Primary Lens Luxation

Other Names: Lens luxation, PLL
Affected Genes: ADAMTS17
Inheritance: Autosomal Incomplete Dominant
Mutation: Point Mutation

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Common Symptoms

Primary Lens Luxation is an inherited abnormality of the eye affecting dogs. It is characterized by dislocation of the lens in the eye due to the breakage of the ligaments (called zonules) that hold the lens in place. The age of onset is variable depending on whether a dog has one or two copies of the Mutation, but affected dogs typically present between 2 to 8 years of age with sudden signs of eye irritation. Symptoms of lens luxation include excessive blinking, squinting and tearing of the eye. Dislocation of the lens can occur in both the forward and backward position within the eye, but dislocation in the forward position is more common and serious. If not treated immediately, lens dislocation can lead to Glaucoma and vision loss.

Breed-Specific Information for the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is included as a breed susceptible to primary lens luxation because of its close relatedness to the Australian Cattle Dog breed, which is known to develop this disease due to Mutation of the ADAMTS17 gene. The frequency of the causal mutation in the general Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog population is unknown.

Testing Tips

Genetic testing of the ADAMTS17 gene in Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs will reliably determine whether a dog is a genetic Carrier of primary lens luxation. Primary Lens Luxation is inherited in an autosomal incomplete dominant manner in dogs meaning that dogs only need to inherit one copy of the mutated gene to be at an increased risk of developing the disease. Though lens luxation is most commonly seen in dogs having two copies of the mutated gene, carrier dogs have a low, but increased risk of lens luxation. Thus, dogs that have one or two mutant copies of the gene are considered at-risk for lens luxation. When a carrier of this Mutation is bred with another dog that also is a carrier of the same mutation, there is risk of having affected pups. For each pup that is born to this pairing, there is a 25% chance that the puppy will inherit two copies of the mutation and a 50% chance that the puppy will inherit one copy of the mutation and, in either case, may be susceptible to lens luxation. Reliable genetic testing is important for determining breeding practices. Because symptoms may not appear until adulthood, genetic testing should be performed before breeding. In order to eliminate this mutation from breeding lines and to avoid the potential of producing affected pups, breeding of known carriers is not recommended. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs that do not have the mutation have no increased risk of having affected pups when bred to a dog that is also clear for this mutation.


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  • Gould D, Pettitt L, McLaughlin B, Holmes N, Forman O, Thomas A, Ahonen S, Lohi H, O’Leary C, Sargan D, Mellersh C. ADAMTS17 mutation associated with primary lens luxation is widespread among breeds.Vet Ophthalmol. 2011 Nov;14(6):378-84. [PubMed: 22050825]
  • PLL test results and statistics. [Internet]. 2010 [cited 7 April 2014]. Available at