Progressive Lens Luxation

Sealyham Terriers suffer from a painful eye condition known as Primary Lens Luxation (PLL). In PLL the lens is displaced from its normal position due to a weakening of the ligaments holding it in place.

Normally the lens is suspended between the iris and the retina, held in position by the lens zonules and the adjacent vitreous. There can be partial (sub-luxation) or complete displacement (luxation) of the lens from its normal site, either forward into the anterior chamber of the eye (in front of the pupil) or backward into the vitreous.

Forward (anterior) lens luxation may cause an increase in pressure within the eye (glaucoma), which if untreated leads to blindness. With an anterior luxation the dog may show signs of intense pain (rubbing, pawing at the eye), or visual impairment associated with glaucoma. Alternatively, the dog may show no clinical signs and the veterinary surgeon may observe an ocular abnormality during a routine examination.

The exciting news is that the gene mutation responsible for PLL in the Sealyham Terrier has now been found. It is now possible for owners to test their dog's PLL status by using a simple cheek swab. All details are available on the Animal Health Trust website.