. If you know of a board certified doctor who is doing this, please ask them to stop it for the good of the dogs. You can also call us, so we can pass their names on to the ACVO genetics committee.
ACVO GENETICS MEETING
The ACVO genetics committee met at the end of November this year and have indicated several changes which they would like to initiate. Look for these and possible other changes between now and the first of the year:
CERF on the information highway
Per the request of many of our members and concerned breeders we have made some changes to our website. One of the most requested changes was that we set up our webpage similar to that of OFA, which allows breeders to look up a dog to see if it has a CERF number. The site is updated at the beginning of each month and contains only those dogs which have a current CERF certification. (Please click here to verify a cerf number.)
The Veterinary Medical Database reports mentioned in our June'97 Newsletter are available for $20.00-50.00. A sample of this report is now available on our website now.
-- Corneal Dystrophy in Dogs
By Julie Gionfriddo, DVM, Diplomat ACVO
ACVO Genetics Committee/ CERF Liaison