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A new study has found that a change in genetic code is linked to sudden blindness known as goniodysgenesis ( or ‘gonio’) in Border Collies.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies identified a mutation in the gene called 0LFML3.  This is a gene involved in the development of the eyeball.  The team found this mutation having compared the DNA in dog salvia from those with healthy eyes and those with symptoms of severe gonio.

It has long been suspected that sudden blindness was an inheritable condition when cases were first reported in Border Collies during the 1990s.  The findings from this study, published in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, led researchers to develop a new genetic test for gonio. 

This is great news for improved dog health and welfare as such a test could help breeders avoid producing puppies with this condition in the future.


Carys A. Pugh et al. (2019) ‘Arginine to Glutamine Variant in Olfactomedin Like 3 (OLFML3) Is a Candidate for Severe Goniodysgenesis and Glaucoma in the Border Collie Dog Breed.’ G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. DOI: 10.1534/g3.118.200944

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