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Authors: Magdalena Drążek-Kubiak, Marcin Lew and Sylwia Lew

Cone degeneration (cd; day blindness) is one of the inherited retinal diseases of dogs. Its diagnosis is based on vision testing, fundoscopy, electroretinography (ERG) and, for some breeds, on genetic tests. Typical signs of the disease are day blindness and cone dysfunction during ERG while fundoscopy does not show any abnormalities. The aim of this study was to compare behavioural findings, fundoscopic lesions and electroretinographic alterations in 12 cd-affected dogs (Alaskan Malamute, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Dachshund, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Siberian Husky and crossbreeds) examined at our clinic. None of the examined dogs had any fundoscopic lesions, and all of them had normal scotopic vision with strongly impaired or absent photopic vision. Light-adapted transient, cone-mediated and steady-state, 31-Hz cone flicker ERGs were much below the 5th percentile limits of normality or even unrecordable, while the rod-driven ERGs were within normal values. Vision test and ERG results corresponded to each other and, combined with the results of fundoscopy, were typical of cd. To date, our research is one of the few studies in the world presenting ERG alterations compared with vision test findings and fundoscopic results in the course of cd.

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