Collie Eye Disorders

There are many eye conditions that affect the canine race, several closely related to similar conditions in our own species, and most are thought to have some genetic base, although trauma of one kind or another can cause problems to individual animals.

Not all eye abnormalities directly impair sight and some are more concerned with the shape or size of the eye and eye socket or lids. Of these perhaps entropion, or inward turning eyelids, is the most serious and Collie breeders and owners can be thankful that this very debilitating condition is not prevalent within the Rough Collie.

The Kennel Club have, for many years, co-operated with the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) and British Veterinary Association (BVA) in the management of a scheme whereby certificated veterinary ophthalmologist examine members of known susceptible breeds for the eleven known hereditary eye abnormalities, with the results of Kennel Club registered individuals published quarterly in the Breed Record Supplement. In addition the Kennel Club also recognises the results of animals registered by them and tested under either the Animal Health Trust’s (AHT) own eye screening scheme, and that controlled by the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO).

Of the known hereditary eye conditions the Rough Collie is only thought to be susceptible to the three detailed below:
Collie Eye Anomaly
Usually referred to as CEA is a non-progressive congenital hereditary condition of the eye, which affects several breeds from the wider Collie family. Although the mode of inheritance is no longer as clear as it was once supposed, in its milder forms it does not appear to affect sight. As there are, at present, no known genetically clear Rough Collie in this country, the only method of ensuring any puppies are clear or only mildly affected by CEA is to have the whole litter eye tested, by a BVA listed ophthalmologist, at the age of 6 to 7 weeks.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Commonly referred to as PRA, either Central or Generalised, is a progressive hereditary eye condition which cause eventual blindness in several breeds. Due to the vigilance of responsible breeders this condition has largely been eradicated from the Rough Collie gene pool, although breeders continue to be advised to test breeding stock periodically throughout their lives in order that the Rough Collie can remain virtually free from this debilitating condition.