Eyelid Rolled Inward (Entropion)
This is the most common congenital defect of the eyelids. It may also be caused by injury or long-standing disease of the lids. Some cases are complicated by blepharospasm.
Old English Sheepdogs are one of the breeds that is now looked at under the KC BVA Eye Scheme.
Most commonly it affects the lower eyelid. The hair on the lower part of the eyelid turns in and rubs against the eye making it red, and sore. The dogs eyes tend to run and you can see the dog rubbing his head along walls and fences to try to stop the irritation. Entropion can be found in the upper lid as well. The condition requires surgical correction.
Eye Irritation from Hairs Distichiasis/Ectopic cilia.
This is a congenital condition in which an extra row or bunch of lashes grow from the lid margins and rub against the cornea. The irritation may not be severe enough to cause symptoms until the dog is mature. The hairs will need to be burned out with an electric needle or removed by surgery. Again this condition is now being looked at under the ECVO Eye Scheme.
As with all eye conditions dogs with this problem should not be used for stud work or bitches used for breeding.
Progressive retinal atrophis (PRA)
P.R.A. is a common hereditary eye complaint amongst dogs but not so widespread in this breed. However a few cases have been reported and confirmed. The disease is sometimes known as night blindness as this is one of the first symptoms. It is progressive so that the disease will get worse until total blindness occurs. If suspected, cases should be reported toyour veterinarian. Treatment is seldom successful, once detected and confirmed it is necessary to have all your stock tested. Confirmed cases must never be bred from.