Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)

What is CERF and what does it have to do with dogs?

CERF is:

  • Maintains a registry of dogs that ACVO Diplomates examine and have found to be unaffected by major heritable eye disease.
  • Maintains a research database which consists of information that is generated by all examinations done by ACVO Diplomates.
 Click on CERF and it will say this:

CERF is the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

CERF was founded by a group of concerned purebred owners and breeders with the goal of eliminating heritable eye diseases in purebred dogs through registration, research, and education.

The benefits of CERF include:
  • CERF Registration lists which provide a report of all animals of a specific breed registered during the last year.
  • Current research reports on hereditary eye disease for specific breeds in a specific year.
  • CERF  is available to answer any questions you may have regarding your registration process.  Contact the CERF office at 217-693-4800

BREEDER OPTION DIAGNOSTIC CODES click on breeder option to find out what the ophthalmologist is looking for when doing a CERF exam.

CERF exams are only good for one year because the eye can change so quickly. If your a breeder you need to have this exam done once a year to prevent the continuation of heritable eye diseases. Some conditions so up early in life others show up later. After your CERF exam the results should be submitted to a data base to the public can easily look up your information and get your pets results. If something is found on exam the ophthalmologist will give it a breeder option diagnostic code and then it is up to the breeder(s) if they should go ahead with the breeding. There is no law stating you can’t breed when your pet has a code but to be a responsible breeder you need to breed to animals where you don’t have a chance of producing heritable diseases. This is a guideline to help you close the correct match.

I am getting things in order to breed Glory. Since this is Glory’s first time being bred she has not had a CERF exam done yet. You need to have this eye exam done by a ophthalmologist so you need to go to a clinic that offers this service. You can’t just go to your local veterinarian and have this done unless a ophthalmologist works there.


I went to Exceptional Care For Animals which is also the location for Madison Veterinary Specialists. I’ve used this service before and am happy with the care my dogs get when I take them in. One of the doctors that owns this facility used to come to Harmony Pet Care and do mobile orthopedic services on our patients. It was nice to see Dr. Silbernagel and that his same technician Tami worked for him. Dr. Silbernagel cam out and said hi to me and Glory and we reminisced about the time Nellie jumped off the loft of my house when it was in the building stage and broke her hip and Dr. Silbernagel performed the surgery to fix it. He got to meet Nellie’s daughter and was delighted to see such a friendly and sweet chesapeake.


This is Amanda making sure Glory’s eyes will dilate before she adds drops to her eyes to keep them dilated. The eyes need to be dilated so the doctor can look into the whole eye and check out the back of the eye and make sure everything is clear.


Adding the drops to her eyes.


The eyes needed 15 minutes to dilate so I filled out the paperwork for the exam. I needed to know Glory’s AKC registration number and microchip number for the form.


This is a long 15 minutes without any pets from new people.


Saw this really cute painting while there, too bad it was a lab…..still cute thou.


Dr. Katie Diehl and Technician Tami doing the exam. This is done in the dark but for the photo we turned on the light.

Glory got a clean bill of health on her eyes. Everything was normal so she passed her CERF exam and is good to go for breeding where the eyes are concerned.


The Dr. said since my eyes were dilated they may be sensitive to light. Mom got me these really cool shades to where. Whatcha think? Pretty cool huh?

4 thoughts on “Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)

  1. Love the shades. Glory was such a good girl. Happy to hear about the good test result. Have you decided on a stud for her? G-man maybe?

    Freighter was all squirmy when he had his done. 🙂 We usually take the dogs to one of the shows around here for cerf so maybe it was the hustle and bustle that made him squirmy. Probably not…lol…he is just squirmy.


  2. Good to hear that the eye exam went well, and Glory looks really cute in her shades. I had Toby checked once when our local golden retriever club ran a clinic, but not for breeding. I just suspected he was having vision problems, and was relieved to find out I was wrong. 🙂


  3. Hi Y’all!

    Lookin’ cool there Glory! Lookin’ cool! You’re goin’ to turn the fellas on with those shades!

    Y’all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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