Oscar went to the eye doctor for a check-up last Saturday before the Swissy party. While he has received a normal rating in the past, it is still very important for dogs to get check-ups as a preventative measure. The process was very simple. The assistant and I held down the 120 lb. greater swiss mountain dog (“aka Oscar The Grouch”) to keep him from moving as two eye drops were inserted into each eye. Oscar was probably wondering what was going on. We then brought him into a room where the eye doctor, Dr. Catherine Nunnery, examined the Swissy with different magnified views and lights.
While waiting on line, we met with breeders as well as people who do not plan on breeding their dogs. Everyone there believed that an eye-checkup was important. It’s also inexpensive at around $30-$40.
When looking for a breeder, the eyes of both parents (for any breed) should be recently checked and rated normal through OFA or CERF. If the breeder last had the dog’s eyes examined a few years ago, you should wonder why they are not being re-evaluated for such a quick, inexpensive test?
As for other tests for Swissies, remember to only accept puppies where both parents had OFA Passing Ratings for Hips, Elbows, and Shoulders. You have to trust the breeders for grey areas (epilepsy, temperament, bloat). The four above tests (Eyes, Hips, Elbows, Shoulders) are not grey areas. They do not guarantee a healthy puppy, but they increase your odds. You can get to the OFA’s website by clicking here.