Canine Goniodysgenesis and Glaucoma
Primary glaucoma is a painful and blinding disease associated with high eye pressure. The disease affects over 40 breeds of dog worldwide and at least 1,500 dogs in the UK each year. Treatment is usually unsuccessful and most affected dogs ultimately require removal of their eyes on welfare grounds.
The most common form of canine primary glaucoma is primary angle closure glaucoma which has been shown to be significantly associated with goniodysgenesis; an abnormality affecting the drainage pathway of the eye. This abnormality is highly heritable and prevalent in several dog breeds in the UK including the Flatcoated Retriever, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Basset Hound, Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Leonberger and Dandie Dinmont Terrier.
We are investigating the genetics of goniodysgenesis and glaucoma in all of these breeds initially by performing eye examinations and collecting DNA (in the form of cheek swabs) from both dogs affected by and those free from disease. Our investigations should lead us to discover genetic mutations responsible for causing goniodysgenesis and glaucoma in these breeds and enable us to develop genetic tests to identify them. This will make it possible for disease prevalence to be reduced effectively when used in parallel with breed-specific guidance.
In some breeds screening for goniodysgenesis through the eye examination technique, gonioscopy, is advised under the BVA / KC / ISDS Eye Scheme.
Q. Which dogs can contribute to the AHT’s goniodysgenesis / glaucoma research?
A. There are three types of dog that are useful to our research:
i) Dogs of any breed that have been diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist as affected by goniodysgenesis
ii) Dogs of any breed that have been diagnosed with primary glaucoma by a veterinary ophthalmologist
ii) Dogs of any breed that have been examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist at the age of five or greater and are clear of goniodysgenesis
If you would like more information about our research into goniodysgenesis / glaucoma, or would like to enquire about submitting a DNA sample from your dog to aid our research, please contact our Ophthalmology department at firstname.lastname@example.org