Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB)

Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) is an eye (retinal) disorder that causes non-progressive or very slowly progressing loss of night vision.

Key Signs

Vision loss, Night blindness

Age of Onset

0 to 2 yrs

Juvenile onset


Autosomal Recessive

For autosomal recessive disorders, dogs with two copies of the variant are at risk of developing the condition. Dogs with one copy of the variant are considered carriers and are usually not at risk of developing the disorder. However, carriers of some complex variants grouped in this category may be associated with a low risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with one or two copies may pass the disorder-associated variant to their puppies if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

High likelihood

At risk dogs are highly likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with CSNB

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about CSNB

Congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) is a retinal disorder characterized by total vision loss under dark conditions. An affected dog may bump into objects, and be reluctant to move into areas with dim lighting. The vision impairment in daylight varies highly between different individuals. First signs of visual impairment are observable at 5-6 weeks of age. Also the pupils of affected dogs can be larger than normal. 

Although this condition results in gradual vision loss, and eventual night blindness, many dogs adapt remarkably well to vision loss. Although there is no treatment, owners should be advised that the disease development is gradual and their dog may need assistance in unfamiliar surroundings as clinical signs progress.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disease is autosomal recessive meaning that two copies of the mutation are needed for disease signs to develop. A carrier dog with one copy of the CSNB mutation can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the CSNB mutation. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the CSNB mutation. Puppies in a litter which is expected to contain carriers should be tested prior to breeding. Carrier to carrier matings are not advised as the resulting litter may contain affected puppies. Please note: It is possible that disease signs similar to the ones caused by the CSNB mutation could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Gene RPE65
Variant A>T
Chromosome 6
Coordinate Start 76,893,207
Coordinate End 76,893,210

All coordinates reference CanFam3.1

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Aguirre, G. D., Baldwin, V., Pearce-Kelling, S., Narfström, K., Ray, K., & Acland, G. M. (1998). Congenital stationary night blindness in the dog: common mutation in the RPE65 gene indicates founder effect. Molecular Vision. View the article