Age-associated changes in electroretinography measures in companion dogs.

PubMed ID: 37302110

Author(s): Salzman MM, Merten N, Panek WK, Fefer G, Mondino A, Westermeyer HD, Gruen ME, Olby NJ, Mowat FM. Age-associated changes in electroretinography measures in companion dogs. Doc Ophthalmol. 2023 Aug;147(1):15-28. doi: 10.1007/s10633-023-09938-7. Epub 2023 Jun 11. PMID 37302110

Journal: Documenta Ophthalmologica. Advances In Ophthalmology, Volume 147, Issue 1, Aug 2023

PURPOSE To determine the association between age and retinal full-field electroretinographic (ERG) measures in companion (pet) dogs, an important translational model species for human neurologic aging.

METHODS Healthy adult dogs with no significant ophthalmic abnormalities were included. Unilateral full-field light- and dark-adapted electroretinography was performed using a handheld device, with mydriasis and topical anaesthesia. Partial least squares effect screening analysis was performed to determine the effect of age, sex, body weight and use of anxiolytic medication on log-transformed ERG peak times and amplitudes; age and anxiolytic usage had significant effects on multiple ERG outcomes. Mixed model analysis was performed on data from dogs not receiving anxiolytic medications.

RESULTS In dogs not receiving anxiolytics, median age was 118 months (interquartile range 72-140 months, n = 77, 44 purebred, 33 mixed breed dogs). Age was significantly associated with prolonged peak times of a-waves (dark-adapted 3 and 10 cds/m2 flash p < 0.0001) and b-waves (cone flicker p = 0.03, dark-adapted 0.01 cds/m2 flash p = 0.001). Age was also significantly associated with reduced amplitudes of a-waves (dark-adapted 3 cds/m2 flash p < 0.0001, 10 cds/m2 flash p = 0.005) and b-waves (light-adapted 3 cds/m2 flash p < 0.0001, dark-adapted 0.01 cds/m2 flash p = 0.0004, 3 cds/m2 flash p < 0.0001, 10 cds/m2 flash p = 0.007) and flicker (light-adapted 30 Hz 3 cds/m2 p = 0.0004). Within the Golden Retriever breed, these trends were matched in a cross-sectional analysis of 6 individuals that received no anxiolytic medication.

CONCLUSIONS Aged companion dogs have slower and reduced amplitude responses in both rod- and cone-mediated ERG. Consideration of anxiolytic medication use should be made when conducting ERG studies in dogs.

© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.