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Prevalence of the breed-related glaucomas in North America (abstract)

Veterinary Ophthalmology March 2004
Volume 7: Issue 2

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

Kirk N. Gelatt
Edward O. MacKay

Abstract

Objective:  
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).

Materials and methods:  
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.

Results:  
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.

Conclusion:  
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.
 
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Fascinating, Betsy. Thanks.
Wow, 5.44% Having recently been through the heartbreak of glaucoma diagnosis, I found this article quite useful.
 

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Interesting abstract Betsy. Scary too! :( I wonder what some of the reasons are for the increase? Are fewer bassets being tested? Do BYB's and puppy mill's currently account for a great percentages of basset hounds? I'm sure the number of BYB's and puppymiller's that test are close to zip.

Any ideas?
 
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My female, puppy mill Basset had glaucoma. Just a note to the facts. Belinda.
 

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Probably multiple factors have contributed to the increase...increased awareness, more teaching hospitals and referrals to teaching hospitals, increased canine lifespan, greater willingness to spare no expense for treatment, and so on and so forth.

BHCA's health survey in 1998 reported a prevalence of approximately 2%. Of interest is the fact that the survey was limited to BHCA members and the population for which data was collected probably included a higher percentage of responsibly bred dogs, compared to the general basset population.
 
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