Novel retinopathy in related Gordon setters: A clinical, behavioral, electrophysiological, and genetic investigation

Kathryn G Koehler, András M. Komáromy, Philip H Kass, Ron Ofri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To conduct ophthalmic, behavioral, electrophysiological, and genetic testing on two related Gordon setters presented for day blindness and compare findings with those of nine related and unrelated Gordon setters. Methods: All dogs underwent comprehensive ophthalmic examination. Maze testing was conducted under different light intensities. Rod and cone function was assessed electroretinographically. DNA samples were screened for five canine retinal disease gene mutations. Results: Ophthalmic examination was unremarkable in all dogs. There was no notable difference between day blind dogs and the reference population in scotopic and mesopic maze tests. Day blind dogs performed worse in the photopic maze with slower course completion time and more obstacle collisions. Electroretinography revealed extinguished cone function in day blind dogs and depressed rod responses in all but two reference dogs. One reference population dog presented with day blindness 1 year after initial examination. Mutations that cause achromatopsia (in CNGB3) and cone-rod dystrophies (in ADAM9 and IQCB1) were not detected in any dog tested, although five reference dogs were carriers of the mutation in C2orf71 that causes rod-cone degeneration 4 (rcd4) in Gordon setters and in polski owczarek nizinny dogs. Conclusions: This report describes a novel retinopathy in related Gordon setters that has clinical signs and vision testing results consistent with achromatopsia but electroretinographic results suggestive of cone-rod dystrophy. The majority of Gordon setters in this study had low rod responses on electroretinography but it is unclear whether this was indicative of rod dysfunction or normal for the breed. Longer-term observation of affected individuals is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - 2015


  • Achromatopsia
  • Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Day blindness
  • Dog
  • Electroretinography
  • Night blindness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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