Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM)
When the puppy is born, his eyes have a bluish color. This color is derived from embryotic membranes covering the eyes. As the puppy grows, these membranes will break down, and they will normally completely disappear when the puppy is 4- 5 weeks old. But sometimes they persist. When these membranes do not disappear, we call it PPM. The strands can stretch from iris to iris, iris to lens, or cornea to iris, and sometimes they are found in the anterior (front) chamber of the eye. For many dogs, the strands do not cause any problems and generally they break down by 8 weeks of age. If the strands do not break down, they can lead to cataracts or cause corneal opacities. Eye drops prescribed by your veterinarian can help break them down.
• IRIS TO IRIS Sometimes small strands of tissue meant to disappear soon after birth remain attached to the iris. This condition is called persistent pupillary membrane, and your Basenji is more likely to have this condition than other dogs. Fortunately, these tissue bits usually don’t hurt or impede vision.
• IRIS TO LENS These vascular strands come from the iris and go through the pupil space to attach to the lens of the eye, located behind the iris tissue. These strands attach the iris at one end and the lens of the eye at the other end, causing a minor cataract (a clouding of the lens of the eye) which will, in turn, cause a minor vision problem in your dog
• IRIS TO CORNEA Corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition in Basenjis that causes small, white crystal deposits to form in one of the layers of the cornea, the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. There is no known effective medical treatment to remove the deposits. Usually the disease progresses slowly, doesn’t hurt, and causes only minor vision obstruction. In severe cases, surgery may be considered for deposit removal, but there is possibility the crystals may return.
• CATARACTS are a common cause of blindness in older Basenjis. We’ll watch for the lenses of his eyes to become more opaque—meaning they look cloudy instead of clear—when we examine him. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and get along just fine. Surgery to remove cataracts and restore sight may also be an option. Forbidden for breeding.
Test for PPM