Eye testing dates for your diary and latest Lancashire Heeler health testing information. If you know of any events in your area or plan to host events yourself, please let us know and we will add them to this page.
Many of the inherited problems in dogs are found in the eye. This is why it is so important to have your Heeler's eyes examined regularly by an eye-specialist. Before you buy a puppy, make sure that the parents have been eye-tested recently.
A new look at PLL
Earlier this year I was contacted by Graham who owns a very handsome Lancashire Heeler Laddie (Hotpot Truffle). I subsequently met Graham and Laddie at a show. Laddie has the sunniest, friendliest disposition.
Laddie started showing signs of eye problems 2 years ago. Here Graham talks of his experience of this disease and the pioneering treatment of Lens replacement. Like a number of our contributors, Graham is willing to share his experience with anyone in a similar situation. Please contact me if you'd like to be put in touch.
Laddie has had both Lenses replaced with artificial ones. He sees really well with them and so far they are good. He still has some minor inflammation inside the eyes but he continues to have treatment in the form of drops to his eyes. He is due a check up in a months time. He had the procedure done at the Willows referral centre in Solihull, and I cannot recommend them enough, the vets who did the operation are marvellous and really know their subject!
It all started nearly two years ago when he started to have repeated bouts of Uveitis, inflammation in the eyes. This kept flaring up and he was referred by our local vet to the Willows centre. It was around nine months later that they notice the lens Luxation and recommended that surgery should take place sooner rather than later. Both eyes were affected but one was worse than the other. So last year we agreed and he spent a week at the Willows whilst he had the operation and post op recovery. There is no telling how long these artificial lenses will stay in situ but they should last a few years, hopefully! He is still the happy bouncy Laddie we have always known and the operation has not made any negative difference to his quality of life, except extended it! He does exactly the same things.
I have attached a couple of pictures of Laddie. One is a local newspaper article from 2008 when the local theatre were auditioning for dogs for the part of Toto in their wizard of Oz production, before the present tv shows! Unfortunately laddie did not get the part but they say he performed very well and was a joy to audition, and melted a few hearts! We were not allowed in to the audition rooms for fear of distracting him!
Please feel free to use any of this email for the website if you so wish. By the way, the website is excellent; you are doing a marvellous job!
I would be happy to share my experiences with anyone else
If you have a dog who is affected by PLL, or that has been DNA tested as affected, and would like support / advice from others who have experience in this area please contact us.
Download a copy of the AHT Lancashire Heeler Breeders Seminar presentationAHT presentation on PLL in the Lancashire Heeler February 2010 Note: This is a large file
Laddie follows Yellow Brick Road!
Laddie auditioned for the part of Toto in a wizard of Oz production
Shadow - Much Loved and Very Happy!
It's always lovely to hear from Lancashire Heeler owners with happy ending stories. This one brought a tear to my eye on several counts and Janet has kindly allowed me to publish it. Knowing your dog is the first rule of getting anything right. When Shadow's behaviour changed Janet just knew that something was wrong and set out to find out what. Firstly, learning and understanding about the Lancashire Heeler Breed, it's traits and the (thankfully few!) health issues that can affect them. Secondly understanding her own dog and what was clearly not typical behaviour of him. Shadow came to Janet as a rescue dog - I would say that this placement was meant to be.
Shadow - A PLL success story - Janet Walsh
I am the very proud mummy of 10 year old Shadow, a rescued Heeler from Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary.
When we adopted him we were told he had been scratched in the eye by a cat, and that was why his eye looked a little strange. He looked like he had what looked similar to a glaucoma eye.
After reading about PLL on this website we realised that my baby boy could be more poorly than we first thought and also in a lot of pain. [A vets visit and opthalmic advice given covering a range of options] This is when we made the very easy but also heart-breaking decision to have his eye removed.
The four years following this was like having a completely different dog. His true personality and spirit appeared as if from nowhere.
Unfortunately we recently noticed a change in Shadow's other eye and immediately took him to our vets. After around 6 months of trying to save his eye, we again had to make the decision to remove his other eye, as his spirit had gone, and he wouldn't even get out of his bed.
Once again after much worrying about how my baby would cope, we needn't have worried! The very day after his eye was removed, he was back to his old tricks, and ragging his toys about.
Shadow is now living life to the full, and is coping amazingly. I've never known such a pampered pooch!!
The pictures below show Shadow enjoying life once more on a recent holiday. Happy and pain free.
Behavioural change is a key indicator of canine health problems. Know your dog. Some get distant when in pain, some seek solace from their owner. Aggression is not uncommon when a dog is under stress or in pain. If you are at all concerned about a change in behaviour of your pet consult your vet for advice.
There is now a DNA test available to determine whether a dog is genetically clear, affected or a carrier of PLL. Responsible breeders will always carry out this test unless the parents have already tested genetically clear. From July 2011 the Kennel Club have made it a mandatory requirement of accredited breeders to carry out this test. PLL can also be triggered by trauma. Being vigilant protects your Heeler by early diagnosis of this and other eye problems. We recommend regular clinical eye testing in the interest of your dogs health. Read more about eye health and the Lancashire Heeler