Most conditions in ophthalmology have a strong connection to genetics. Often a diagnosis can be made by knowing only the
breed, age, and presenting complaint. There are some conditions that are common to one breed but rarely if ever seen in another.
This review will list the most notable genetic conditions for each region of the eye.
Inversion of the eyelid margin such that the eyelid cilia contact the cornea causing irritation.
Chow Chow, Shar Pei, Cocker Spaniel, Retrievers, Poodles
Eversion of the eyelid such that the margin does not contact the cornea. Giant breeds.
St. Bernard, Bloodhound, Great Dane, Newfoundland, Bull Mastiff
Cilia emerging from the Meibomian gland duct openings. Often fine hairs that cause no clinical problems
Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Dachshund, Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier
Normal eyelid cilia that are deviated abnormally toward the cornea
Cocker Spaniel, Shi Tzu, Japanese Chin
Globe and surrounding tissues
Globe of an abnormally small size. Often they are still visual, but may be associated with other congenital anomalies.
Australian Shepherd, Collie, Miniature Schnauzer, Shetland Sheepdog
Ectopic patch of haired skin growing on the cornea or conjunctiva. Although it looks unusual, it poses no health risk, is
non-progressive, and is easily treatable with surgery.
Dachshunds, Doberman Pincer, Dalmatian, St. Bernard, German Shepherd
Prolapse of the third eyelid gland due to abnormal connective tissue attachments. Non-painful and can lead to dry eye if
the gland is not replaced.
Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Neapolitan Mastiff
Cornea and sclera
White cholesterol or calcium deposits in the cornea. Typically cause no pain or vision loss. Treatment is usually not needed.
Siberian Husky, Shetland Sheepdog, Beagle, Collie, Cavalier King Charles
Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy:
Progressive blue corneal edema resulting from loss of corneal endothelial cells. The corneas appear blue, but there is no
pain and vision is unaffected except for severe cases.
Boston Terrier, Longhaired Dachshund, Chihuahua, Chow Chow
Normal globe size but abnormally small cornea.
Australian Shepherd, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature and Toy Poodle, St. Bernard
Condition affecting the ability of corneal epithelial cells to attach to the underlying stroma. Typically occur spontaneously
and rarely seen in dogs less than 7 years of age.
Boxer, Retrievers, Samoyed, Poodles
Autoimmune condition involving abnormal vascularization and pigmentation of the cornea.
German Shepherd, Greyhound, Australian Shepherd, Cattle Dogs, Siberian Husky