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General information


Analysis of the results from the KC/BSAVA Purebred Dog Health Survey, published in 2004, showed that eye problems represented 9.2% of reported conditions in Bedlingtons.  Details of the survey results for Bedlington terriers can be found at:  


Scroll down to “Results of the survey” and then select “Bedlington Terrier” from the list of breeds.



Incidentally, a similar result was obtained from the BTHG Health Survey, the results of which were published in2013 - eye problems were reported in 9.5% of the dogs included in the survey.  However, despite this seemingly high incidence of eye conditions reported in both surveys, it would seem that they are not perceived as a problem in the breed and seem to feature only rarely in conversations between Bedlington terrier owners.


However, it should also be noted that in a new “directive” issued as part of their “Fit for Purpose, Fit for Life” campaign, the Kennel Club have directed attention to two eye disorders that are known to be inherited in Bedlington terriers.


Information on these conditions, retinal dysplasia and cataracts, is presented in the database maintained by Dr David R. Sargan, at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School.  This can be viewed at:



Click on “Inherited Diseases in Dogs Database2 in the Introduction, then select “Bedlington Terrier” from the dropdown “Browse by Breed” list.


Unfortunately, other “authorities” present a somewhat different scenario with regard to inherited eye conditions in Bedlington terriers.  For example, L.F.Rubin (Inherited Eye Disease in the Purebred Dog, 1989) lists eight disorders for which there is evidence of genetic involvement and Dr G.A.Padgett (Control of Canine Genetic Diseases, 1998) goes even further, listing eleven eye problems that may be inherited.  



It must be pointed out that, in some disorders, the mode of inheritance has not been determined and the supposition that a condition may be genetically determined is often based on limited evidence.  Moreover, some eye conditions may have multiple causes.




Structure of the Eye.












The eyes are protected by the eyelids and eyelashes.  Light passes through the pupil, an opening in the iris, onto the lens.  The lens focuses the light and directs it onto the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye.  The role of the retina is to convert the “image information” into nerve impulses which are conveyed along the optic nerve to the brain.

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