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Cataracts in the Norwegian Buhund—current prevalence and characteristics

Kristiansen, Elin, Revold, Tobias, Lingaas, Frode, Narfström, Kristina, Pedersen, Pia Bjerre, Kielland, Camilla, Dahl, Stein, Ropstad, Ernst‐Otto
Veterinary ophthalmology 2017 v.20 no.5 pp. 460-467
cataract, dogs, eyes, females, health status, males, ophthalmology, screening, vision, Denmark, Norway, Sweden
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate prevalence and characteristics of cataracts in the Norwegian Buhund breed 20 years after high reported prevalence of especially pulverulent nuclear cataracts (PNCs). ANIMALS STUDIED: Two hundred and fifty Norwegian Buhund dogs in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (117 males and 133 females) with previously unknown eye health status were included. Forty‐five dogs had multiple examinations (two to six times over a 6‐year period). Median age was 4.4 years [0.2–15.2] at first examination and 5.3 years [0.2–15.2] at last examination. PROCEDURES: All dogs underwent regular screening for inherited eye diseases. RESULTS: At the last observation of each dog, 52.4% were affected by PNC, categorized as minimal (33 of 250 dogs; 13.2%), mild (31 dogs; 12.4%), moderate (38 dogs; 15.2%), or pronounced (29 dogs; 11.6%). Moderate or pronounced changes were only seen in older dogs, and progressive changes were identified in some of the re‐examined dogs. Some dogs, free of lenticular changes at early examinations, were affected by PNC at re‐examinations. The odds for finding PNC increased with dog's age up to approximately 8 years. Presumably inherited cataracts other than PNC were found in 53 dogs (21.2%) with cortical (17.6%) and posterior polar (6.4%) locations as the most common ones. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of PNC in the breed reported 20 years ago persists. PNCs are not always visible in young dogs, and the rate of progression varies. The prevalence of other types of cataract is also high, but cataracts rarely cause loss of vision in this breed.