Il Sogno Tricolore

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Kennel, Middelburg, The Netherlands

Distichiasis and entropion

Distichiasis and entropion are two eyelash issues that are present in the breed. Distichiasis is the most common issue and is the presence of extra eyelashes along the eyelid, what may irritate the eye, but in the majority of cases this does not present a problem for the dog. Treatment is also relatively easy, a vet can remove the eyelashes that irritate the eye. The second eyelash problem is entropion, where the eyelid rolls inside and eyelashes might cause irritation because of it. When it causes discomfort, surgery is needed but after that the dog will not have problems with it anymore.

Cataracts

Cataracts cause opacity on the lens of the eye, resulting in poor vision. There are several forms of cataract and not all are inheritable.
Congenital Cataracts: These are cataracts that are present at birth, and normally occur in both eyes. It may be caused by infections caught already in the uterus. They are can also be inherited. In siwssies they are not common.
Developmental Cataract: This type of cataracts start early in life. As with congenital cataracts, they may be inherited or caused by outside sources such as trauma, diabetes mellitus, infection, or toxins.
Senile Cataracts: The cataracts that occur in old are called senile cataracts. They occur much less frequently in dogs than in humans. This is age related.
Inherited cataracts:  This is the type of cataract that is passed on through breeding. If a dog is diagnosed with inherited cataracts, the dog should not be used for breeding.

In swissies inherited cataracts normally do not show before the age of 4 years. The dog’s eye(s) will have a cloudy appearance, and and sometimes can be surgically removed to improve vision.
In most countries a test for breeding is recommended to ensure that the dog does not have inherited cataracts, or you should breed with a dog that is older dan 4 years of age.