Dog eye diseases are oftentimes genetic, however others are the natural result of aging. Many eye problems are associated to the loose skin of the face, which happens in mixed breeds and purebreds alike. Traumatic eye diseases are sometimes caused by hereditary characteristics, although they might not always be related to genetics.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a serious hereditary eye disease caused by the deterioration of retinal cells, resulting in the dog not being able to see stationary objects. It causes vision impairment by about five years of age. Purebred breeding stock should be tested for this disease. Ask your veterinarian about the various certifying agencies such as CERF. Some affected dogs are treated, however cure is unlikely. A dog affected with PRA can lose his vision, but blindness isn’t fatal. If the vision decreases slowly, the dog can adapt and live a normal life as a pet.
A dog may inherit a predisposition for this condition, which may cause symptoms at any age. It’s not a serious threat to the life of the dog, but if it’s determined to be hereditary, affected dogs should not be bred. Entropion is caused by excess skin around the dog’s eyes, which causes the lids of the dog’s eyes (upper or lower) to roll inward. With the rolling skin, the hair of the eyelids rubs on the dog’s cornea, causing severe irritation. Secondary conjunctivitis generally accompanies entropion, and the dog often squints in discomfort. This condition is easily fixed by a comparatively simple surgical procedure.