Health

Do Weimaraners Keep Their Blue Eyes?

The eyes of Weimaraners puppies have varying hues of blue, some having even a grayish tone. Usually, the color of the puppies’ eyes is in a lighter tone. This is because there is less melanin in the iris.

All Weimaraner puppies have their eyes closed at birth. The eyes open up in 1 to 2 weeks after their birth. In the first 3 weeks, puppies don’t require any help from the owners as the care provided by their mother is sufficient.

Do Weimaraners Keep Their Blue Eyes?

Unfortunately Weimaraners don’t keep their blue eyes for the rest of their life. The color of their eyes changes from blue to gray, light amber, or blue-gray as they mature. The change in their eye color is near complete by the 6 month of age. As they grow, the melanin production increases in their eyes and this leads to their eyes turning darker.

Here I’d like to briefly touch on another breed, the Siberian Husky. How come they have blue eyes even in adulthood?

Well, in a recent study, researchers at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have linked the blue eyes of the Siberian Huskies to their genetic makeup. The research involved DNA samples of over 6,000 dogs and it revealed the blue eye color of these dogs is due to repeat of canine chromosome 18. This is one of the first and largest consumer genomics studies on canines.

Weimaraner Eye Problems

In this article we will focus on eye diseases among the Weimaraners. Here are some of the most common eye-related problems that Weimaraners seem to be particularly vulnerable to.

Entropion

In this condition, the eyelids roll inwards and the cornea is exposed to contact with eyelashes and fur that ultimately cause irritation. If left untreated, it can lead to corneal ulceration that can be painful.

It can happen with any of the eyelids in one or both eyes. Signs and symptoms include blinking or squinting, yellow, green, white discharge from the affected eye, excessive tearing, inflammation, and pawing at the eye.

Ectropion

Ectropion is a condition where the lower eyelid “rolls” down from the eye. You may have seen this condition in breeds like Saint Bernard, Bloodhound, Cockerspaniel, Mastiff, Newfoundland etc.

This condition makes the eyes look droopy as they expose the conjuctival tissues. At the same time these tissues appear more red due to increased blood flow. The cornea gets irritated by dust, pollen and other irritants from the environment.

The dog can paw at their eyes and often there is a discharge. The fur below the eye may stain a darker color due to the tears.

Ectropion is usually treated by eye drops to prevent the eye from dryness. In some cases ulcers can form on the cornea and those are treated with antibiotic ointments. If the case is too severe, your vet can suggest a surgical correction


Entropion and ectropion are hereditary genetic conditions. Both are considered disqualifying faults in Weimaraners and they should not be bred to prevent further genetic transfer of this condition.

Distichiasis

Distichiasis is a condition where there is an extra eyelash or eyelashes which irritate the cornea. If the eyelashes are short, they may not cause any irritation to the dog and can be left untreated. Prolonged irritation of the cornea can lead to ulceration.

The cause of this is not known, however it’s a hereditary trait and breeding dogs with this conditions is usually discouraged.

The symptoms can include increased blinking or squinting, yellow, green or white discharge, excessive tears, inflammation and pawing at the eye. Chronic distiachiasis can cause scarring or hyperpigmentation of the cornea.

Milder cases are treated with ointments that lubricate the eye and the lashes, so there is less irritation. In more severe cases where the condition is persistent and the dog experiences discomfort and pain on a regular basis, vets can perform a surgery where they remove the extra eyelashes as well as get rid of the follicles so that they don’t appear again.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a genetic and degenerative condition. In this condition, the retina’s light receptors begin to degenerate prematurely. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

There is no pain accompanying this condition. Some common signs include reluctance to move around in darkness, cataract, large pupils, and diminishing vision even during daylight.

Dogs with progressive retinal athropy shouldn’t be bred and usually dogs from the same litter are taken out of the breeding pool as well as the parents even if there are no symptoms.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a common term for a condition where the tear gland in their third eyelid swells up and appears at the corner of the dog’s eye. Usually it’s not very painful but it can be itchy, causing the dog to paw at their eyes.

Cherry eye occurs rarely over the age of two. It’s a hereditary condition and once your pup has it, it’s more likely they will get it again in the future. Recurring cherry eye could cause long-term eye problems.

Weimaraner Eye Care

Make sure to inspect your Weim’s eyes weekly to see any changes. You can use a doggy eye wash (like Vetericyn Plus, check price on Amazon) to get rid of pollen, dust or any other foreign objects in their eyes.

If you spot any unusual symptoms, please contact your vet.

Nellie at 8 weeks old

Final thoughts

Weimaraner’s gorgeous blue eyes change as the dog matures to light amber, gray or blue-gray. The color becomes permanent around 6 months of age.

Their eyes are prone to some common diseases found among dogs, especially entropium and ectropium.

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