At a show a few weeks ago, Kunga had his CERF exam updated. Happy to say the big blue boy still has great eyes, and certificate to prove it!
We had an interesting talk with the doctor there about eye problems in Danes. There appear to be about 12 disorders they find in our breed, everything from Microphthalmia with multiple ocular defects associated with partial albinism to retinal atrophy. They recommend that dogs with these two defects, or glaucoma or cataracts, NOT be bred.
CERF (Canine Eye Research Foundation) has kept statistics of the Danes they’ve examined for the decade from 1991-1999 and from 2000-2008 (the latest year for available numbers), and it’s interesting to see some of these results. Significant cataracts occurred in about 10% of the dogs seen in the decade of the 90s; that has fallen to 6% in the first decade of the new century. Rates of entropion eyelids (lower eyelid folded inward) have remained constant but the percentage of ectopion eyelids (eyelid folded outward) have more than doubled. Cartilage anomaly/eversion of the third eyelid has more than tripled in the same time period. The good news is also that retinal atrophy has fallen off over time.
I think all of us who breed–any breed of dog–should consider eye health and do the appropriate testing.