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Bearded Collie Club

Eye Health

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"Eye Health Remains Excellent"

Report on Bearded Collie Eye Testing
7th April 2018

Vet: Hamish Cormie, BVMS CertVOpthal MRCVS

This eye testing session was carried out at the Bearded Collie Club Open Show with the combined support of The Bearded Collie Club, Southern Counties Bearded Collie Club (SCBCC) and Southern Beardie Aid (SBA). This allowed testing to be carried out a subsidised rate of £25.00 per dog and free for all dogs aged 7yrs+ - we thank the SCBCC and SBA for their support.

35 Bearded Collies were examined under the BVA/ISDS/KC Scheme - 18 dogs were treated as under 7yrs and 17 dogs were treated as Veterans.

Hamish reported that he saw no cases of Collie Eye Anomaly in the dogs tested. He saw five cases of cataracts in dogs aged over 8 years. He felt were most likely to be age-related, rather than hereditary, but recommended being checked for progression in 6 - 12 months.

In the remaining dogs there was one eyelid tumour which he advised to be removed and there was one other dog with two kinks in each upper eyelid. He felt that, unless other Bearded Collies presented with such lesions, this case was of no concern as there is currently no known hereditary problems in eyelids in Bearded Collies.

This meant that the remaining 28 Bearded Collies presented with no issues. Hamish was complimentary on the overall eye health of the breed in his 30 years' experience as a Member of the BVA/ISDS/KC Eye Panel.

Robynne S Wood (Bearded Collie Club Chair)

...here for comparison are reports from the previous eye tests carried out at the recommended interval of four years...

Report on the Ocular Examination on Bearded Collies
18th May 2014

At the SCBCC's Spring Frolic Day held at Bradfield Village Hall a total of 28 dogs were examined. The day was wonderfully warm and despite being hot all the dogs examined behaved impeccably. Eleven dogs examined were under 8 with the remaining 17 being between 8 years and 13 years of age.

A. Younger than 8 years of age

One dog had opacities in the posterior lens capsule of one eye only. The cause could well be marks left by the blood vessels that nourished the lens whilst being developed in pregnancy. The lesions were mild and not significant.
One dog had a wart on the lid margin. This had been present for some time and was static.
One dog had bilateral opacities (defined as a cataract) affecting the cortex of both lenses. These marks were small and not causing the dog a problem. The cause was not clear but the lesions looked static and I considered them to be of no significance.

B. Over 8 years of age

One dog had bilateral very small anterior cortex lens opacities (cataract). The cause was not clear but the marks had no affect on vision and I considered them to be of no significance.
One dog had a single extra eyelash (distichiasis) on the upper lid of one eye only. The eyelash was not causing a clinical problem.
Ten dogs had nuclear sclerosis. This is a normal age change with the centre of the lens being denser than the periphery causing the lens to take on a slight opaque appearance. It does not cause the dogs any problem.. In addition 4 dogs had vitreous degeneration (an age change whereby the vitreous or jelly behind the lens degenerates).
One elderly dog had patchy areas of retinal thinning and another elderly dog had several small retinal haemorrhages. These are expected issues in elderly dogs.

In conclusion none of the dogs showed signs of inherited ocular disease. I would suggest that this very useful exercise is repeated in 4 or 5 years.

Nick J Burden BVSc. CertVOphthal. MRVCS

Report on the Ocular Examination on Bearded Collies
4th December 2011

Eye testing was carried out on over 70 Beardies at the 2011 BCC Championship Show held on 4th December. Prof Bedford MRCVS examined both veterans and younger Beardies in order to determine the status of eye health within the breed. His glowing report follows...

"At the Club show on the 4th December I examined 76 Bearded Collies of all ages and both sexes and found no ocular disease of known or suspected hereditary origin. Hopefully this sample is representative of the breed per se and future similar sample testing should be helpful in maintaining a disease free status. There was the odd instance of remnant pupillary membrane of no clinical significance and an age- related nuclear cataract. Both findings are to be expected in such a sample and do not give rise for concern. All the dogs aged 7 years and above showed signs of age-related nuclear sclerosis, a hardening of the lens which occurs in all dogs in all breeds as part of the normal aging process. When marked it gives the eye a glazed appearance but it has no effect upon sight and should not be confused with cataract. Specifically I found no evidence of Entropion, Hereditary Cataract (HC), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or Retinal Dysplasia (RD).

In summary I can only conclude that given this particular sample, your breed would appear to be clear from the known inherited ocular disease problems which affect so many other breeds. Obviously this is an excellent situation and one to be pleased with - future vigilance will help ensure that nothing manages to surface from the DNA stew that is today`s Bearded Collie. In passing I would compliment you for producing a breed with one of the nicest temperaments I have ever experienced."

These excellent findings reinforce the arguments put forward by the UK's six Bearded Collie Clubs and the Joint Breed Liaison Committee against the opening of the breed register by the Kennel Club. Our thanks to Prof. Bedford for his hard work on the day.

Report on the Ocular Examination on Bearded Collies
3rd December 2006

Although inherited eye disease does not appear to be a problem in Beardies in the UK, without vigilance and eye testing of stock before breeding, problems can creep in and become established. The Bearded Collie Club decided to offer eye testing at its last Championship show at a subsidised rate for members. Most people only eye test their Beardies once, usually before breeding. However many inherited eye conditions do not show themselves until the dog is older and so it was decided to offer free eye testing of veterans as this would give a better overall picture of the eye status within the breed. Professor Peter Bedford, one of the countrys top experts in eye conditions, carried out the testing and his report is given below:

"Sixty-seven dogs were seen on the day and no evidence of inherited ocular disease was found.
37 of the dogs were younger than 8 years of age and in these only 4 lesions were found.
30 dogs were 8 years or older and all the lesions found were commensurate with age

A. Younger than 8 years of age
(i) 1 x nuclear sclerosis in a 7 year old dog - age related.
(ii) 2 x cataracts - a small anterior cortical opacity in one eye in one of the dogs and a small equatorial opacity in one eye of the other dog. Both cataracts are probably related to trauma.
(iii) 1 x corneal dystrophy - this is a bilateral condition in which fat is deposited in the cornea. It may be related to high circulating fats or result from impaired fat metabolism in the cornea. It is an inherited defect in some breeds, but the odd example will be found scattered throughout dogdom.

B. Older than 8 years of age
All the dogs had an age related lens change called nuclear sclerosis. It is a normal change, with lens haziness increasing with age. It is of no significance. In this group there were 4 age-related cataracts and one very elderly dog had a retinal haemorrhage.

My conclusion is that you have a very healthy breed eye-wise. This check was a good idea to see if anything was in the wind and it would be a good idea to repeat the exercise in 4 or 5 years time."

Professor Peter G C Bedford