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Breed-specific chorioretinopathy in Borzoi dogs
Breed-related eye diseases remain a serious problem for both breeders and owners - and of course for the affected dogs. Lots of important research needs to be done, like this very interesting large study in more than 100 Borzoi dogs in western Canada. The results are very interesting, showing that the mode of inheritance is rather difficult and that there are also important acquiring factors.

The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of Borzoi chorioretinopathy in western Canada, characterize lesions with fluorescein angiography, determine if lesions were progressive, clarify the association of progressive retinal atrophy and investigate the etiology.

Serial ophthalmic examination, fundus photography, electroretinography, and fluorescein angiography were used to evaluate Borzoi dogs with lesions of Borzoi chorioretinopathy. Pedigree analysis and test breeding of two affected dogs were completed to determine the heritability of Borzoi chorioretinopathy.

Results: One hundred three Borzoi dogs were examined between 1998 and 2003.

Focal, peripheral, tapetal, hyper-reflective and pigmented areas consistent with focal retinal degeneration and RPE pigmentation were identified in 12 dogs between 7 months and 7 years of age. Seven males and five female dogs were affected.

Ophthalmoscopy and fundus photography over 5 years revealed individual lesions that did not progress or coalesce in 12 affected dogs.

Electroretinography of affected and normal Borzoi dogs confirmed that retinal function was similar in normal and affected dogs up to 7 years of age.

Fluorescein angiography was performed in three affected dogs and confirmed intact blood–ocular barriers, focal retinal pigment epithelium hypertrophy, and focal absence of choroiocapillaris corresponding to chronic, focal lesions.

Pedigree analysis precluded simple dominant, X-linked dominant, or X-linked recessive inheritance.

One male dog from the test-bred litter developed bilateral lesions at 14 months of age. Simple recessive, polygenetic, and acquired etiologies of these lesions cannot be ruled out at this time.

Conclusions: Borzoi chorioretinopathy is an acquired condition that initially manifests as focal retinal edema and loss of choriocapillaris and tapetum.

With time the retina degenerates becoming hyper-reflective and with RPE hyper-pigmentation and clumping within the borders of the tapetal lesions.

Choriocapillaris remains hypofluorescent on fluorescein angiography. Progressive retinal atrophy was excluded as an etiology of multifocal chorioretinopathy in Borzois dogs.

This condition is not inherited by simple autosomal dominant or sex-linked modes of inheritance.



Source: Storey, Eric S., Grahn, Bruce H. & Alcorn, Jane (2005): Multifocal chorioretinal lesions in Borzoi dogs. In: Veterinary Ophthalmology 8 (5), 337-347.





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