Hereditary cataracts is an inherited eye disease in dogs. Cataracts are opacities in the lens of the eye caused by structural changes in lens proteins. A normal lens allows light to pass through it to the retina in the back of the eye. Light cannot pass through the parts of the lens affected by cataracts and vision becomes blurry. Dogs with Hereditary cataracts most commonly present within a few weeks to months after birth with small cataracts that are visible on a veterinary eye exam. Cataracts from this disease will eventually affect the whole lens in both eyes leading to complete blindness between 2-3 years of age. Of note, not all forms of cataracts are inherited and environmental factors such as UV damage can also play a role in the severity of disease.
- Barnett KC. Hereditary cataract in the dog. J Small Anim Pract. 1978 Feb;19(2):109-20. [PubMed: 642468]
- Mellersh CS, Graves KT, McLaughlin B, Ennis RB, Pettitt L, Vaudin M, Barnett KC. Mutation in HSF4 associated with early but not late-onset hereditary cataract in the Boston Terrier. J Hered. 2007;98(5):531-3. [PubMed: 17611257]
- Mellersh CS, Pettitt L, Forman OP, Vaudin M, Barnett KC. Identification of mutations in HSF4 in dogs of three different breeds with hereditary cataracts. Vet Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep-Oct; 9(5):369-78. [PubMed: 16939467]