Ophthalmologic

This is a Eyes condition.

Collie Eye Anomaly

What is CEA?

Named for its high prevalence in Collie dogs, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is more correctly termed choroidal hypoplasia and is a developmental disease of the choroid. The choroid anchors the retina to the underlying structures and supplies it with oxygen and nourishment. In CEA, more correctly known as choroidal hypoplasia, the choroid is underdeveloped, with thin, pale, and nearly transparent patches upon ophthalmic examination. In mild cases of CEA, choroidal thinning may be the only detectable sign of the disease. In severe cases, this thinning is so dramatic that a coloboma, outpouching of the retina due to poor choroidal support, can occur. This can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. It is important to note that both mild and severe forms of CEA arise from the same autosomal recessive mutation in the NHEJ gene, and that dogs with mild CEA can produce pups with severe CEA.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

CEA can cause no observable visual impairment to complete blindness depending on the severity of the disease. Dogs with poor vision will often act hesitant on stairs, bump into doorways or walls, and be disoriented if furniture is moved.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

CEA can be identified by an ophthalmologist when a puppy is 6-8 weeks of age. There are other genetic and environmental factors that likely contribute to the severity of the disease.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

A consult with a veterinary ophthalmologist is the ideal way to diagnose CEA. When the specialist examines the back of the eye, they can visualize the thin, pale, and nearly transparent patches of the choroid. In severe cases, they can identify a coloboma, which is an outpouching of the retina.

How is this condition treated?

There is no treatment for CEA, although surgical intervention can help mitigate the signs of the disease in severe cases. If surgery is not an option, lifestyle changes can be made to help blind dogs adapt to their condition. In mild cases no treatment is required.

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