Australian Shepherd & Eye Problems

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Australian Shepherds -
Collie Eye Anomaly(CEA)


Treatment of the eye is a major concern for puppies belonging to some breeds like Australian Shepherd and Border Collies. They can be affected with eye diseases like CEA, PHR, micropthalmia and also cataracts.

Research conducted in 2001 says that, the Australian Shepherd is less in number as compared to the Border Collies, with just about 12000 as against 20000 Border Collies. Open communication between the breeders and the dog owners revealed that such diseases were common in the breeds since they were mostly hereditary.

Owners were asked to submit eye examination certificates done on their dogs and the breeders too were asked to submit the same for the entire litter. All information on ocular abnormalities were recorded.

Invitations were sent across via dog magazines, mailing lists, word-of-mouth, breed specific websites and Club publications. Data on both affected as well as unaffected dogs were required and both puppy as well as adult certificates were taken wherever they were available.

It was noted that one-sixth of the PHR carriers were also carriers of the CEA. Also, CEA being the second most common disease among these dogs, it is difficult to get rid of this ailment without facing breeding restrictions. A direct DNA mutation test for carrier status can now be easily availed.

If this is carried out, CEA in Australian Shepherds can be reduced by a large extent and this appears to be the only plausible solution to help in controlling this heritable eye disease.


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