OFA and CAER Data

OFA – Orthopedic Foundation for Animals evaluates radiographs of hips, elbows, etc. and provides owners with certification of normal findings. Little is known about elbow dysplasia in Border Collies, however Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) may constitute a significant health problem. Unfortunately, it is difficult to estimate the prevalence of CHD in Border Collies for several reasons. First very few Boder Collies have been evaluated and those that have may not be representative (<3000 dogs examined since 1978). Second many owners do not send in radiographs to OFA for review. While the system is somewhat subjective, it has been found that breeding OFA certified dogs improves the chances of producing normal hips. Thus, the BCSA recommends that breeders only bred those dogs that are certified.

Please review information about OFA and its procedures by visiting their website.

CAER – Canine Eye Certification Registry (formerly known as CERF) maintains a database containing results of examinations by board certified veterinary ophthalmologists of canine eyes and issue certificates documenting normal appearing eyes. In addition, CAER offers a variety of educational materials to help educate dog owners/breeders regarding canine eye diseases.

It is important to have your Border Collie’s eyes examined for several reasons. Obviously, it is important to know that the sire and dam have normal eyes at the time of breeding. It is recommended that eyes be examined on a yearly basis. In addition, adding data to the database will be useful in understanding the inheritance of eye diseases and in establishing the degree in which our breed is affected. Finally, AKC has been incorporating CAER registration numbers on their registration papers and pedigrees allowing owners/buyers to see a history of the new puppies ancestors.

Eye examinations should be done by an ACVO-American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists Diplomate. These people are certified to meet high standards of proficiency in the field of veterinary ophthalmology and can accurately diagnose and advise regarding any disease your dog might have.

As of May 1996, 6016 Border Collies have been examined and information forwarded from the ACVO Diplomate to CERF. Only a fraction of those dogs were issued certificates because owners don’t always request a certificate. Therefore there is a big discrepancy between the number of dogs that have actually been examined and the number of dogs with CERF numbers.

* this site is not always available.

Page Updated 07.23.2005