Tag archives: canine blindness

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

Paw Print Genetics is celebrating the Australian Cattle Dog this week. Although generally considered a relatively healthy breed, like other purebred dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog is known to inherit several genetic diseases. Testing your dog prior to breeding prevents the disease through avoidance of producing puppies at-risk. This brief article describes a few of the diseases that can currently be tested for in Australian Cattle Dogs.  You can find a complete list and more information at  https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/91/.  All of these tests performed by Paw Print Genetics are accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals

Cystinuria is an inherited disease that is known to affect amino acid absorption by the kidneys. This abnormality leads to cysteine crystals and/or stones in the bladder that can block the ureters or urethra and stop the normal flow of urine. If not treated, urinary stones can cause urinary tract infections, kidney failure and even death.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a late-onset neurological disease found in over 100 breeds of dog.  Known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in humans, affected dogs typically begin to show signs of neurological weakness in ...

Preventing Inherited Congenital Stationary Night Blindness in the Briard

Preventing Inherited Congenital Stationary Night Blindness in the Briard

With depictions in artwork from as early as the 8th century, the ancient Briard is a French dog breed that has been employed in diverse roles throughout its history, but is most commonly recognized as a herding breed or as a guard dog for flocks of sheep. Though documentation of its early history is sparse, the first breed standard for the Briard was written in the late 19th century and the breed was accepted for registration by the AKC in 1922 after being brought to North America from Europe (including Briards imported by Thomas Jefferson). Praised for their intelligence and memory, the Briard is a naturally protective dog that can benefit from early and extensive socialization in order to establish proper boundaries and temperament toward strangers. They are often regarded as extremely loyal and bonded to their owners and appreciate significant time with their human “pack”. Though the breed is regarded as relatively healthy, as with most purebred dogs, the Briard has developed some inherited disease concerns during its path to the modern state of the breed. One of the best known Briard inherited disease concerns, unique to the breed, is a disease known as congenital stationary night ...

Preventable Inherited Eye Diseases of the Chinese Crested

Preventable Inherited Eye Diseases of the Chinese Crested

Despite being one of the most recognizable dog breeds in existence due to their unique physical attributes, the early history of the Chinese crested is a bit mysterious due to a lack of adequate written records. Though early hairless dogs have been documented in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia, the relationship between these dogs is not well understood. Evidence to suggest that they may be related is found in the fact that at least 3 hairless breeds originating from different continents (Mexican hairless, Peruvian hairless, and Chinese crested) are all known to inherit the same FOXI3 gene mutation responsible for their hairlessness. It is most likely that a common ancestor to the hairless breeds developed a spontaneous FOXI3 mutation that was later passed to the individual breeds as they were developed. It is theorized that early hairless dogs travelling on shipping routes with their human companions played a role in the spread of the trait to numerous locations in the world.

In addition to genetic mutations responsible for particular physical traits, like other purebred dogs, Chinese cresteds are known to inherit some genetic mutations responsible for causing inherited disease. Inherited diseases of the eyes are of particular concern ...

Collie Eye Anomaly: The Confusion About “Going Normal”

Collie Eye Anomaly: The Confusion About “Going Normal”

In 1953, a prevalent inherited eye condition of collies was first described by W.G. Magrane in a journal article entitled, “Congenital anomaly of the optic nerve in collies”1. Later termed choroidal hypoplasia by scientists, the disease now known to the general public as collie eye anomaly (CEA) has significantly troubled collie breeders for over 50 years. In 2007, a paper describing a specific genetic mutation of the NHEJ1 gene associated with CEA was published. Identification of this mutation, has made it possible for scientists to develop tests that predictably identify the mutation and subsequently help breeders avoid producing puppies with CEA. Despite its breed specific name, testing has since identified the same CEA associated mutation in several other dog breeds including the Australian shepherd and the Shetland sheepdog.

Though there is significant variability in terms of ocular defects seen in affected dogs, the fundamental characteristics of CEA stem from the malformation of an important structure of the eye known as the choroid. The choroid is a thin layer of tissue containing the blood vessels responsible for supplying blood and nutrients to the retina and other structures of the eye. While mildly affected dogs may maintain normal vision with ...

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An Inherited Disease of the English Springer Spaniel

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An Inherited Disease of the English Springer Spaniel

The intelligent, prey-driven English springer spaniel (ESS) has forged its path as a popular, hardworking companion for bird hunters while maintaining a loyal and affectionate personality suitable to family life. Until the early 1900’s, springer spaniels were produced in the same litters as cocker spaniels; springers were chosen from the largest puppies of the litter and were trained for flushing or “springing” game while the smaller littermates were labeled cocker spaniels and were trained for hunting the elusive woodcock. Since then, springer spaniels have been further split into the generally leaner, shorter haired field (hunting) variety and the denser boned, densely haired show (“bench”) line. Unfortunately, like other purebred dogs, English springer spaniels are known to inherit genetic diseases that can keep some individuals from reaching the great potentials for which the breed is capable. One such inherited condition is an eye disease known as progressive retinal atrophy, cone-rod dystrophy 4 (PRA-crd4) caused by a mutation in the RPGRIP1 gene.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is not a single disease, but rather a group of inherited diseases each caused by different genetic mutations in different genes. The various forms of PRA affect over 100 different dog breeds. Though there are variations ...

My dog appears to be going blind. Is it genetic?

My dog appears to be going blind.  Is it genetic?

Just like people, blindness or an otherwise significant reduction in vision is a relatively common occurrence in our canine friends. Whether your puppy loses his sight in bright light or your old faithful companion’s eyes are looking a little "cloudy", the profound impact it can have on the life of both pet and owner, makes preventing or treating eye disease a major concern for veterinarians.

Though there are hundreds of possible biological processes responsible for blindness, these processes can be grouped into two major categories: Non-genetic (acquired disease) and genetically inherited disease caused by mutations in a dog’s DNA (the genetic material found in all cells). Though mutations in DNA are present at birth, disease can present in a variable timeframe from puppy to older dog, depending on the specific mutation present.

Though not all eye diseases have an inflammatory component to them, some of the most commonly acquired, non-genetic eye diseases involve chronic inflammation of the eye’s internal and external structures. External chronic eye inflammation gradually damages the structure of the cornea and can eventually lead to difficulty seeing. Most of the cases involve physiological abnormalities (i.e. eyelashes rubbing on the eye) or trauma resulting ...