Congenital nuclear cataracts in a Holstein dairy herd

Stephanie Osinchuk, Lyall Petrie, Marina Leis, Fritz Schumann, Bianca Bauer, Lynne Sandmeyer, Kayla Madder, Fiona Buchanan, Bruce Grahn

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6 Scopus citations


This report describes congenital nuclear cataracts and posterior lenticanus in a closed purebred Holstein dairy herd in Canada. Ophthalmic examinations were completed on 30 male and 249 female cattle aged newborn to 10 years old. Nutritional, infectious, and toxic etiologies were investigated. Necropsies of 3 affected calves were performed and eyes of 2 additional affected calves were examined with light microscopy. Bilateral nuclear cataracts were identified in 53/279 (19%) animals. Additional congenital anomalies observed included posterior lenticonus, iris to lens persistent pupillary membranes (n = 7), and lenticular colobomata {n = 1). Heifers did not give birth to calves with congenital nuclear cataracts (0/105), whereas the incidence of affected calves born to multiparous cows was 31% (53/171). The animals with nuclear cataracts ranged from newborn to 8 years old. The cataracts appeared to be non- or minimally progressive. Light microscopic examination of 10 affected globes confirmed nuclear cataract with posterior lenticonus (n = 10). Pedigree analysis was inconclusive. Polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis for the NIDI gene deletion were negative. The etiology of the congenital lenticular anomalies was not determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Veterinary Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


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