Goniodysplasia is a defect in fluid drainage in the eye characterized by inadequate and very small drainage openings, resulting in a potential obstruction of outflow of eye fluid. It invariably affects both eyes, although the two eyes are not usually affected simultaneously, and often leads to glaucoma. This is presumed to be an inherited, congenital eye deformity of the pectinate ligament, a fibrous band radiating from the base of the iris and inserting into the inner surface of the cornea. Affected breeds include the Basset Hound, Bouvier des Flandres, Samoyed, Great Dane, Siberian Husky, retrievers, Welsh Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, American Cocker and Welsh spaniels.

The strong and significant link among goniodysplasia and glaucoma and the significant heritability of this condition suggests that glaucoma may be heritable in Great Danes. If so, glaucoma can be controlled by breeding only from sires and dams with a minimum degree of goniodysplasia. In case of primary glaucoma, both surgical and medical treatments may be needed. Long term management may include prophylactic treatment of the second eye before any clinical signs of intraocular pressure are present.


  1. Sheila M. Crispin. Notes on Veterinary Ophthalmology
  2. Wood JL, Lakhani KH, Mason IK, Barnett KC. Relationship of the degree of goniodysgenesis and other ocular measurements to glaucoma in Great Danes

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