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Collie Eye Anomaly In Dogs

Collie Eye Anomaly in dogs is a congenital, inherited eye defect that occurs when mutated chromosomes impair the development of the blood vessels that nourish the retina.

The retina, sclera, and choroid of both eyes are typically affected, making it a bilateral condition, or one that occurs on both sides of the body.

Collie Eye Anomaly also referred to as Collie Eye Defect, can also cause retinal detachment.

As the name suggests, Collies are most often affected by this eye disease.

Breeds Affected By Collie Eye Anomaly

While there are virtually no symptoms with the disease until it is too late, your veterinarian can diagnose the condition through genetic testing.

Symptoms Of Collie Eye Anomaly

  • No symptoms may be present
  • Later stages may bring on associated eye conditions
  • Final stages may be blindness

Associated Conditions Of Collie Eye Anomaly


  • The eyeballs are smaller than normal.


  • The eyeballs are sunken in their sockets because the connective tissue of the cornea has become mineralized and looks like a cloud over the eyes.

Retinal Folds

  • When the layers of the retina aren’t formed together properly.

Collie Eye Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the condition and it can’t be reversed.

Border Collie with one blue eye and one brown eyeFor some related eye defects, like coloboma, surgery can help reduce the effects of this disorder. Laser surgery is the most common choice.

Another type of eye surgery, called cryosurgery, uses extreme cold to prevent detachment of the retina or further deterioration of the eye.

Surgery might also be able to help reattach the retina if necessary.

What Causes Collie Eye Anomaly

The cause of collie eye anomaly is a chromosome defect.

This defect only affects dogs that have a parent that carries the genetic defect of mutation.

The parents might not even be affected by the chromosomal defect even if they carry it. But, the litter of such parents could carry the mutation and have the effects of the disease.

Other genes might also play into this chromosomal defect which is why not all collies are affected.


In order to see if your dog has the defect, your vet will perform a thorough eye exam.

This test can be done when your dog is a puppy which is always recommended.

The most common sign is retinal detachment and if caught in the early stages, the disease can be prevented or the symptoms minimized.

If collie eye is detected, it won’t worsen unless it has reached the stage of coloboma, which can be a fold in the retina, iris, optic disc or lens.

The size of the hole can be very little and not affect your dog’s vision.

However, if the hold is larger it can lead to blindness and/or retinal detachment.

If coloboma is found, your vet will need to monitor the condition.  Some puppies might develop pigment around the affected area but the eyes will still look normal.

Pet Insurance Can Help With Collie Eye Anomaly

If you have a collie or any of the herd dogs that are prone to this condition, early eye exams of your puppy in the first six to eight weeks of your puppy’s life is highly recommended.

Pet insurance can be very helpful to cover many of these costs, even if your puppy or dog doesn’t yet have the condition.

Pet insurance can help with not only the cost of testing and all the medical bills for this disease but also any related eye conditions that might occur.

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Managing Collie Eye

If your puppy is diagnosed with coloboma in his or her first year, it’s important for your vet to look to see if there is also a retinal detachment.  If not after a year, your puppy should be OK.

As with any eye condition, your dog should be monitored carefully for any of the related eye conditions in puppyhood throughout your dog’s adult life.

How Do You Prevent Collie Eye Anomaly?

There is really no way to prevent the occurrence of collie eye anomaly in dogs. If a dog does carry the mutated chromosome, it should not be bred with other dogs to produce offspring.

If however, an adult has a mild condition, there is a chance it would be passed along to her offspring.

The good news is that your dog can live a long, fulfilled life even with the disease.  And it has little or no effect on your dog’s lifespan. Even if your dog loses his or her sight completely, he or she can live a fulfilled life.

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