Corneal Dystrophy- knowledge & experience?
Remi was recently diagnosed with corneal dystrophy by the ophthalmology specialist at the vet school here. He informed me that it can be either inherited in certain breeds, or be a side effect of endocrine problems- likely pacreatic, as it's the buildup of lipid crystals within the outer layer of the cornea. I'm waiting to get his blood test back, but it seems he's got the inherited variety, as he's showing no other symptoms of illness. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, my question- does anyone have experience with this disorder? As a heritable disease, do people on here who breed know to look for it, and how would you factor it into your breeding decisions?
People with experience- how far did it progress? Did it occur bilaterally or unilaterally? Was there any impairment of vision?
Any thoughts or comments apppreciated!
Side question- Have you ever been to a teaching vet hospital? They're frequently referral based for emergency cases or specialists, or difficult diagnostic work. I was super impressed by all the students working there, and the specialist was very talented. Hopefully someday soon I'll be there!
- KirstenLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
First off I'd talk to the breeder. If she doesn't already know about the problem she should be told. If she did know about the problem and didn't warn you it was a possibility, then obviously she's not a good breeder.
I haven't dealt with this particular issue. However, I do breed and do screen for genetic disease. What you screen for is breed dependent. Some breeds are at a higher risk for some conditions than others, and some conditions exist only in specific breeds. Some things cannot be tested for and for those you need to keep careful records and keep in contact with the people with whom you place the pups. The owner should report back to the breeder any health issues. If she starts to see a pattern, she should adjust her breeding accordingly, even if it means shutting down a branch of her line to remove the problem. On the breeder's side, she should try to keep in contact with all her puppy's owners and monitor how they do throughout their lives.
We have a local teaching hospital. I find it to be a mixed bag. While they do have some technology not available to most general practice vets, they also have a tendency, I've found, to do more testing and more procedures than are strictly necessary. I've learned when using the vet school to always ask how they expect a given procedure to affect my animal's treatment or prognosis. If it's not going to change the recommended treatment and isn't going to tell me if my pet will live or die, then I don't need to know the answer and I don't need to put my pet through the discomfort and anxiety of additional testing. For example, we took in a cat with hepatic lipidosis. They wanted to know what caused it even though that wouldn't change the outcome or treatment, and we were instructed on how to prevent it in the future. We just wanted the cat better and back home where she was happy. She lived another 15 or so years after that, to the ripe old age of 19, all without that extra series of tests. But yes, it is amazing what they can do, and they have saved more than one of my pets in an emergency.