Glaucoma Research

The University of Missouri is currently conducting a genetic marker study on glaucoma.

“Participation by the owners of affected dogs and their relatives is essential to the success of this project. Researchers need DNA samples from dogs who have been diagnosed with glaucoma or lens luxation, and immediate relatives (all available siblings, parents, grandparents, and offspring if the affected dog has been bred). Clinically normal dogs in these families are as important to sample as the affected dogs. Complete or nearly complete families are critical to the success of this research. Participation in the project is confidential – the names of individual owners or dogs will not be revealed.”

Objectives: “Evaluate the genotype of selected families to search for linkage between DNA markers and diagnosed lens luxation or glaucoma, then use this information to identify the causative mutation or mutations.

Devise a DNA marker test that detects and distinguishes normal and mutant (disease-causing) alleles, and make this test available to dog breeders so that they can produce dogs who will not lose their sight to these diseases.”

“Early identification of these dogs would enable dog owners and their veterinarians to instigate measures to preserve their dogs’ sight and to adjust breeding practices to minimize or eradicate the disease in their breeds.”

Recently, a mutation that causes development of Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) in many breeds of dogs has been identified by a team of researchers led by Drs Gary Johnson & Elizabeth Giuliano at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. A DNA test for this mutation became available in mid-September 2009 through a partnership with OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals).

Owners of dogs that have been diagnosed as affected with lens luxation by an ACVO or ECVO boarded ophthalmologist are eligible to receive a free DNA test if they send a blood sample, pedigree copy, and a copy of the ophthalmologist’s report – click here for the instructions and form to submit samples from affected dogs.

More information can be found on Click on “Glaucoma and Lens Luxation” for project info, and the instructions and forms (in “Sample Submission”) to participate.

For further information, the project coordinator is Liz Hansen (