Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 5

The important link between the Golden Retriever
Foundation® (GRF) and research of the inherited
eye disease Golden Retriever pigmentary uveitis
(GRPU) is helping to advance knowledge about this
inherited, painful and potentially blinding eye disease
that occurs exclusively in North American bloodlines.
GRPU was first described in 1996, and by happenstance,
GRF was founded the next year to fund
projects that further the welfare of the breed. The
lead investigator of multiple studies funded by the
AKC Canine Health Foundation with support from
GRF, Dr. Wendy Townsend of Purdue University,
a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, is
working to recognize GRPU, a late-onset disorder,
in dogs before their reproductive years.
John Cotter, president of GRF, says, " GRPU in
the beginning was mostly seen in conformation
bloodlines, but lately dogs coming from perforof
the eyes to check for uveal cysts that
are part of GRPU. We found that all the
dogs had more than four cysts per field
when imaging both eyes. A proportional
odds model helped us determine whether
the topical steroid or topical non-steroidal
ophthalmic preparation changed the
dogs' GRPU scores. "
Four factors were evaluated: treatment,
age of the dogs, days between exams,
and the interaction of these factors.
" Although the dogs' treatment did not
affect changes in their GRPU score, we
found that the time between examinations
was a significant factor in disease
progression, " Dr. Townsend says. " Eyes
receiving topical steroids had the greatest
increase in GRPU scores, but these
dogs also had a longer time between
exams, so time was the key factor. Only
three eyes did not receive topical therapy. "
Ultimately, the eight-year observational
study affirmed the need to diagnose
pigmentary uveitis in Golden Retrievers
in earlier stages via yearly eye exams.
" Breeders and owners should ideally
have annual ophthalmic examinations on
their Golden Retrievers, " Dr. Townsend
mance lines have been affected
as well. We are thankful for the
research of Dr. Townsend and
our ability to partner with her
in helping to educate breeders
and owners while working to
understand what causes the
disease and how to reduce its prevalence. "
In an ongoing effort to help build a reliable
GRPU database, GRF funds the registration fee
for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) examination
for dogs 8 years and older. The goal is to
encourage annual examinations even for dogs that
have never been used in a breeding program and
for the results to be included in the public database.
A dog's date of birth exempts the owner
from paying the registration fee.
says. " This allows for recognizing at-risk
dogs so they can be monitored closely
and receive proper treatment for glaucoma
and other secondary conditions
that may threaten their vision. The goal
is to prolong vision. "
Among the most challenging aspects
of GRPU is understanding the pathogenesis
of the disease. This impacts
treatment, though standard of care
involves giving veterinarian-prescribed
topical or systemic anti-inflammatory
medications often with medications to
control inflammation and glaucoma,
if present.
" The diagnostic challenge lies not
in identifying severely affected eyes
but with determining the minimum
threshold of clinical findings to make
a diagnosis, " Dr. Townsend says. " We
know that radial pigment is seen on
the anterior surface of the lens of the
eye of all affected dogs. We also know
that glaucoma occurs in 30 to 36 percent
of eyes affected by GRPU, and cataracts

Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022

Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - Cover
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 2
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 3
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 4
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 5
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 6
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 7
Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 8