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Working with Dogs Trust to fight glaucoma

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Working with Dogs Trust to fight glaucoma

Primary glaucoma, linked to the inherited eye abnormality goniodysgenesis, affects around 1,500 dogs each year; with the majority having to have both eyes removed.

In 2015, we started a new project, funded by Dogs Trust, to better understand this condition, the genetics involved, and ultimately, try to prevent it from happening.

The majority of breeds we’re investigating, including Golden Retrievers, Border Collies and Cocker Spaniels, are on the BVA/KC/ISDS eye scheme for hereditary eye diseases which advises screening for goniodysgenesis before breeding. However, evidence shows that goniodysgenesis can be progressive with age, so screening a young dog may not be conclusive enough.

By collecting DNA samples from dogs which meet certain criteria, our geneticists aim to identify the mutation(s) responsible for goniodysgenesis. From this we hope to develop a DNA test to identify which dogs might be at risk of developing glaucoma and of passing those genes to their offspring. A DNA test would have a much greater impact on reducing the number of dogs affected by glaucoma in the future.

More information on this research and the breeds affected can be found at www.aht.org.uk/glaucoma

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