Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a genetic eye disorder that primarily affects Collies and related breeds. This hereditary condition can lead to various abnormalities in the eye, ranging from mild to severe. Understanding CEA, its causes, and its impact on a dog’s vision is crucial for early detection and appropriate management. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of Collie Eye Anomaly, including its causes, symptoms, and strategies for supporting dogs with this condition.

1. What is Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)?

Collie Eye Anomaly is a congenital eye disorder that predominantly affects Collies, including Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and related breeds. It is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the development of the eye during early embryonic stages. CEA can result in various structural abnormalities in the eye, impacting vision to varying degrees.

2. Causes of Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

CEA is primarily caused by a genetic mutation that is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This means that both parents must carry the gene mutation for the condition to be present in their offspring. Dogs with one copy of the mutated gene (carriers) typically do not show symptoms but can pass the gene to their offspring. When two carriers are bred together, there is a 25% chance of their offspring having CEA.

3. Symptoms of Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

The symptoms of Collie Eye Anomaly can vary in severity and may include:

  • Choroidal Hypoplasia: This is the most common and characteristic feature of CEA. It refers to the incomplete development of the choroid, a layer of tissue in the eye that nourishes the retina. Choroidal hypoplasia can lead to patches of pale or thinned retina, affecting vision.
  • Coloboma: Some dogs with CEA may have colobomas, which are gaps or clefts in the structures of the eye, such as the optic disc or iris.
  • Retinal Detachment: In severe cases, CEA can lead to retinal detachment, causing significant vision impairment or blindness.
  • Vascular Anomalies: CEA can also affect blood vessels in the eye, leading to abnormal formations or leakages.

4. Management of Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

As Collie Eye Anomaly is a genetic condition, there is no cure for it. However, early detection and appropriate management can help support affected dogs and prevent potential complications. Management strategies include:

  • Regular Eye Examinations: Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist are crucial for monitoring the progression of CEA and identifying any associated complications.
  • Breeding Practices: Responsible breeding practices can help reduce the incidence of CEA. Dogs known to carry the gene mutation should not be bred to avoid passing the condition to offspring.
  • Supportive Care: Providing a safe and supportive environment can help visually impaired dogs navigate their surroundings with ease.


Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a hereditary eye condition that affects Collies and related breeds. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and management strategies for CEA is essential for dog owners, breeders, and veterinarians. Regular eye examinations and responsible breeding practices can help prevent the transmission of the gene mutation and support the vision health of affected dogs. While there is no cure for CEA, early detection and proper care can significantly improve the quality of life for dogs with this condition.