Golden Retriever Update - Summer 2022 - 6

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
revamped its classification of uveal cysts in July
2021 based on research showing the correlation
between multiple uveal cysts and the development
of Golden Retriever pigmentary uveitis (GRPU).
The coding, which is used by board-certified veterinary
ophthalmologists when performing OFA
Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) examinations,
is intended to help reduce the incidence of
The recommendation to update the classification
came from Wendy M. Townsend, DVM, MS, DACVO,
a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist who
has studied GRPU since 2005, and the Golden
Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Health & Genetic
and Breeder Education committees. The late Cathie
Turner of Sylmar, California, past chair of the GRCA
Breeder Education Committee, was instrumental
in helping to advance the Breeder Code Option
revisions. She also coordinated a 2021 educational
webinar for GRCA in which Dr. Townsend shared
insights about GRPU.
The revised reporting will enable breeders to
avoid breeding dogs likely to develop GRPU and
allow them to review ancestors and close relatives
for multiple uveal cysts or GRPU. For dogs having
an OFA eye report prior to July 2021, breeders
can review the actual eye exam form to help fill
in important information not previously provided.
It also will aid owners in monitoring dogs at risk of
developing the eye disorder.
Previously, all uveal cysts were lumped together
under Breeder Option Code D1. The new Breeder
Option Codes are:
D1: Uveal Cyst (unspecified)
D1a: Free-Floating Uveal Cyst
D1b: Single Uveal Cyst
D1c: Multiple Uveal Cysts
Annual eye examinations starting at
age 2 are among the recommended
tests for Golden Retrievers to be
eligible for Canine Health Information
Center (CHIC) certification. OFA,
working with GRCA, also recommends
screening tests for hip dysplasia,
elbow dysplasia and cardiac disease for all breeding
stock. Dogs meeting these basic health screening
requirements will be issued CHIC numbers.
Note that for CHIC certification, a dog's testing
results do not need to be normal but must be
made public so that responsible breeders can
make informed breeding decisions. A dog also
must be permanently identified via a microchip
or tattoo to qualify for a CHIC number.
occur in 37 to 43 percent of eyes depending
on the study. "
Although GRPU appears to have an
inflammatory component, minimal
inflammation is seen in eyes affected by
the disorder. " Whether this reflects the
lack of inflammation in the disease process
or control of the inflammation by
topical medications is hard to know, as
most dogs receive topical anti-inflammatory
medications, " says Dr. Townsend.
" I generally start dogs on treatment
with a topical NSAID, which works like an
aspirin for the eye, " she says. " Adjunctive
therapy may include glaucoma medication
if needed. Some dogs with glaucoma
may require surgical enucleation, or
removal of the eye, and these dogs have
a great quality of life. "
Breeding of dogs from bloodlines
having multiple uveal cysts and of dogs
showing radial pigment indicating
GRPU is discouraged. Due to the
increased risk of developing GRPU
for dogs with multiple uveal cysts, the
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
(OFA) now reports single versus multiple
uveal cysts on the OFA Companion
Animal Eye Registry (CAER) exam
results. (See " OFA Updates Breeder
Option Codes for Uveal Cysts " above)
" Unfortunately, even conscientious
breeders who regularly screen their
dogs for health clearances and study
the health history of potential breeding
partners have produced GRPU in
their bloodlines, " Dr. Townsend says.
" Dogs should not be bred if they do

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