Freya Mowat, CVM assistant professor of ophthalmology, performs an eye exam on a red wolf. Photo: NC State Veterinary Medicine

A recent project, at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, aims to achieve a vital impact on the survival rate of one of the most critically endangered wolf species – the American Red Wolf.
Reports say that there are only 40 wolfs in total living in the wild, and all 40 are in the state of North Carolina.

Freya Mowat, CVM assistant professor of ophthalmology, is the principal investigator on this project. She received a grant to successfully develop a genetic screening test that is supposed to help to eliminate an inherited blindness that occurs in this species.
Dr. Mowat is an expert in the field, especially on inherited retinal diseases in canids. Canids are a group of mammals that include dogs, wolfs and foxes.

Dr. Mowat’s laboratory already came to the discovery that this disease in the red wolfs is hereditary, that mostly affects males and that the blindness comes when they are age 5 to 7 years old.

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