Defected eyes in puppies
Eye diseases in the Irish Softcoated Wheaten Terrier
We have had Wheaten Terriers since 1986. Since we had Smooth Collies and Bouvier Des Flandres when the Wheatens first came to us, we were used to HD x-ray and examine the eyes of our dogs. So we brought the Wheatens to the eye specialist as well. There were never any remarks and one day the vet told us to stop it and save our money and the eye specialists time to those with affected breeds who really needed their help and come back the day we get problems. After that we left the Wheatens home when going to the eye specialists.
Since we have exported some dogs to breeders in other countries there are dogs from us and their descendants who have been examined and all has been confirmed clear so far.
During the years there have been rumours about litters been born with eye problems and advice/rumours about not using a special male since they have heard he had given eye problems. It has always been second or third hand advise and impossible to find out the source. I have not cared but have not forgotten.
Some dogs have had thir eyes examined in Sweden and a few with remarks.
2004 a litter was born in Sweden and servere eye defects was shown when they opened their eyes. The vet who examined them couldn't give a diagnosis, but thought it must be a kind of poisoning or infection during the pregnancy that has caused it. Two of the puppies were so servere affected that they were put to sleep and if I have understood it right there were also missing eyes. The vet said it couldn't be inherited so they made the same combination again with the same result. This time an eye specialist were consulted, but she couldn't tell a diagnos either and two of the puppis were sent to get a PM analysis. Unfortunately they were lost in the post and when found they couldn't be analyst. The mom was of course not bred from any more. In this kennel there were another similar case in the 90-ies, it was the granma who was the mother of that litter.
In Summer 2011 a breeder in Finland has a litter that shows the same symptoms when opening the eyes. 3 out of 6 puppies had servere eye defects. The contacted vet said the same as the Swedish vet above but the Finnish breeder knew about the Swedish cases and decided to wait until the puppies were old enough to make a real eye examination. The diagnosis was Microphthalmia + coloboma. The Finnish kennel is an old kennel existng since the 60-ies and they have been breeding those lines since then without any problems so this came as a real surprice.
Litter born in Poland 2012. New breeder and her first litter. She puts up photos of her puppies when they are 4-5 weeks old. A couple of the puppies have strange eyes and a couple of breeders reacts and contacts the breeder asking her to examine the puppies eyes. They are examined by an eye specialist in Warschava and all except one are defected with coloboma + micro papill and the diagnosis is CEA (Collie eye Anomalia)
The sire of this litter is bred by us and exported to Poland som 10 years ago. He was born 2002 and his eyes are examined clear. He has sired many litters with many females down in Europe. When he was younger he was shown a lot and has won many Champion titles. He has been a very much asked for stud dog and has many famous of-spring. Untill now there have not been any reports of eye defects in his off-spring.
Mother of this litter is bred by the above mentioned Swedish breeder. I so not know if she is related to the female with the earlier litters but I suppose the breeder would have told me.
What is strange is, it shows up totally unexpected and that often whole litters are affected and not one or two individuals that mostly is common in inherited diseases.
When I spoke about these eye defects at the breeders meeting held by the Swedish Wheaten Club it showed up there was another case in Sweden with similar defected eyes and where the vet couldn't give a diagnosis.
Common for examined litters are pups with diagnosis coloboma.
In Finland is a research of Microphthalmia, and this can even happen to humans, and is caused by a mutation in one gene.
Aya Lundsten has a lot of information of the research in Finland and the collecting blood for DNA samples. Her email is email@example.com