Essentially, it turns out that the current scheme does not - currently - specify conditions relating to the eyelids, tear production and drainage.
"This means that eyelid problems such as entropion, ectropion and distichiasis (extra eyelashes) are not certified under the Scheme but are noted in the middle section of the certificate and not the bottom section where the inherited eye disease status is recorded. This information is sent to a consultant who collates the data on emerging conditions," explains the BVA.
"In addition to a routine eye examination gonioscopy may be offered in appropriate breeds. This is treated as a separate examination."
In other words, producing the bottom section of an eye certificate which concludes there are no problems is not evidence that the dog is free of conditions - such as entropion/ectroption/conjuctitivis - which are not currently certified under the Scheme.
The sceptical among you, then, should be asking to see the whole darn thing.
The BVA says it is "finalising a new design of the certificate to give greater prominence to the list of conditions that should be noted."
Commenting, Ian Mason, Chief Panellist, said:
“Following the veterinary checks at Crufts some confusion has arisen regarding the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme, which we would like to address. The Scheme does not currently certify adnexal problems such as entropion and ectropion, although this information may be noted and discussed during the eye examination.
“The Eye Panel Working Party is very keen to collect data on breed-related ocular problems. We are currently finalising a new certificate to give this information more prominence, and we discussed these changes with representatives of the high profile breeds at a Kennel Club seminar in November.
“We hope that the increased attention on eye conditions as a result of the veterinary checks at Crufts will allow us to educate more and more breeders and owners.”