March 2011 GRF Updates
The Golden Retriever Foundation (GRF) is very excited to announce that plans  
have been finalized to pay for CERF registrations for Golden Retrievers 8 years  
and older!
CERF, as most of you know, stands for Canine Eye Registration Foundation. We are  
very fortunate to have an online database via CERF and the Orthopedic Foundation  
for Animals (OFA) to research health issues in our dogs as well as their  
ancestors. The GRF will pay for CERF registrations for any Golden 8 years and  
older to be added to these online registries.
With the designation of Pigmentary Uveitis (PU) as a very serious hereditary  
disorder in Golden Retrievers about a decade ago and the realization that most  
dogs with this serious condition will not present with the disease until after  
many are no longer being bred, the newest recommendation is now to check dogs  
annually for life. Because the average age of onset for PU is 8 years old, the  
new recommendation, from GRCA’s Health & Genetics Committee, is that all Golden  
Retrievers that have been used in a breeding progam have their eyes checked and  
registered for their lifetime with CERF. It used to be common practice to only  
clear dogs’ eyes that were being used for breeding so most were no longer being  
checked when the disease normally expresses. Additionally, many people never  
sent the form into CERF for the online database at all.  

To assist Golden breeders in making informed breeding decisions, the  
recommendation is to permanently register these results in a public forum such  
as CERF. Then breeders can research pedigrees to make more informed breeding  
decisions in a factual manner even if the owners are no longer able to be  
contacted. CERF shares results with OFA so the information is recorded there as  
well. We also want people to know that any eye (or heart) failure can be sent in  
to OFA and listed for free.
Realizing this recommendation is now asking owners to register dogs that were  
often not even being checked, much less registered, the GRF decided to pursue  
helping out with the dogs who have traditionally been least likely to be checked  
but are most at risk of having PU due to age. Additionally, since Pigmentary  
Uveitis is such a serious disease leading to pain and often glaucoma and/or  
removal of the eyes if not caught early and treated, we also want to encourage  
everyone with older dogs to get them checked even if they have never been used  
in a breeding program. Paying for the registration is our way to encourage and  
support this effort.
The program involves printing out a simple voucher to be included with the CERF  
form you send in for registration in the database. It is understood that all  
dogs will be included in the public database so the owner must agree to results  
being published. We encourage everyone to share the information about the  
voucher with all Golden owners.  If your club is holding a health clinic, please  
print some of these vouchers to have on hand as well. The voucher will soon be  
available on both the GRCA and GRF websites but you can get a copy now by  
clicking on the following link:
Let’s all work together to help reduce the occurrence of this painful eye  

Thanks again to everyone who has signed up for the new read-only GRF Updates  
list. We would like to see everyone join and we will send out updates  
approximately once a month. Please share this update with anyone you feel may be  
interested! To join, simply send a blank email to:    
For more information about the GRF, please visit our website at
Jennifer Krawsczyn, GRF Secretary
On behalf of the GRF  

Dave Kinghorn,  

Nancy Talbott, Vice-President
Linda Johnson, Treasurer