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Vet Ophthalmol. 2004 Mar-Apr;7(2):97-111.

Prevalence of the breed-related glaucomas in pure-bred dogs in North America.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and Gwathmey-Adams Laboratory of Vision Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0126, USA.



To determine the prevalence of the breed-related glaucomas in pure-bred dogs presented to the veterinary medical teaching hospitals in North America that participate in the Veterinary Medical Data Base (VMDB).


In this retrospective study, age of first diagnosis, breed, and gender data for all breeds of dogs were collected from the VMDB with the clinical diagnosis of primary glaucoma (glaucoma-NOS) at 5-10 year intervals from 1964 to 2002. The prevalence for each breed (affected dogs compared to all dogs of each breed), any changes over the 38 years, and any gender differences for these glaucomas were determined.


The prevalence of the primary breed-related glaucomas has gradually increased from 0.29% (1964-1973); 0.46% (1974-1983); 0.76% (1984-1993); to 0.89% (1994-2002). Breeds that consistently featured among the highest 10 for glaucoma prevalence from four different periods (1964 to 2002) included American Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Wire Fox Terrier, and Boston Terrier. During the last observation period (1994-2002), 22 different breeds had 1% or higher prevalence of the glaucomas. The highest prevalence of glaucomas in 1994-2002 by breed included: American Cocker Spaniel (5.52%); Basset Hound (5.44%); Chow Chow (4.70%); Shar-Pei (4.40%); Boston Terrier (2.88%); Wire Fox Terrier (2.28%); Norwegian ElkHound (1.98%); Siberian Husky (1.88%); Cairn Terrier (1.82%); and Miniature Poodle (1.68%). A predominance of females with glaucoma occurred in the American Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Cairn Terrier, Chow Chow, English Cocker Spaniel, Samoyed, and perhaps the Siberian Husky, and a predominance of males in the Australian Cattle dog and St Bernard. Age affected the time for first presentation of the glaucomas in the pure-bred dog. In the majority of breeds the glaucomas were presented for initial diagnosis in dogs between 4 and 10 years of age.


Breed-related glaucomas in pure-bred dogs are frequently presented to the veterinary medical teaching hospitals in North America. The prevalence of the breed-related glaucomas in the dog appears similar to humans, and in some breeds exceeds that in humans. In many breeds the high prevalence of the glaucomas suggests a genetic basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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