Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a non-progressive congenital condition found in Smooth Collies and a number of other herding breeds. It is an abnormality of the choroid layer and presents as a pale patch due to a localised lack of pigment in the dorso-lateral region of the choroid near the optic disc. It was first identified in the 1960s and originally the only way to identify affected dogs was by ophthalmologic screening and this is still recommended for all puppies at 5-12 weeks of age.
DNA testing is now available and should be considered for all breeding stock as the breed is luckily in a very good position to gradually eliminate the condition Dogs may be clinically clear of CEA when examined by an ophthalmologist but it is not possible to tell if they are carriers and therefore able to transmit the condition to their offspring. Although the majority of dogs with CEA appear to show no visual defects, there is a risk when breeding from two ‘affected’ dogs that there is a risk of blind puppies.