*Before you purchase a Lab Puppy, please review the following information.  Breeder's should be able to provide you with copies of clearances*

Eye Conditions in Labrador Retrievers:

These hereditary problems can be screened for before dogs are bred. Ask the breeder for documentation from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) that your pup's parents are free of these conditions.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-PRCD) - disease that causes the retina of the eye to degenerate slowly over time. The result is declining vision and eventual blindness. The pupil is widely open even when direct ray of light hit the eye.  Signs of PRA are fear of the dark and obvious night blindness.  PRA-prcd is a hereditary disease. The disease cannot be cured, but it is possible to eliminate it through genetic testing of litters and proper choice of parents.   Optigen does provide Genetic DNA testing for PRCD.    Visit Optigen

“PRCD” stands for “progressive rod-cone degeneration”.

Normal Retina (Note the numerous blood vessels)

Severe PRA (Note the loss of blood vessels and the smaller and darker, circular optic disc at the bottom of the green. Note the increased shiny reflection from the green layer)


Progessive Retinal Atrophy

Progessive Retinal Atrophy

Progessive Retinal Atrophy


Retinal Dysplasia (RD) - In the Labrador Retriever, retinal dysplasia and skeletal abnormalities can occur. In this breed, the syndrome is believed to be caused by a single autosomal gene that has recessive effects on the skeleton and incomplete dominant effects on the eye. Breeding is not advised because RD in Labs can be an indication that the dog is a carrier of a serious inherited syndrome called OSD (OculoSkeletal Dysplasia). OSD is a severe condition in which the dogs show a variety of skeletal malformations, including shortened limbs (dwarfism), and blindness at an early age; the blindness results from a generalized malformation of the retina that causes a partial or full retinal detachment and cataracts.  Retinal detachments are usually identified before the animal is six months old.   Signs of retinal dysplasia range from lines or curves on the back part of the eye — known as retinal folds — to generalized retinal detachment. Some dogs with retinal dysplasia have little visual loss, but blindness results if the retina detaches.



Retinal Dysplasia

Retinal Detachment


Lab puppy affected by RD/OSD


Cataracts - is an opaque spot on the eye's lens, which is normally clear. Cataracts can be acquired as a consequence of aging or are inherited, and can eventually lead to vision loss. Labs are one of the breeds in which congenital, or juvenile, cataracts have been documented.  They usually are classified by their age of onset (congenital, juvenile, senile), anatomic location, cause, degree of opacification (incipient, immature, mature, hypermature), and shape. Most cataracts can be detected by dilating the pupil and examining the pupillary region against the retroillumination of the tapetal fundus. Other etiologies include diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, radiation, inflammation, and trauma.

Posterior Polar Subcapsular Cataract  is by far the most common form of cataract in the Labrador and is a small (often triangular) area at the back of the lens. It is usually static, has no significant effect on vision and in most cases does not worsen, however, in a small percentage of dogs diagnosed with this condition (less than 5%) it can progress.  It is detected by an eye test and can be seen in youngsters from about 12 months of age, although it is more often seen when they are a bit older. It is known to be genetic and believed to be inherited through an autosomal dominant gene, i.e. the progeny of a dog with post polar opacities has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the condition from its affected parent. It is therefore inadvisable to breed from a dog with this form of cataract.

Cataract (Triangular)




Entropion - is the inward rolling of the eyelid, most commonly the lower lid. This irritates the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may ultimately cause visual impairment. Entropion is a common hereditary disorder in dogs. Selection for a particular conformation, of exaggerated facial features with prominent eyes and/or heavy facial folds, has created or worsened this problem in many breeds. It is likely that entropion is influenced by several genes polygenic inheritance that affect the skin and other structures that make up the eyelids, the way the skin covers the face and head, and the conformation of the skull.



 Entropion (Lashes caused Corneal Ulcer)

Ectropion - in which the lower lid tends to droop. There is increased exposure of the delicate structures of the eye to developing hypersensitivity reactions or bacterial conjunctivitis.







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