The Guild of Shepherds & Collies

Three Common Eye Problems Your Dog May Have Inherited

common eye problems

Three Inherited Eye Problems in Herding Breeds

Good vision is important for all dogs, but especially so for high energy, active dogs like herding breeds and herding breed mixes. A blind dog can be a lovely family companion but would be very limited as a working dog or as a competition dog in many dog sports.

Inherited eye problems may appear right at birth (congenital) or may show up later in life. Some of these problems have a known pattern of inheritance. Others have a DNA test available to determine the genetic risk of a given dog. Responsible breeders do the testing, including periodic eye evaluations by a veterinary ophthalmologist as well as the DNA testing, to minimize the risk of producing a puppy with these defects. In general, carriers will not show the disease but can pass it on to offspring. They should only be bred with care and to dogs of totally normal inheritance.

Three of the common eye problems will be discussed here. While breed predilections will be noted, it is important to remember that these defects can show up in many dogs, including mixed breeds. Even with the same actual defect, different modes of inheritance and different responsible genes may be behind the defect in an individual dog.

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