1607: Hereditary and DNA Studies in Cataracts in the Bichon Frise
Grant Status: Closed
Project SummaryThis study found that male and female Bichon Frises are equally affected by cataracts, and that affected dogs come from normal parents, strengthening the hypothesis that cataracts are an autosomal recessive trait in the breed. Researchers studied about 1200 dogs to characterize the cataracts found in the breed (the characteristics of inherited cataracts are distinct in each breed). They performed DNA studies on 270 blood samples, looking for the gene or genetic marker responsible for the disease in the Bichon Frise. While they have not yet found the gene, the research provided a foundation for continued research to find it. The pedigree research initiated in the study continues. Cataracts are one of the most frequently inherited eye diseases of the dog, affecting about 125 breeds. The Bichon Frise is particularly affected: an estimated 6 to 12 percent are affected with inherited cataracts and about 20 to 25 percent are carriers.
Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.