Question by Help for Roamer: What are any and all causes for canine blindness?
Roamy was diagnosed with acute blindness in Oct 06. Teams of Ophthalmologists, Neurologists, and Internalists have examined her. Extensive blood work, an MRI, and CSF Analysis have been performed. The MRI revealed lesions (or possibly fluid-filled cysts) in her brain. The Specialists have assured me the lesions have nothing to do with her blindness.
I am making a list of every reason for canine blindness so I can compare it against tests already conducted. She is 8 years old – spayed female – mixed breed – 118 lbs (most of which has been gained in the last 3 months while on Prednisone). Her condition first presented in Sep 06 as clear nasal/eye discharge and shuddering through the shoulders with lethargy. She started having Grand Mal seizures immediately after administration of L-Thyroxine. We stopped the med and she is now on Kbr/Valium and has been seizure-free since 19 Dec 06. If anyone out there can help please contact me. Thank you so much for your time.
Answer by Harley_Rida
CAUSES OF BLINDNESS & VISION LOSS
There are numerous causes of ocular problems and blindness in dogs. Some of the causes are congenital while others are non hereditary in nature. Some of the more common and serious canine eye disorders are:
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a disease which results in an increase in the fluid pressure within the eye. It is painful and can result in permanent blindness. This disease can be genetically inherited (primary glaucoma) or it can be the result of injury, of functional diseases, of cancer or of infections of a bacterial, viral or even fungal nature (secondary glaucoma.)
Cataracts: As with glaucoma, cataracts can be genetically inherited or caused by disease, infections or injury. A normally transparent lens becomes opaque preventing light from reaching the retina.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy & Progressive Retinal Degeneration: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and progressive retinal degeneration (PRD) are inherited diseases which cause the cells of the retina to deteriorate. Although this disease is not painful, both eyes are affected.
Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome: As with PRA and PRD, suddenly acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) involves the deterioration of cells in the retina, affects both eyes and is not painful. However, dogs with SARDS go blind very quickly, virtually overnight. Caroline Levin, author of the book Living With Blind Dogs, says that dogs who go blind from SARDS may require more understanding, assistance and time to adjust. “For dogs, the sudden onset can cause depression, aggression and dependency to a greater degree than is seen in cases of gradual blindness. Even more apparent to the dog owner is the fact that the dog has had no time to adjust or build a mental map of his environment. Dogs that lose vision slowly start building a mental map of their home environment. A dog that becomes blind suddenly will eventually do this too, but the process typically takes several months.”
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