KC Seminar on Eye Problems

by Maria McGuinness Breed Health Officer

With the breed having recently been placed on the KC Breed Watch list for "Loose Eyelids", I along with Rick Day attended a KC High Profile Breed Canine Eye Health Symposium at the KC Building Stoneleigh Park on 24th November 2011.

Hosted by the KC, the KC’s Chairman Professor Steve Dean introduced the days program and talked to the gathering about the work of the Dog Health Group and its sub-groups along with their remits and those of senior judges. He emphasized the need to lead public opinion, support the senior judges and protect the dog game.

The main thrust of the session dealt with the eye problems associated with excessive skin to the head in general which in many cases leads to one or more of these problems.

Professor Sheila Crispin gave a very interesting and detailed presentation aided by excellent visuals. Posing the question "how do problems arise"? Professor Crispin went through the causes of eye problems which range from skull size, shallow orbits, head size in relation to the skin size etc. The consequences of these can range from no obvious discomfort/no effect on vision to those which present Animal Welfare issues such as chronic suffering requiring expensive corrective surgery to deal with the pain, suffering, injury and disease.

From our own point of view and "loose eyelids", these are generally associated with the size of skull and excess skin. The problems that we do have are Entropion, Ectropion and third eyelid prolapse.

Ian Mason chief panelist BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme then went on to explain the role of the BVA/KC/ISDS in respect of the 15 High Profile breeds.

He also went through the new Certificate of Eye Examination which is to be introduced in 2012 and then moved onto the ocular conditions that they are concerned about namely – Entropion, Ectropion, Diamond Eye, Third Eyelid Gland Prolapse and Excessive Facial and Forehead Skin. Ian then described the parts of the eye that are examined ie the Adnexa, Cornea, Iris, Lens, Vitreous and Fundus.

Ian was followed by Frank Kane who gave an update of the Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub-Committee and emphasizing the words now contained on the KC’s Challenge Certificates.

A lively Q and A then ensued to round a very interesting and worthwhile day off.