Survey of inherited eye diseases in labrador retriever breed in Slovakia


The objective of the survey was to detect variety and prevalence of eye diseases considered to be hereditary in Labrador Retrievers in the population of dogs of that breed in the Slovak Republic (Slovakia).


Labrador Retrievers included in breeding were examined for hereditary eye diseases in the years 2006-2009. The examinations were performed in accordance with ophthalmological protocol set by the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO). Dogs were examined using direct and indirect ophthalmoscopes and slit-lamp biomicroscopy before, as well as after induction of mydriasis. The prevalence of inherited eye diseases and their features were defined.


75 Labrador Retrievers were examined. 29 were male and 46 female dogs (gender ratio = 1:1.6). The age range of examined dogs was from 1 year to 7 years, with mean age 2.26 (±1.413) years. Eye diseases considered as hereditary were found in 10 dogs (13.33% prevalence). Five Labrador Retrievers suffered from hereditary cataract (HC). In all cases there was bilateral posterior polar subcapsular cataract. The opacities of the lences varied from triangular to inverted Y, or circular shape. The minimum age of dogs affected with cataract was 1.5 years, the maximum age was 6 years. The mean age was 2.9 years and mode of the age was 2 years. Prevalence of HC in examined Labrador Retrievers was 6.67%. Another three Labrador Retrievers were affected with bilateral multifocal retinal dysplasia(RD), and two Labrador Retrievers (father and daughter) had unilateral geographic form of RD. The minimum age of dogs affected with RD was 1 year and maximum age was 3 years. Mean age was 1.5 years, and mode of the age was 1 year. The prevalence of inherited RD was 6.67%. None of examined Labrador Retrievers was positive for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).


In recent years, Labrador Retrievers became very popular in Slovakia, and their breeding grew up. Although checking for hereditary eye diseases is not obligatory for Labrador Retrievers bred in Slovakia, many of the breeders demand eye examination. Hereditary eye diseases findings of the survey revealed benefit of eventual commitment of ophthalmoscopic checking.