The cavalier King Charles spaniel has more than its fair share of severe genetic diseases afflicting the eye. A 1999 study of cavaliers conducted by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation showed that an average of 30% of all CKCSs evaluated had eye problems.
They include hereditary cataracts, corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, dry eye syndrome,entropion, microphthalmia, progressive retinal degeneration, and retinal dysplasia, all of which are discussed on this website. Other hereditary eye disorders, of more minor nature, are not discussed.
Some cavaliers may develop other eye disorders which are considered genetic in other breeds. These include “prolapsed gland of nictitans”, also known as “cherry eye”. The nictitating membrane is the dog’s third eyelid, a small triangular flap of cartilage in the inner corner of the eye, which covers a tear gland. Breeds predisposed to cherry eye include the Beagle, Boston terrier, bulldogs, Cocker spaniel, and Lhasa Apso. include the Beagle, Boston terrier, bulldogs, Cocker spaniel, and Lhasa Apso.
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