Congenital Stationary Night Blindness in dogs

This is a degenerative disease of the retina seen in Briards and also in people. This inherited eye disorder principally affects the rod photoreceptors in the retina, impairing night vision. There may also be moderate to high myopia (shortsightedness). Under good lighting conditions, there is usually no visual deficit.

The disorder is diagnosed by electroretinography. Eventually it leads to blindness.

Veterinarians at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine have used gene therapy to restore the vision to affected dogs. While gene therapy is certainly a hope for the future of individual dogs, it is still best to have a CERF exam and use genetic testing to screen breeding dogs to prevent producing puppies with this defect.