At last, some good to-the-point information on eye defects. Thank you! My AVCO vet here in No. Cal. suggests that if we continue accepting and breeding animals with retinal folds we eventually run the possibility of seeing retinal detachment in our breed. He is aware of many breeders in Pems who disagree and who feel folds are not a problem, especially since some folds disappear as the dog matures.

Does this mean there is no problem in these animals? Does the prudent breeder ignore these early folds, or just do CERF exams after the corgi reaches adulthood? What about the gorgeous animal with "many" folds, which are unlikely to go away with time? Do we include the superlative dog in our breeding program anyway, justifying the defect as "a small part of the whole?"

I'm interested in what those of you in other breeds have done with this issue. And the folks from outside the US, too.

Carrie Chase
I agree with your ophtholmolgist. I think retinal folds are a more serious potential problem in our breed, in terms of possibly leading to vision defects in offspring, than PPMs. Yet CERF elected to allow dogs with retinal folds to pass, yet not with a single strand iris-to-iris PPM. While I won't necessarily agree that all dogs with retinal folds should be tossed out of breeding programs, I do think that those dogs should be bred very carefully and all their offspring monitored for folds. If these dogs tend to produce offspring with retinal folds, then I would more inclined to eliminate them from the breeding program. As breeders, we need to be part of the data collection process, to determine whether or not folds progress, either in the individual dog or in the gene pool, into detached retinas or not. I personally think we should check every puppy that walks out our doors for eye problems, and continue to monitor all our show dogs and breeding dogs periodically throughout life. I admit that I don't reCERF each of my dogs annually, but they are all routinely checked every couple of years for any developing problems. So far, knock on wood, I have been lucky in this area. I own a bitch (not of my breeding) with retinal folds. I have bred her once, to a dog with normal eyes, and all of her puppies have normal eyes. After I got the second set of results on the bitch, confirming retinal folds (1 in each eye, so considered minor), I told the breeder. Unfortunately, the breeder has not only not checked any of the littermates or half-sibs to see if any of them are affected as well, but has repeatedly bred the littermates and half-sibs without checking any of the puppies.

Lyn Johnson DVM and the Tartan Corgi Crew
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
College Station, TX
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