The Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) is a national system of examination, certification and data reporting of abnormal eye conditions (both inherited and non- inherited) in all dog breeds, carried out Australia-wide by registered veterinary eye specialists to standards set by the Ophthalmology Chapter of the ACES is administered by Dogs Australia.
ACES panellists recommend against breeding from dogs affected by recognised or suspected hereditary eye conditions due to the risk of progeny being affected. Eye assessments are carried out by registered veterinary eye specialists. Links as follows:
The ACES online database has been fully operational July 2019. The current ACES Chief Panellist is Dr Chloe Hardman and current secretary is Dr Hayley Volk.
Age and frequency of ACES testing
In breeds where aquired/non-congenital hereditary eyes diseases (i.e. those not present at birth) occur, eye testing ideally starts at around one year of age and continues on an annual basis, with a certificate needing to be less than 12 months old for it to be ‘current’. In breeds where congenital hereditary eyes diseases (ie those present at birth) occur, eye testing takes the form of a one off ‘litter screen’ for the specific condition at 6-12 weeks of age. Further testing as individual adults may be required if acquired hereditary disease is also recognised in the breed. Click ACES Canine Breed Schedule for Hereitary Eye Diseases to see details of the specific breeds with recognised congenital and acquired hereditary eye conditions, plus those breeds currently ‘under investigation’ for particular conditions.
Information needed at an ACES eye screen examination
The ACES panellist will need the dog’s Dogs Australia registered name and number, microchip number to enable a data base search to bring up all other current details for the ACES certificate. The dog also needs a readable microchip to verify its identity. In the case of litter screens, these same Dogs Australia registration and microchip details will be needed for both the sire and dam.
The panellists’ names appear under the State or Territory where their services are principally provided. New legislation is being introduced State by State that allows registrable professional qualifications to be recognized in States other than the State of primary registration, but this does not yet apply for veterinarians across all State boundaries / in all jurisdictions.
The following veterinarians hold current specialist registration in one or more States or Territories, and may conduct examinations and sign ACES certificates provided they are duly registered or they comply with the mutual recognition provisions applicable to that jurisdiction.