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continued from page 5
petitive and the ETOs have not dramatically changed. But many dogs with ETOs
show more extreme symptoms as they get older. Just like our vision changes as
we age, our dogs' vision changes as well, and this can cause more pronounced
symptoms. Dogs may show more extreme behaviors in different environments as
Linda discusses in her article on page 7, "Everything You Need to Know About
Early Takeoffs." Some dogs may do best outdoors on grass in good lighting, but this
might be the worst environment for some dogs that have incorrect pupil responses
to bright sunlight. Many dogs do very poorly in shadowy indoor locations or where
the light changes and causes lines and shadows that the dogs cannot easily interpret.
The vision issues that cause ETO symptoms are not curable at this time. I have
participated in dog ophthalmology studies and for a short while I experimented
with Scoop wearing contact lenses to correct the small amount of myopia he has;
however, fitting contact lenses on dogs is extremely diﬃcult and technically dogs
are not allowed to compete with contacts. No one I know of has experimented with
corrective dog goggles and there is no one doing surgeries on the complicated vision problems our dogs might have. On top of all that, there are few animal ophthalmologists who are trained in this kind of vision diagnosis on dogs. Plus these
same doctors may not understand our sport at all and, after testing, they may say
the dog's vision is within a range where he should not have a problem living a normal life. But we know that does not mean the dog will not have diﬃculty jumping.
In humans 25% of the population is nearsighted (myopia); they can see things clearly up close, but need glasses to see objects at a distance or they are blurry. We have
no reason to believe that the occurrence of myopia in dogs is much different, but
until all dogs get their eyes tested we will never really know. And, since dogs can't
simply sit in a doctor's oﬃce and read an eye chart, this is unlikely to ever occur!
Thirty percent of the human population is aﬄicted with astigmatism and 70% of
eyeglass prescriptions have some amount of correction for astigmatism. If you have
astigmatism you likely have some vision blur when you don't wear your glasses.
Astigmatism is often noticed when we look at parallel lines. So if our dogs have
astigmatism in one or both eyes, they might see blurry lines or have double vision
when presented with either vertical or horizontal lines. We might think of this as
having depth perception problems.
If you have "with the rule" astigmatism, which is the case for 71% of people with an
astigmatism, horizontal lines may be blurred and vertical lines are clear. We don't
know for sure that our dogs have astigmatism at the same rate as humans, but if
they do, they may see vertical lines like weave poles and jump standards clearly, but
have some blurring or double vision with horizontal lines, like jump bars.
Read more about canine vision studies in my article on page 32 as well as a bit of
history on how and when we started to recognize this vision problem in our dogs.
I would like to thank Clean Run and Linda Mecklenburg for putting together this
special issue. And thank you to Channan Fosty for reading and making suggestions
on my editorial. I hope this spotlight will lead us ever closer to understanding how
vision problems affect our dogs in the sport of agility as well as everyday life.
Nancy Gyes and her husband Jim Basic run Power Paws Agility in San Jose, California. Nancy has been
the AKC World Team Coach since 2006 and has been on the AKC World Team herself seven times: four
times with Scud and three with Riot. Nancy and Riot earned both a 1st and 2nd place in Individual Agility
at the FCI Agility World Championships. Nancy won the USDAA Grand Prix Finals four years in a row
with three different dogs: Scud, Riot, and Wicked. Nancy and Wicked were also on the winning team at
a Dog Agility Masters championship. Nancy and Riot were the 24" AKC National champions twice, and
Ace was second in the Championships in 2012. Nancy and Ace represented the USA at the European
Open five times and they were the first US duo to make it to the podium, earning a bronze medal in 2011.
Nancy shares her life with four Border Collies aged 13 to 2 years. Contact Nancy at www.powerpawsagility.
com where you can also view articles and videos.
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Clean Run | November 17
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2017
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover1
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover2
Clean Run - November 2017 - Contents
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