Golden retriever cystic uveal disease: a longitudinal study of iridociliary cysts, pigmentary uveitis, and pigmentary/cystic glaucoma over a decade in western Canada

Vet Ophthalmol. 2016 May;19(3):237-44. doi: 10.1111/vop.12293. Epub 2015 Jun 29.


Objectives: To determine the incidence of iridociliary cysts, pigmentary uveitis (PU)/pigmentary cystic glaucoma (PCG) in golden retriever dogs in western Canada, the progression of iridociliary cysts to PU/PCG, and a mode of inheritance for this disorder.

Animal studied: A total of 830 golden retriever dogs from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba from 2004 to 2014 were studied.

Procedure: Data were compiled from Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) records (n = 630) and clinical consultations (n = 200) for a retrospective assessment of iridociliary cysts, PU, and PCG.

Results: Total incidence of iridociliary cysts and PU from CERF/OFA data were 4.8% (n = 30/630) and 5.9% (n = 37/630), respectively. Incidence of PU increased with ages >4 years (12.7%, n = 32/251). Dogs diagnosed with thin-walled, attached iridociliary cysts had a high risk of being diagnosed with PU or PCG upon re-examination (56.5%, n = 13/23). No dogs diagnosed with thick-walled, anterior chamber cysts (n = 7) developed PU or PCG within the time frame of the study. Data from clinical consultations confirmed that PU carried a poor prognosis for the affected eyes as 44.9% (n = 22/49) of dogs progressed to PCG. PU- and PCG-affected dogs followed a familial pattern and there was an association with thin-walled iridociliary cysts. Pedigree analysis suggested an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance with partial penetrance.

Conclusions: Thin-walled iridociliary cysts are associated with PU and PCG. All breeding golden retriever dogs should be examined annually by an ophthalmologist. The incidence of this disorder is higher in western Canada than previous reports in North America.

Keywords: golden retriever dog; iridociliary cyst; pigmentary cystic glaucoma; pigmentary uveitis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Ciliary Body
  • Cysts / epidemiology
  • Cysts / veterinary
  • Disease Progression
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / veterinary*
  • Incidence
  • Iris Diseases / epidemiology
  • Iris Diseases / veterinary*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Uveitis / epidemiology
  • Uveitis / veterinary*