Canine Health Foundation Grant #02105-A

March 30, 2021 / 5 mins read

The following research study is being conducted by the Ophthalmology Service at the University of California, Davis - Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Dr. Sara M. Thomasy DVM, PhD, DACVO is the principle researcher.

Many canine breeds suffer from discomfort due to dry eye and are often are seen by veterinarians for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). However, little is known about the causes of this disease and the current non-specific treatment methods are sometimes ineffective. It has been noted that several canine breeds including West Highland White Terriers are overrepresented with KCS which suggests that the disease may have a heritable basis. This study aims to fully characterize KCS in West Highland White Terriers with various tear film assessments and non-invasive imaging techniques and determine any genome-wide associations for KCS.

We are currently looking for West Highland White Terriers with and without KCS to participate in this study. The participants would receive a detailed ophthalmic examination performed by the UC Davis VMTH Ophthalmology Service at no charge, including digital slit lamp examination, an indirect ophthalmic examination, and tests to assess the tear film. Blood will also be drawn from these patients for use in the genotyping component of this study. Some participants will be selected for non-invasive imaging as well.

Animals that meet the following criteria may be eligible: West Highland White Terriers with KCS (dry eye) of any age and West Highland White Terriers with normal eyes that are greater than 7 years of age.