Eye Health - Collie Eye Anomaly


In Australia, there is a Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) that is a national assessment system for registered dog breeds that offers a reliable screening service for a range of congenital and inherited eye conditions.

Eye assessments are carried out by registered veterinary eye specialists.

The program is administered by the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) to ensure it meets national quality assurance standards and is endorsed by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) as a reliable screening service, valuable to dog breeders and owners.

Where possible, we should try to minimise the chances of passing on painful or vision-threatening eye conditions from one generation to the next.  Regular ACES certification helps breeders plan mating programs and reassure other breeders and potential owners about the soundness of their current stock.

It also provides a way for breeders of valuable pedigree puppies to have whole litters checked by a qualified eye specialist to confirm normal eye development before sale, in the event of a buyer dispute occurring later.

ACES exams screen for a range of eye diseases including those involving the eyelids, tear ducts and surrounding structures. Only conditions affecting the eyeball (cornea, iris, ciliary body, lens, vitreous, retina and optic nerve) are recorded.

The lastest report has been provided and is attached, "Annual Breed Summary - July 2015 to June 2016".


ACES Eye Certification - Available as a monthly service to Dogs NSW members

Dogs NSW has organised Dr Bruce Robertson (registered veterinary eye specialist and Chief Panellist for the Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) to conduct a monthly EYE CERTIFICATION CLINIC – operating out of a specially equipped room at the Bill Spilstead Complex for Canine Affairs on Luddenham Road at Orchard Hills (Show Secretaries Building on the main show ring concourse behind the Amenities Block).  Times are from 5.30pm to 8.00pm.

Unfortunately, there will be no clinics in August and September, so please check Dogs NSW link below for updates on when the clinics will recommence.


Here is the link to Dogs NSW for the eye clinic information



Dr Bruce Robertson BVSc Cert.V.Opthal (RCVS) FANZCVS (Ophthalmology)

Veterinary Eye Specialist (Sydney)

Chief Panellist, AVA-ANKC Australian Canine Eye Scheme


CEA - Collie Eye Anomaly

Collie Eye Anomaly, also known as CEA, is an inherited disease causing defects in the formation of the eye. CEA has now been determined to be a genetic disorder.

Several forms of the disease are recognized, but the most common is a lesion on the back of the eye called choroidal hypoplasia (CH). All dogs affected by CEA have choroidal hypoplasia, by definition. CEA is not a progressive disease like prcd-PRA and most affected dogs may only have mildly impaired vision. More severely affected dogs may have pits (colobomas) affecting the retina and nearby tissues and in the most severely affected eyes, retinal hemorrhaging and detachments can occur, resulting in blindness.

Varying degrees of CEA and definitions are listed below:

  • Choroidal Hypoplasia, Chorioretinal Change, Choroidal Dysplasia: These refer to abnormalities in the coloring or pigmentation of the choroid or central layer of the eye's lining. This is the most common abnormality found in CEA and all dogs with CEA have CH. However it is the least harmful and mildest form of CEA. Most dogs with this form function normally with no ill-effects or loss of vision.

  • Coloboma, Ectasia, Staphyloma: While not completely synonymous, these terms all refer to a cupping or bulging in the eyeball usually in the area of the optic nerve. Colobomas are the most common more serious complication of CEA. Colobomas can be described as a pit in the eye or a blister at the back of the eye that you can see with an ophthalmoscope. Colobomas vary and can be small or large and occur in approximately 25% of dogs with CEA.

Interestingly, you cannot have CEA without CH and won’t have coloboma without CH.

A third set of complications which occur exclusively in dogs with coloboma include retinal detachment or hemorrhaging in the eye. About 5-10% of dogs with CEA have these severe complications, which can lead to blindness. These percentages are based on experience with the Collie Breeds.

Vascular Disease, Tortuous Blood Vessels: These terms describe defects in the vessels of the eye, which are responsible for its blood supply or "nourishment." These may be malformed, undersized, or even lacking.

  • Retinal Detachment: Loosening or separation of the innermost, or retina, layer from the wall of the eye. This may involve a tiny area or the entire retina. It can be either one or both eyes. The complete detachment of the retina results in blindness in that eye.

  • There is usually no significant visual deficit with CH or coloboma, but may lead to a blind spot in the eye. These conditions usually do not affect the working ability of a dog.

Fortunately, there is now a DNA test which will confirm whether or not a dog is clear, a carrier or affected. For information on DNA testing please click on the link on the menu bar to the left.

Contact Details


President:                    Lauren Somers


Secretary:                    Ann Moy          


                                      (02) 6337 3393

Treasurer:                    Julia Lawrie    treasurer@bccnsw.com

Publicity Officer:         Ann Lenehan   publicity@bccnsw.com

Puppy Sales:               Ann Moy     puppysales@bccnsw.com

BC Rescue:                 Julie Gray  

                                      email: bcrescueaustralia@gmail.com 

                                      or check out www.bcra.org.au

                                      (02) 4267 1757