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Hey all,

 

I've had a nagging, annoying question burrowing in the back of my mind for quite a while now and haven't been able to find any information on it via google or this board. In some merle dogs, primarily miniature australian shepherd, but I've seen it in border collies, and standard aussies, they appear to have a sort of 'lazy' eye. Either one or both seems to be just...well, off. I've usually seen it occur in the blue eyed dogs, and it differs in extremes. I'm absolutely certain it's chalked up to bad breeding, but I was just wondering if it's common with dogs with the merle gene? Does it correct itself eventually? Is there any effect on the dog's vision, sense of space? Or is it just a trick of the eye and I'm going insane, lol?

 

I think merles are lovely dogs, but, man. That lazy eye thing is really disconcerting and, frankly, ugly--I know that's completely superficial of me, and I'm really sorry if I offend anyone. I just can't imagine why anyone would continue to breed that kind of feature into their dogs, especially if it's potentially harmful? It seems quite prominent in the mini aussies I've seen and it just turns me off the breed even more (but, then, I've never been a fan of mini-anything since it just seems...impractical to me).

 

Just a minor curiosity I had, and was wondering what information you guys had on it!

 

Thank you,

 

Kristi

 

And again, I'm really very sorry if I offend anyone with my commentary or inquiry.

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If people are deliberately breeding for a superficial characteristic (merle coloration, or miniaturization) that often results in a defect (lazy eye, if this is indeed the case), it's an example of poor and irresponsible breeding - plain and simple. Whether a person "likes" the appearance or not is irrelevant - whether or not it's something harmful or deleterious is relevant.

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I'm more apt to think there is a defect in red dog's yellow eyes. Dal has Premature pupular membranes and one of the texas dogs I called Mr Googly eyes but, you can distinctly see that his eyes arent right. He's very submissive but, I hate to corner him to force a look into them. Im going to guess it's his iris shape that makes them look funny but, his sight is fine.

 

In Blue I do notice the changes in Iris shape too. Like color spots or odd shapes. I've only seen a true lazy eye that when examined by the Dr in Cornell it was decided that he had suffered a head injury.

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What's "lazy eye?" This is not something I see routinely in any merle coloured dogs.

 

Since merles often have odd-eyes (ie one brown, one blue) or eyes with more than one colour in each (again, heterochromia), it can appear to someone that there is something wrong with the eye / eyes, but usually it's just a trick of perception. In homozygous merles, there can be distortion of the pupils and other genetic problems associated with blindness or sight loss, but I don't recall "lazy eye" being one of them.

 

RDM

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I'm probably not referring to it correctly and it certainly could be just my eyes being tricked by the pale color of the eye, but the pupils of the dogs' eyes see off to me--instead of staring straight ahead, they seem to be almost...drifting.

 

like this:

20070612095631_202801_1.jpg

 

and this:

 

MiniatureAustralianShepherd-7months.jpg

 

 

It's certainly not in all merle dogs (and is in some non-merle gene dogs), but a large portion of minis seem to have that off look to their eyes.

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Those two certainly look "odd" to me - I wonder if it's something to do with skull shape/structure? Interesting. I also wonder how often that might occur in the general population of dogs.

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I am willing to bet in those pics it's more the angle and the shape of the iris. We have had a bunch of merle merle babies in the last 2 years and their eyes dont drift like a lazy eye. Some did have red/pink eyes, small eyes, 2 had 3rd membrane problems with it covering a small eye.

 

The one we have now (partial site in 1 eye) is a terrific herder without any training. I know he was in a sense herding a dog but, he was able to push that frightened loose Tx dog directly into a corner and try to hold him there over and over for me.

 

 

Since he is also deaf I'm unsure how anyone could ever use him but, it was nice to see pure raw talent at work. He was from a good Pet home from La. So he may very well be a well bred accident.

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Those two certainly look "odd" to me - I wonder if it's something to do with skull shape/structure? Interesting. I also wonder how often that might occur in the general population of dogs.

 

I wonder whether it's just a case of youngsters trying to get to grips with what field of binocular vision they have, which is nowhere near as wide a field as that of humans.

 

It's common for human babies to have wandering eyes that self correct as they grow.

 

Merles most often have light coloured eyes which make any misalignment of the pupils more noticeable. It is unlikely to be spotted in darker eyed dogs so impossible to say how widespread it may be.

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I guess it is called "eccentric pupil". We just had a young deaf aussie come into my work today that had a pupil that was off center and they referred to it as an eccentric pupil. They did not make it sound like it affected the dogs vision at all.

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