This is an inherited disease, usually of the young, growing dog, which is seen quite often in the Labrador. The edge of an eyelid rolls inwards so that the lashes rub against the surface of the eye, causing irritation of the eyeball. The eye is sore and wet with tears and often kept closed. Surgical treatment is necessary.
Third eyelid disease
Two problems occasionally occur in Labradors:
• Prolapse of the Harderian gland
This is a small fleshy mass of tissue behind the third eyelid. It can become displaced and protrude. Surgical removal is necessary.
• Eversion of the third eyelid.
Occasionally in young dogs, the edge of the nictitating membrane rails outwards due to a kink. It is unsightly and irritates the eye. The kinked tissue should be removed.
This eye disease is quite common in the Labrador. The white of the eye appears red and discharges. Possible causes include viruses, bacteria, chemicals, allergies, trauma or foreign bodies.
This is a very sore inflammation of the cornea, which may appear blue and lose its shiny appearance.
This is an erosion of part of the surface of the cornea and can follow an injury or ker•atitis.
This is an autoimmune inflammation of the cornea. It occurs in some older Labradors.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
This is an inherited progressive degeneration of the retina of the eye which may lead to total blindness. There are two types of PRA:
• Central, which is the type usually found in the Labrador
Both usually develop in the young adult. There is no treatment for PRA and the disease must be controlled by the testing of breeding dogs. Note: For many years now, the British Veterinary Association (EVA), in conjunction with the Kennel Club, have run the BVA/KC Eye Scheme to test all potential show and breeding Labradors (and other breeds). Members of their Eye Panel, which consists of veterinary surgeons who have expertise and post-graduate qualifications in Ophthalmology, examine dogs referred from practising vets, and at dog shows, and issue Eye Certificates to show whether the dog is free from PRA, Hereditary Cataract, and other inherited eye diseases. All Labradors intended for breeding should be examined by a vet on the BVA/Kennel Club Eye Panel before mating. Affected dogs of either sex must not be used for breeding.
Like "virus", "cataract" is a collective name. Some are bad, some are not even noticeable during the dog's entire lifetime.
Usually it's an opacity of the lens in one or both eyes. Sometimes the pupil appears greyish instead of the normal black colour. In advanced cases, the lens looks like a pearl and the dog may be blind. The many causes of cataract in Labradors include inherited causes, infection, diabetes mellitus and trauma. Surgical correction is possible to restore sight, unless PRA is also present.
Retinal Dysplasia-retinal folds (RD) is a common clinical observation in many dog breeds. Since many retinal folds are benign and of unknown heritability, veterinary ophthalmologists will often advise that breeding dogs with RD is an acceptable option. However in two breeds, the Labrador retriever and the Samoyed, RD is of much greater concern. RD in Labradors and Samoyeds will cause a dog to fail a CERF examination, the recommended annual eye examination that is done in North America by certified veterinary ophthalmologists, diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology (ACVO). In such cases, breeding is not advised because RD in these breeds can be an indication that the dog is a carrier of a serious inherited syndrome called OSD (OculoSkeletal Dysplasia). OSD is a severe condition in which the dogs show a variety of skeletal malformations, including shortened limbs (dwarfism), and blindness at an early age; the blindness results from a generalized malformation of the retina that causes a partial or full retinal detachment and cataracts.
Ithaca, NY – July, 2008 - OptiGen is offering a new DNA test that identifies the Inherited forms of Retinal Dysplasia associated with OculoSkeletal Dysplasia (OSD) in Labrador Retrievers and Samoyeds. OSD is characterized by short-limbed dwarfism and blindness at an early age. The new OptiGen DNA test for OSD-associated Retinal Dysplasia will allow Labrador Retriever and Samoyed breeders to determine if the retinal folds that are often insignificant in many breeds are correlated to the serious condition of OSD. For more information click on the link above.