Collie Eye Anomaly
Eye anomaly, also more commonly known as Collie Eye Anomaly or CEA, is found in all breeds of collies including the Smooth and Rough Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Australian Shepherds. The condition also occurs to a lesser extent in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and some types of heelers.
CEA is a recessive genetic condition, which means that both parents have to be carrying the recessive gene for the condition to be passed down to their puppies. While this may sound like terrific news to eliminate the condition, the current estimate is that up to 85% of all collies in the United States are affected by this condition and that the numbers are almost as high in other countries and areas around the world. [...]
Many breeds of dog are vulnerable to specific health problems, and the Collie is no exception. These beautiful animals are subject to a genetically-carried eye problem known as Collie Eye Anomaly. It's a disorder that occurs deep within the eye and strikes all types of Collies.
Also known as choroidal hypoplasia, collie scleral ectasia syndrome and optic nerve/disc coloboma, it causes four main changes in the dog's eye. [...]
There are several specific genetic testing services that cater specifically to breeders, owners and veterinarians. Genetic testing is often done in pedigree and championship breeding programs as it is one of the only ways to determine if a dog may be a carrier of recessive genetic problems. Of course these recessive genetic issues will eventually become known once the dog is bred, however with some conditions and with the right breeding mate it may be many litters before the problem is noticed. [...]
Most herding breeds, the Border Collie included, are naturally healthy dogs that have been bred to be highly athletic and strong. They also have amazingly strong respiratory and circulatory systems, probably due to the intensive screening done by early farmers and shepherds in only continuing to breed the healthiest and best working dogs. [...]
With the intensive and very rugged type of breeding programs, combined with the infusion of both wild dogs, the Dingoes, as well as various domestic breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog is really a very healthy dog overall. Unlike some purebreds that have been extensively line bred or inbred to enhance specific characteristics, the originators of the Australian Cattle Dog breed used out breeding programs to develop the specific characteristics. [...]