Tibetans are known as a healthy breed, but they have some illnesses which should lined off from the breeding. Both of your dog's parents are eye-examinated CLEAR (ECVO-standard) and they usually have some other examinations as well. Exams of your dog's parents are attached to these care instructions. I highly recommend you to exam your dog before using it for breeding.

A UK Kennel Club survey puts the average lifespan of the breed at 12 years. About one in five lives to 15 years or more, with the longest-lived Tibetan Terrier having lived to 18.25 years. Though an athletic breed that has been bred for a natural look, the Tibetan Terrier is nonetheless susceptible to a variety of health problems, especially those related to the eyes and joints. These problems can include canine hip dysplasia, luxating patella, progressive retinal atrophy, lens luxation, cataracts and heart murmurs. Tibetans also have a history of being somewhat allergic to dairy, wheat and grains. Because of these potential health conditions Tibetan Terrier clubs recommend purchasing from breeders who participate in eye and hip testing, such as the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

In addition, Tibetan Terriers can carry the genetic disease canine neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, called Batten disease in humans. The first symptom of the disease is night blindness. Blindness and neurological signs such as epilepsy, motor abnormalities, dementia, and unexpected aggression will follow some years later. The gene responsible for the disease in Tibetan Terriers was identified in 2009 and there is now a DNA test for it. A German study showed that about 1/3 of Tibetan Terriers are carriers, but no affected dogs has been produced since the introduction of the DNA test as the German breed club requirements forbid carriers from being bred together.

Cataracta Basically a cataract is a kind of an eye disorder. Dogs are prone to this disease as much as humans. In truth, it is one of the most frequently reported eye disorder in dogs. Cataracts have an effect on the lens within the eyes and the chief job of this lens is to help eye focus the field of vision. When the lens of the eyes gets a certain level of cloudiness or if it becomes blurred, the condition is referred to as cataract. Following are the three stages of Cataract.

Incipient Cataract: Incipient cataract is the mildest case of this disease. This type rarely interferes with the dog’s vision and the cloudiness is so slight that it is extremely difficult to determine its presence.

Immature Cataract: Whenjust a part of the eyes appear cloudy, it’s called immature cataract. This form of cataract is more severe and causes blurred vision and it will be visible in your pet easily.

Mature Cataract: When the cataract has covered the entire part of your dog’s eye, then the disease has progressed into mature cataract.

What causes Cataract? Cataract is generally assumed to be an inherited disease in most dogs. In such cases the cataract can be observed in their first few weeks after birth. In other cases cataract can be seen as an old age issue known as senile cataracts, seen in dogs 6 years old or above. On the other hand, cataract can also be caused by trauma (Injury) in some cases. This can be due to one or multiple injuries caused by foreign particles.

What are the signs of Cataract? - Change in eye color  - Constant bumping into things  - Reduced jumping and similar activities  - Hesitant to explore new places  - Blindness  - Redness, pain, and inflammation in and around the eye area  - Too much squinting → even if your dog do not have any of these signs, it can still have a cataracta.

How is Cataract diagnosed? Vet may want to observe how your dog walks to look for any apparent signs of vision difficulty. Secondly for further diagnosis your vet may evaluate pupil size, symmetry and assessment of your dog’s pupillary light reflexes. The reflexes can also be determined by moving one hand towards your dog’s eye swiftly and stopping suddenly (maintaining safe distance to avoid any injury to eyes). In official ECVO-examination it can be proven easily.

Other tests include following; - Throwing a cotton ball onto the floor while watching to see if the dog follows the movement. - Testing the pressure inside the eye using an instrument called a “tonometer.” - Dilating the pupils and using a penlight or other light source to characterize the nature and extent of the cataract and to evaluate for possible concurrent uveitis. (Anesthetic drops are normally applied to the eyes before these tests occur to ensure a painless examination and accurate test results). - Schirmer tear test and staining the eye with a fluorescein dye are other frequent methods to verify the wetness of the eye, to look for foreign bodies and determine if any damage to the cornea.  - Ocular ultrasound and Electroretinography to assess the retina and rule out concurrent retinal degeneration (Usually performed if surgery is anticipated).

PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy also known as “progressive retinal degeneration” is an inherited disease of the retina, in which the photoreceptor cells of the retina are degenerated, first causing night blindness and gradually leading to complete blindness. The PRA affects both eyes simultaneously and there is no known cure for this disease yet. The time frame until the dog is blind varies considerably from dog to dog. Usually, however, complete blindness occurs within one year of diagnosis. PRA can also been seen in regular ECVO-eye-examination.

Right side: Normal Eye - Left Side: PRA Effected

What breeds are prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy? PRA occurs in most dogs both of pure and mixed breed. It is recessively inherited in all breeds studied. Most forms of PRA are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, although both X-linked and dominant forms are recognized.

What are the signs of Progressive Retinal Atrophy? The below mentioned signs can be indicative of PRA - Dilated pupils and a glow from the eyes - The first sign of any type of PRA is night blindness. The dog will be reluctant or afraid of walking into any dark area, indoors or out.

How is Progressive Retinal Atrophy diagnosed? As soon as any signs of night blindness or dilated pupils are notices the dog should be taken to the veterinarian. The doctor may conduct the following tests: - Examine the eye‘s reflexes and capability to produce tears. - Official ECVO- examination. - Blood test, blood pressure and chest x-rays might be performed to eliminate chances of any other health issues which cause blindness - May perform Fundoscopy to examine the retina to determine if the there is any shrinking of the blood vessels, decreased pigmentation of the nontapetal fundus, increased reflection from the tapetum due to thinning of the retina - The electroretinogram can be useful in the early diagnosis of many forms of PRA.

What is the treatment for Progressive Retinal Atrophy? - There is no cure and no medical treatment for PRA; however oral nutritional antioxidant supplementation could be prescribed to support the retinal health of affected dogs. The goal of antioxidant supplementation is to help slow the deterioration of the retina to "buy some time" visually. - Dog with PRA who is already on oral antioxidant supplementation and still has some viable retinal function might undergo cataract surgery under limited circumstances. Following surgery, it is unknown for each patient how long vision will be present until all retinal tissue dies  - If retinal function is completely lost in a dog with PRA but toxic cataracts are mild, antioxidant supplementation might be continued in these patients to help support lens health in an attempt to delay cataract progression. '

If you have any questions about eye-illnesses or what or how you should exam them, please contact to your breeder! Always remember to send official examresults to breeder! Also unofficial are asked, all information is very valuable for me as a breeder.