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Primary Lens Luxation is a debilitating disease and not one to be taken lightly and I hope to give you an idea of how it can affect the lives of the dog affected but also its committed and extremely caring family.

Unfortunately I know of a remarkable and courageous Tentie that has been affected with complete and permanent blindness as a result of PLL. But, this is also a story of wonderful dedication to a much loved family member.

Summer has always done our breed proud often outshining her Smooth Collie family members in the agility and jumping rings. For many years Summer has delighted onlookers at agility trials with her enthusiasm, skill & antic’s in both the agility and jumping rings. I am also reliably told that she was once considered the Smooth Collie mascot and is adored by all who have had and still have the pleasure of meeting this wonderful Tentie.

Summers’ Story

Summer started competing in agility the day she turned 18 months (they can't compete before that date) and with very little training managed two 1st places in Novice Agility and Novice Jumping on her first go. I hadn't even taught her weaving properly or the pause table. That was back in September, 2006. She continued well throughout 2007 although I realised she needed quite a bit of advanced training because she was so good at agility so we took it slower with her entries.

In February 2008 we trekked to Canberra for the Canberra Royal. Summer was entered in numerous events over the weekend, coming 1st in Novice Agility, Novice Jumping both days, being asked to compete in the winner of winners (against the higher level dogs) 3rd place in Novice Gamblers. We had a great year in 2007 with Summer gaining her JD & AD titles. She also had numerous qualifications towards Excellent Jumping, Excellent Agility, Open Agility, Open Jumping, Snooker, Gamblers and in obedience a 3rd place in Community Companion Dog. At the end of the year she also won our Club's annual agility trophy for the highest scoring agility dog (beating a very titled border collie)

Summer adored agility barking madly at the start line and then barking the whole way around an agility course. She only had to jump 200 height but regularly beat border collies, kelpies and other very fast dog in the agility rings.

In early , 2009 Summer lost the sight in her right eye after a misdiagnosis from the local vet of glaucoma from luxating lens. Her specialist opthamogist in Sydney did everything he could to save the sight but alas the lens was in the wrong place and the pressure would not go down enough for successful surgery.

One would have thought that would be the end of her agility and obedience career but not Summer!. She continued to compete with 1 eye gaining her CCD title which was very hard considering your dog is heeling on the left of you and she had not sight in her right eye. She also very quickly gained her JDX title and GD title. She also gained numerous qualifications towards other agility titles and almost had received her ADO, JDM and SD titles.

In early 2010 despite numerous check ups with her specialist who believed the left eye was clear of luxating lens, the lens started moving. We had numerous emergency dashes to our specialist who would always drop everything at anytime for her. The lens in her left eye would move around sometimes twice a week but often only monthly. Then the lens finally went to the bottom of her eye and stayed there for many months. It meant Summer had very limited vision in her left eye. We stopped competing for her safety despite her wanting to continue but we did continue her obedience and agility training because she loved it so much. Alas, in July, 2010 the lens moved to an awkward position and starting causing glaucoma. We raced Summer to Sydney but again they could not get the pressure down and she lost the sight in her left eye.

Atenta Tenterfield Terriers have been a major supporter of genetic testing in Tenterfield Terriers. Often travelling interstate with their dogs to take part in testing trials. Gordon and Julie have also confirmed that all dogs at Atenta have now been tested for PLL and they can now proceed with their breeding plans with confidence.

Summer’s PLL diagnosis came before any recognition of this disease in the Tenterfield Terrier but Atenta and many more breeders are now actively testing their breeding stock so that we can eliminate this disease in the Tenterfield Terrier.

The following has been provided by Roz Davies from NSW.

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