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Juvenile Cataract (Discovered in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon)

Juvenile Cataracts is an inherited condition in which the lens of the eye progressively becomes cloudy, leading to a decline in vision. In the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, this condition can be seen in puppies as young as 8 weeks old.

Found in

1 in 100,000 dogs

in our testing

Key Signs

Lens opacities, Vision impairment, Walking imbalance, Clumsiness

Age of Onset

0 to 2 yrs

Juvenile onset

Inheritance

Autosomal Recessive

For autosomal recessive disorders, dogs with two copies of the variant are at risk of developing the condition. Dogs with one copy of the variant are considered carriers and are usually not at risk of developing the disorder. However, carriers of some complex variants grouped in this category may be associated with a low risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with one or two copies may pass the disorder-associated variant to their puppies if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

High likelihood

At risk dogs are highly likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with Juvenile Cataract

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about Juvenile Cataract

Cataracts are one of the most common ocular conditions and top causes of blindness in the dog. Juvenile Cataract, discovered in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, is an inherited congenital condition that is typically diagnosed within the first year of life. Initial clinical signs in affected dogs may include body imbalance and inability to follow littermates. The puppies may also be reportedly clumsy and bump into objects. Some affected puppies may demonstrate signs of discomfort, such as squinting or pawing at the eyes. Physical exam findings will be consistent with lens opacities forming from a young age. Due to the progressive nature of the condition, vision impairment and blindness can occur.

Phacoemulsification, or cataract surgery, can be performed in dogs. However, some cases of Juvenile Cataracts may progress slowly, and suitability for the procedure should be assessed on an individual case basis. Although this condition results in progressive vision loss and potential blindness, many dogs adapt remarkably well. Owners should be advised their dog may need assistance in unfamiliar surroundings as cataract formation progresses. Owners may find that it is helpful to keep the dog's main environment as stable as possible (avoid moving furniture, etc.) to help them navigate as vision worsens. Precautions to protect the dog from threats they cannot visually detect (such as moving vehicles, stairs, inground pools, etc.) should also be taken.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disorder is autosomal recessive, meaning two copies of the variant are needed for a dog to be at an elevated risk for being diagnosed with the condition. A carrier dog with one copy of the Juvenile Cataract (Discovered in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) variant can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the Juvenile Cataract (Discovered in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) variant. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the variant. Furthermore, a dog with two copies of the Juvenile Cataract (Discovered in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) variant can be safely bred with a clear dog. The resulting puppies will all be carriers. Puppies in a litter which is expected to contain carriers should be tested prior to breeding. Carrier to carrier matings are not advised as the resulting litter may contain affected puppies. Please note: It is possible that disorder signs similar to the ones associated with this Juvenile Cataract variant could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Gene FYCO1
Variant Deletion
Chromosome 20
Coordinate 42,546,598

All coordinates reference CanFam3.1

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Rudd Garces, G., Christen, M., Loechel, R., Jagannathan, V., Leeb, T. (2022). FYCO1 frameshift deletion in Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs with juvenile cataract. Genes (Basel), 13(2), 334. View the article