Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV)

PHPV is a developmental abnormality that occurs in the uterus. This leads to deposits on the lens of the eye, which can lead to mild or serious visual problems, even to blindness. Puppies can be tested for PHPV from about 8-12 weeks of age and, if clear at that age, will be clear for life. If the dog is affected there is no cure, but in many cases it will not have a great effect on the dog’s life. In some countries severity is graded, but in the UK the result of the test is only affected or not affected.

Advice for puppy purchasers

Of all the test results registered with the Kennel Club over almost 30 years, less than 2% have been positive, so puppy purchasers can be reassured that this is not a common problem in dobermanns. However, it is recommended that prospective owners check that both parents have been tested and are clear of PHPV.

Advice for breeders

Breeders are recommended to test for PHPV. Although the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme currently recommends (but does not require) annual eye testing, the repeat tests would be for general eye health only and not relevant to PHPV. 


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