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sanford

Ocular Melanosis

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sanford

I read Bradl's report about CRCTC clinic for ocular melanosis screening in Oregon. I'm not aware of any such screening being done in my area. Is this something my vet can screen for or does it require some special equipment, lab or diagnostics?

P.S. Just curious... Given the large turnout at the clinic, were any cairns found to have OC? (I hope not)!

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bradl
Posted (edited)

My understanding is that it is somewhat difficult to detect in early stages in a normal screening but opthamologists with experience and specialized education about the disease can do it. Board certified veterinary ophthalmologists are more likely to have that knowledge. The exam does use a couple pieces of portable equipment but I have no idea if general vets have it. I would encourage anyone to have their vet contact Dr Petersen-Jones at Michigan State for recommendations.

The Foundation of the CTCA supports screenings with reimbursements to clubs hosting clinics so I'd also recommend checking with the regional Cairn clubs to see when/if they offer clinics. 

OM has been found at our clinics in the past. For privacy reasons it's up to the owner whether or not to disclose their own results although the dr can and usually does provide a high-level summary of findings. 

Dry eye and other conditions are also found. Progression of age related cataracts are mapped (we always bring previous exam maps to compare) and the dr can also for example provide insight as to whether developing cataracts are age related or if they may have a genetic basis. 

Dundee at 8 is aces 🕶 while Stella at 13 should not be allowed to drive :P due to diminished vision and age-related cataracts.

Here's Dr Scherlie pretending to look at our beloved Haggis. The photo was for promotional purposes as the real exam is done in pitch dark with the dog's eyes dilated. 😎

gallery_6_18_528100.jpg

Edited by bradl
added Haggis :)

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dog person

My cairn is going to be checked for ocular melanosis in the near future.   

Veterinary ophthalmologist that is treating my other dog said it was necessary.  The regular vet can't do it.   

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dog person

Update:

Just spoke to my regular vet and he assured me that he can check my cairn for ocular melanosis when he comes in for his routine annual.

 

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sanford
Posted (edited)

Ruffy had a checkup with vet last week and I asked Her to check him for ocular melanosis. She said she could not, but examined his eyes very closely to determine that all else was well.

As a side note, I'll add that she was not aware of the degree of frequency of this condition in cairn terriers. This Illustrated the problem that has been mentioned on this site many times... Many vets, groomers, trainers, etc., have never encountered a cairn and have no practical experience with the breed, which can sometimes put us at a disadvantage for proper professional care.

I use the Humane Society of NYC for Rufy's vet care. To their credit, they have an excellent reputation in this regard and they also have vast experience - unlike most local vets who might see and treat hundreds of dogs, the Humane Society treats thousands, so I would have expected her to have known about this issue. She advised me to have Ruffy see a specialist.

Edited by sanford

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bradl

One of the exam issues is that OM is a late-onset disease. The earliest stages may be difficult for the non-specialist to identify.  

Quote

 I would encourage anyone to have their vet contact Dr Petersen-Jones at Michigan State for recommendations.

 

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dog person
Posted (edited)

Of course,  the exam done by the ophthalmologist would be the most accurate way to screen for ocular melanosis.

However, my vet is aware of the condition in cairns and assured me he could spot ocular melanosis in the early stages. 

He told me it is a form of glaucoma.  And he would see certain anomalies during a routine exam and refer me to the ophthalmologist if he had any concerns.

Specialists are very expensive, so I choose to believe him for now.     Maybe it depends on the vet?  

PS: The ophthalmologist told me that cairns tend to get ocular melanosis  between ages 5-11.

He said once they are over 11, he is not as concerned that they will get it.

Edited by dog person

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bellanorte

My cairn is nearly 13 and just developed secondary glaucoma in his right eye related to ocular melanosis.  The vet was not "up" on this disease, but I mentioned this hereditary disease to her, and to her credit, she researched it, and then confirmed he had the disease.  Sammy is my 2nd cairn, my first one lived 14 years and he never got it, so I was totally unaware of its existence.  By the time it was diagnosed the secondary glaucoma was very painful to him so I opted to have his eye removed.  I am pleased to report he is doing great without and seems to be pain free.  I am just hoping that he does not develop glaucoma in his other eye as a result of this.  Our plan is to check the pressures in his remaining eye every few months.  

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dog person
Posted (edited)

@  bellanorte

Is your dog now being treated by an ophthalmologist?    Or is the regular vet going to  be checking eye pressures?

I know I will need to get my 5 year old cairn checked soon.    I'm waiting for my other dog to be through with the frequent rechecks.    I will go to a different ophthalmologist as I am not comfortable with  the one we are seeing.

The cataract surgery appears to be a success,  however, it was at great expense and it was a lot for both of us to go through.

I don't think I would ever put another dog through it.

Edited by dog person

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bellanorte

The regular vet.  I have been going to this clinic for 30 years and they have always taken very good care of my dogs.   The surgery was rough on him for sure but it was obvious after a few days that he no longer was feeling so painful.....he had a lot of the old cairn bounce back in his step.   

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dog person
Posted (edited)

Thanks for your response.   My small dog had an eye removed also, but that was nothing compared to the cataract surgery on the other eye.   I also trust my regular vet and will talk to him about how we should proceed.

It's been quite the month or two!     

Edvard-Munch-The-Scream.jpg

Edited by dog person

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dog person

Just spoke to someone at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Ophthalmology and they said they felt my regular vet could detect anomalies during a routine eye exam and that he could then refer me to an ophthalmologist if need be (re: signs of ocular melanosis)

Sounds good to me!

 

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pkcrossley

great, always a relief to be able to handle things locally. 

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