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(Formerly referred to as Pigmentary Glaucoma.)
Awareness of this condition in the United States is a fairly recent thing, as the first known cases were diagnosed in 1984. It is an inherited condition that occurs predominantly in Cairns, although there are some unconfirmed reports of a similar condition in other breeds. The condition generally affects both eyes. Onset of the more obvious changes is between 7 to 12 years of age, which make this a vital time to closely watch each eye for small spots or patches of very dark pigmentation within the sclera (white part of the eye). Visits to the veterinarian when Cairns are this age should include an examination of the anterior chambers of the eyes for pigment deposits as well. The pigment deposits accumulate and decrease the eyes’ ability to drain fluid out of the anterior chamber. This fluid accumulation leads to an increase in pressure in the eye which is known as a secondary glaucoma. If the elevated pressure goes undiagnosed and/or untreated, the dog will not only go blind but also suffer from pain, because an increased pressure in the eye can be very painful. Because of this, it is often required to remove the eye due to pain caused by pressure build up.If caught early, the damage that glaucoma causes can be slowed, and vision maintained longer by use of medications. It is important that all Cairns be checked regularly for the early signs of Ocular Melanosis (pigmented scleral patches and thickened iris roots) especially those dogs who are related to dogs who have or, who are suspected to have, Ocular Melanosis. This is also a condition that is part of the GDC Registry.
If your Cairn is 7-12 years old, or has been diagnosed with Ocular Melanosis and you would like more information on this disease, please contact Dr. Simon Petersen-Jones at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He is collecting blood samples and pedigrees of normal and affected dogs as well as organ donated eyes from all Cairns. Please e-mail Dr. Petersen-Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be contacted through the Comparative Ophthalmology laboratory at MSU by telephone at (517) 353-3278.
OM update 2014
2013 OM Update and DNA Request
Research Reports: [4/2002] [4/2003] [10/2004] [05/2005a] [05/2005b] [08/2005] [11/2005] [1/2006] [1/2007] [Grant 903a] [Grant 1137]
Articles: Ocular melanosis in the Cairn Terrier: clinical description and investigation of mode of inheritance - Veterinary Ophthalmology (2007)
[Cairn Terrier Ocular Melanosis (OM) Eye Donation Registry]
[Ocular Melanosis (Pigmentary Glaucoma)]
[Blood Samples for Ocular Melanosis Research]
[Protocol For Sending Enucleated Eyes For Culture]
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