Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

At the Animal Health Trust our DNA testing service currently offers DNA tests for POAG in three different breeds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Basset Hound and Shar Pei.

The genetic mutations causing this condition in these breeds were discovered by scientists at the Kennel Club genetics centre at the Animal Health Trust. Working closely with this group allows us to bring these tests to breeders as soon as possible after discovery.


What is Primary Open Angle Glaucoma?

gonioscopy at AHTPrimary glaucoma is an inherited condition and is subdivided into two types: open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma.

In both forms, glaucoma results from reduced drainage of fluid within the eye, causing a build-up of pressure. The disease affects many breeds of dog worldwide and thousands dogs in the UK each year. Dogs suffering from Glaucoma will suffer from discomfort and loss of sight

For closed angle glaucoma, a screening technique called gonioscopy can help identify dogs at risk.

There is no clinical test available to screen dogs for primary open angle glaucoma, often referred to as POAG, making it challenging for breeders to control. The onset of clinical signs for this condition can vary between breeds but is approximately between 4-7 years. Due to the age of onset dogs could have been bred from before any signs of this condition appear. This is what makes DNA testing such a useful tool as it can be done from 4 weeks of age.


How to Buy a DNA test?

Our DNA tests can be bought from our web shop by clicking on your breed below

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens

Basset hound 

Shar Pei.

Each of our POAG tests usually cost £48, we are happy to offer a £10 discount on this test by use of the discount code below. This offer is available until the 29th of June.


Enter the code at the checkout to receive your discount

The mutations causing disease is often breed specific; if you cant find a test for your breed on our web shop have a look at this handy guide from the Kennel Club to find out which labs offer the test you need.

Glaucoma research at the Animal Health Trustthree basset hounds

Scientists at the Kennel Club Genetic centre at the Animal Health Trust are researching the genetic causes of this inherited condition in several breeds. To find out more Click Here.

The aim of this research is to discover the genetic mutations responsible for causing glaucoma, enabling a DNA test to be developed for breeders and owners.

The Animal Health Trust’s DNA tests are a non-invasive testing method, samples are collected using cheek swabs. This testing gives the owner peace of mind about both the dog’s eye health and if it is a carrier of the genetic mutation causing Glaucoma.


POAG in these breeds follows an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. This means that a dog must have two copies of the mutation (one from each parent) to suffer with this condition.

Dogs identified as carriers by DNA testing, have one copy of the mutation. This means that they themselves will not suffer from POAG but can pass this on to any offspring. Carriers can only be identified by DNA testing,

If two dogs carrying the genetic mutation causing POAG are mated, approximately 25% of the puppies on average will be affected by this condition. Please see our breeding possibilities  chart for the outcome of different mating’s.

Dogs carrying the genetic mutation causing POAG may still be bred from. If a carrier dog is mated to a dog that is clear of the mutation then none of the puppies will suffer from POAG. Any puppies from such a litter that will be used for breeding should be DNA testing before doing so. For more information on Breeding with carriers, click here.

By using the available DNA tests breeders can avoid producing puppies that will go on to suffer from this painful and blinding condition.

Taking mouth swabs from a Shar Pei