2277: Identification of the Genetic Cause or Causes for Cataracts in Several Breeds

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $70,000
Dr. George J. Brewer, MD, University of Michigan
January 1, 2002 - December 31, 2004
Sponsor(s): American Kennel Club, Giant Schnauzer Club of America, Golden Retriever Foundation, PetCo Foundation, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company
Breed(s): Toy Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd Dog, Miniature Schnauzer, West Highland White Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Poodle, Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, Boston Terrier
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

Inherited cataract is a major health problem in dogs, with a significant frequency in 66 breeds. In some breeds the puppy is born with cataract (congenital) while in others it develops at six months of age, and in others at 12-18 months, long after the animal has been placed. Obviously, inherited cataract places a large emotional and financial burden on the dog fancy. As the first step in our attach on inherited canine cataract, we will look for linkage between a cataract gene and a DNA marker in nine breeds, selected because they show clinical variability in cataract type. Choosing multiple types of cataracts in various breeds increases our chances of multiple hits with our list of candidate genes. The nine breeds are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, German Shepherds, Miniature Schnauzers, Boston Terriers and West Highland White Terriers. Other breeds will also be helped because th discovered causative mutations will likely be shared by many other breeds. As a backup approach, we'll screen ""pre-hoc"" candidate genes for causality to the extent that time permits. In the end we will have developed DNA tests for many if not most of the inherited canine cataracts.

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