Glaucoma in Norwegian Elkhounds
A Research Project at the University of Pennsylvania
Glaucoma is an eye disease where fluid backup leads to elevated pressure inside the eye. This high intraocular pressure damages the eye and leads to progressive vision loss. Primary or inherited glaucoma is one of the most common blinding diseases in dogs with well over 40 breeds predisposed. Even though there are several medical and surgical treatment options available to slow the disease, there is no cure, and most affected dogs will go blind. Compared to other dog breeds in North America, the Norwegian Elkhound has one of the highest prevalence of glaucoma. Only a couple of studies have been published over the past 10 years describing the disease in this breed. So far there have been no reports about the mode of inheritance.

Our group at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine focuses on the study of inherited blinding diseases in dogs. We have been successful in identifying several gene mutations that cause retinal disease. We are also working on the development of therapies that may one day help both man and dog. We believe that studying glaucoma in the Norwegian Elkhound could be beneficial to better understand the disease in dogs and people. Our goals are to study glaucoma in the breed, to identify the underlying genetic defect, and to develop a genetic test.

How can you help? If you own a Norwegian Elkhound that suffers from glaucoma, we would like to hear from you! We are interested in copies of medical records as well as pedigrees. We are also interested to hear from you if your dog has not been confirmed to have glaucoma but shows suspicious signs, such as vision loss and cloudy, bulging eyes.  Eye screenings at regional or national shows can be arranged. All collected information will be treated confidentially.

Contact information:

Dr. Andras M. Komaromy
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
3900 Delancey Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010
Telephone: 215-573-2695