Duck Tolling Retriever Eye Problems

Duck Tolling Retriever Eye Problems

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrieverOpens in a new tab. definitely has a mouthful of a name, but if their name is new to you, they’ve been around since the 19th century.

Originating in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia,Opens in a new tab. Canada, these dogs are another member of the wonderful retriever breed of dogs.

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrieverOpens in a new tab., however, has a unique talent that the other retrievers do not, besides retrieving game for their hunters.

These dogs, whose beautiful golden red or coppery red color resembles the color of a red fox, actually draw out ducks and other waterfowl by running around the banks and shorelines of rivers or lakes.

For some odd reason, ducks are very intrigued by foxes; go figure! The Duck Toller lures them out right into the rifle range of the hunter and then they retrieve the not so “lucky” ducks. In Middle English, the word “Tollen” means “to lure.”

All dogs rely on vision and especially retrieving dogsOpens in a new tab.. Their senses of smell and hearing are super-powered, but retrievers still need good vision for hunting.

Contained in this post will be information on Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever’s eye problems, causes, and treatment. The question, “How do you know if your dog has vision problems?Opens in a new tab.” will also be answered.

Duck Tolling Retriever Eye Problems
Image by Sonja KaleeOpens in a new tab. from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

How Well Do Dogs Really See?

You may think that dogs have super eyesight because most don’t seem to miss a trick, but in reality, we humans can see much better.

Dogs are somewhat nearsighted and we humans do see better what is right ahead of us. Both our eyes and our dog’s eyes are anatomically different plus humans are placed on the front of our heads, while dogs are situated more on the sides of their heads.

Dogs can pick up movement better peripherally and on both sides at the same time. That’s why they rarely miss the quick motion of rabbits, squirrels, etc.

You may think that dogs have super eyesight because most don’t seem to miss a trick, but in reality, we humans can see much better.

Dogs are somewhat nearsighted and we humans do see better what is right ahead of us. Both our eyes and our dog’s eyes are anatomically different plus humans are placed on the front of our heads, while dogs are situated more on the sides of their heads.

Dogs can pick up movement better peripherally and on both sides at the same time. That’s why they rarely miss the quick motion of rabbits, squirrels, etc.

To check your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vetOpens in a new tab. website for all the help you may need.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Vision Problems?

Dogs can have vision problems just like their human counterparts. Vision issues can be due to eye infections, the normal aging process, underlying health conditions, or eye disease, and maybe something easily remedied or severe that threatens their eyesight.

Below are some signs and symptoms that your dog may have vision problems.

  • Red, inflamed eyes
  • Swollen, puffy eyelids
  • Cloudy or opaque appearance to eyes
  • Discharge, green/yellow
  • Watery eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Rubbing or pawing eyes
  • Bumping into objects, furniture, walls, etc.
  • Easily startled
  • Hesitation to climb stairs
  • Reluctance to go outdoors at night
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Vision Problems?
Image by Sonja KaleeOpens in a new tab. from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Eye Problems, Causes, and Treatments

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a very common and less severe condition that can be found in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrieversOpens in a new tab., all dogs and humans alike.

This causes redness, inflammation, and itchiness to the eyelid lining called the conjunctiva. Usually, it presents in one eye but can spread to the other eye as well.

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, as it is commonly called, can develop at any time in your retriever’s life.

Symptoms are:

  • Red, inflamed eye
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Watery eyes
  • Discharge, yellow/green
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Squinting
  • Eyelids stick together, especially after waking

Three types of conjunctivitis can be found:

  • Bacterial

bacterial – This is very contagious and caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria. It is treated with antibiotic ointments, creams, or eye drops.

  • Viral Conjunctivitis

viral conjunctivitis – Viral conjunctivitis may occur if your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever has an upper respiratory infection or cold.

Treatment can be artificial tears, eye drops containing a steroid, and/or cold compresses. This can be spread around and it generally takes about two to three weeks to clear.

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis


AllergicOpens in a new tab. conjunctivitis – This is not contagious and can be caused by: pollen, household cleaners, dust, rug shampoos, mold, scented candles, or air fresheners.

Treatments might be: eliminating the allergen (if possible), NSAIDs, antihistamines, artificial tears, and/or steroidal eye drops.

PRA (progressive retinal atrophy)


PRA is a heartbreaking eye disease that has been found in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and is the name for a few disorders that are degenerative and unfortunately hereditary.

The retina encompasses photoreceptors, which manufacture light into nerve signals allowing sight. In all of the types of PRA, the photoreceptors die or waste away.

The differing types have causes that are biochemically not identical but they share comparable characteristics.

Progressive retinal atrophy is not painful but has no treatment or cure. PRA always leads to blindness, but it is a gradual loss of vision.

Dogs usually lose their night vision at first which is a tip-off to something amiss. Total vision loss then takes about one to two years giving your retriever and you time to adjust.

Sightless dogs do quite well as they do rely more on their excellent senses of smell and hearing.


The only prevention for PRA is getting your Duck Toller from reputable breeders that participate in DNA testing for PRA as well as other hereditary and genetic diseases. Dogs with genes for PRA or having PRA should not be bred.


Conditions of the Eyelids and eyelashes


A few conditions of the eyelids or eyelashes that your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Opens in a new tab.can suffer from are listed below.

  • Entropion

entropion – This is an inherited defect of the eyelid where it turns causing the eyelashes and fur on the eyelid to rub on the surface of the eye.

This is very painful and can cause scarring, corneal abrasions, and infection, not to mention vision problems if not treated.

Medication and anesthetic injections can be used for treatment and pain, but surgery is usually required.

distichiasis and trichiasis

  • Distichiasis

Distichiasis is common in dogs and causes extra eyelashes to grow in odd areas of the eyelid. Often, these do not pose a problem but continually poke in your dog’s eye which can cause:

redness and irritation, pain, watery eyes, rubbing the eye, ulcerations, or infection. Options for treatment depend on the severity and can be: eye drops, lubricants, artificial tears, electrolysis, permanent removal of problem lashes, or plucking the lashes but in this case, they do grow back.

  • Trichiasis

Trichiasis is another common but painful eyelash disorder which if left untreated can have dire consequences. This condition causes the eyelash to grow inward rather than outward.

Symptoms are inward growing eyelashes, irritation and pain, excessive eye closing, inflammation of the cornea, corneal abrasion, infections, and ulcers.

Trichiasis can be acquired or congenital and surgery is the best choice of treatment with a few different options.

Cataracts


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers can develop Opens in a new tab.cataracts, just as people can. Proteins in their eyes begin to cluster closely together and create a cloudy or opaque look to the lens of the eye.

This will affect your pup’s vision. Cataracts can be small or large, develop slowly, or seem to appear suddenly. When they cover the entire lens, this will cause blindness


Cataracts are inherited, sometimes appearing in puppies or waiting until old age to appear. These can also be caused by underlying conditions like diabetes or by inflammation or injury to the eye.

Early treatment is best to avoid blindness or even glaucoma, which leads to blindness. Treatment may be: eye drops to slow the progression of cataracts and eventual surgery to remove them.

Collie Eye Anomaly

Collie eye anomaly or CEA can affect collies, hence the name, but other dogs as well as the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

This is an inherited and genetic disease and dogs that are afflicted are born with CEA. CEA has an effect on how the eye develops, causing underdeveloped blood vessels to deny normal blood flow to the retina.

Blindness can eventually occur and detached retinas are very common as well. Eyeballs may be sunken and small and minimal vision will cause clumsiness or bumping into objects.

Treatment can consist of the prevention of retinal detachment with surgery being about the only option. Most dogs will become totally blind, but some may only have partial vision loss.


The key takeaway for eye problems and diseases as well as the overall health of your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling RetrieverOpens in a new tab. is choosing a reliable breeder and one that’s reputation precedes them.

Good breeders use genetic testing for all possible diseases that can be passed down and that tests are available.

They do not breed any dogs that knowingly have conditions and diseases or carry genes that can be inherited by puppies.

When making the decision to add a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever or any breed to your family, do your research.

Speak with your veterinarian for references and visit breeder facilities with questions about their business, dogs, and records. This is the best way to ensure a healthy, loving, and loyal Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

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