Eye Testing for Inherited Glaucoma

At our upcoming Championship Show on Sunday 30th March 2014 we have arranged for experts from the Animal Health Trust to offer a free gonioscopy test for your dogs.

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'Speckle' who lost both eyes to glaucoma. Photo courtesy of Julie Revill.

The Animal Health Trust is conducting a study into the genetics of inherited glaucoma (goniodysgenesis) in the Welsh Springer Spaniel. Glaucoma is a painful and blinding disease for which treatment options are often very limited – most dogs eventually need to have their eyes removed. Their research will hopefully enable them to develop a DNA test that breeders can use to help eliminate this serious condition.

At the show, they will be offering free gonioscopy testing and taking cheek swabs to assist in research (normal BVA fees apply if you require a BVA certificate).

It will be useful to examine dogs of all backgrounds and ages regardless of whether they have had a previous eye test or not.

What does the test entail?

James Oliver & Cathryn Mellersh will be ready to examine dogs from 9.30am. They would like to to see as many dogs as possible and they will do the following:

  1. Check the eye pressure - the dogs don’t feel this at all
  2. Perform gonioscopy – local anaesthetic is used and most dogs do not object
  3. Take cheek swab samples from the dogs for DNA – again not painful 

They will NOT dilate any eyes unless required to do so by the owner or if a lesion is spotted for which dilation is recommended (only with owner consent).

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Photo courtesy of Robin Briscoe

We would be extremely grateful to persuade as many owners as possible to volunteer their dog(s) for the examination. It doesn’t matter how old they are and if they have been tested before or not. In fact older dogs and those previously tested under the BVA/KC/ISDS are extremely interesting to the research. The examination should not take more than 10 minutes – especially if the owners have paperwork ready (as below).

It would be extremely useful if owners could bring the following with them on the day:

  1. Pedigree photocopy
  2. Previous BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Certificate photocopy (if applicable)
  3. KC registration details (KC registered name, KC number, date of birth)

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No dog will be turned away without this information or if they haven’t booked in advance. Although we won’t be booking exact appointment times it would be useful if people could register their interest in advance to gauge the number of dogs likely to attend.

Submission/consent forms will be available and owners will be asked to kindly fill in their and their dog’s details before the examination to save time.

You can download a flyer from here (click on the image) to help us publicise this very important research project.

Even if you're not coming to the show to show your dog you could come along to have your dog take part in this vital research and enjoy the hospitality and atmosphere of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of South Wales Championship Show.