Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is an inherited, developmental abnormality of the eye. It is seen in the Collie breed and can also be seen in the Shetland Sheepdog and the Australian Shepherd. The condition affects both eyes, though one eye may be more seriously affected than the other. Generally this disorder does not worsen and is not painful. As the dog ages, however, severely affected dogs are at risk for developing a retinal detachment. Depending on the extent of retinal detachment, blindness may result in the affected eye.


The diagnosis is made by direct examination of they eye. The condition can be detected in puppies as early as 5 to 8 weeks of age. 

Affected dogs do not have normal vision. Owners may notice that their pet bumps into things or has difficulty tracking toys during play.


Fortunately, most Collies with CEA retain adequate functional vision. Dogs with mild abnormalities may go undetected altogether. Because the developmental abnormalities can result in retinal detachment (a cause for loss of vision), in select cases, laser surgery may be recommended as an attempt to prevent retinal detachment from occurring.   

Since this is a genetic disorder, only selective breeding of normal, unaffected Collies will reduce the incidence of CEA. This is an autosomal recessive trait, which means that both parents must be genetic carriers of the defect for it to show up in their pups.