Eye Defects

There are a number of different diseases that affect the eyes of dogs so just how an eye condition is inherited varies dramatically. Some eye conditions may be controlled by a number of different genes, as well as environmental factors. Others may be entirely controlled by just one gene and some may not be inherited at all. Most of the recognised eye conditions have a profound effect on a dogs ability to lead a normal life.

The Japanese Akita Inu is known to be affected by a disease called Progressive Retinal Atrophy [PRA]. Breeders can screen their breeding stock for known and emerging inherited diseases before including a dog in their breeding programme. Testing all potential breeding stock allows breeders to better understand the genes a dog may pass on to its puppies and reduce the risk of inherited diseases appearing in future generations.

The Kennel Club have joined forces with the BVA to assist responsible breeders to screen their dogs for known inherited eye disease prior to including them in their breeding programme.

The BVA/KC/International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) Eye Scheme offers breeders the opportunity of screening for inherited eye disease by examination of the eye. Examination under the eye scheme is not restricted to the identification of inherited eye disease, but also includes general assessment of the health of the eye and adnexa (eyelids, tear ducts and other parts around the eye ball).

You can read more about the scheme here 

Other known eye diseases that are known to affect the Japanese Akita Inu and can be screened for include:

• Microthalmia (abnormally small eyes) Multiple Colobomas Cupping or bulging of eyeball near optic nerve )( from an inherited recessive gene)
• Persistent Pupillary Membranes (iris to lens and iris to iris)( remnants of blood vessels which supplied nutrients to the developing eye lens. Usually absorbed by 4 -5 weeks of age)
• Retinal Dysplasia (arrested development of photoreceptors of the eye)
• Entropion (lower lid)(inward folding eyelids)
• Primary Glaucoma (increased pressure in eyeball which can quickly lead to blindness)
• Eversion of the cartilage of the third eyelid (folding over of third or inner eyelid)