Top Ten Dog Health Guides
Treamtment and Prognosis of Retinal Detachment in Dogs
The goals of treating dogs with detached retinas, from whatever cause, are to resolve the underlying cause of the condition and to restore vision (or preserve remaining vision) to the greatest extent possible.
A dog with acute onset of vision loss of unknown cause should be seen by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Medical and/or surgical options may be available at very early times after the condition becomes evident, but they may no longer be available once the condition becomes chronic. Oral and topical medications, as well as those injected directly into the eye, may be helpful in some cases. Surgical treatments are highly specialized and require the input of a veterinary eye specialist. If the underlying cause is a potentially treatable systemic disorder, such as hypertension, retinal detachment may be reversible with medical management. But even if it is not, most dogs adjust very well to unilateral - and even to bilateral – vision loss.
The prognosis for dogs with detached retinas is highly variable. It depends upon the underlying cause of the condition and its duration, severity and the extent of damage to the dog’s eyes. A dog with localized (focal) retinal detachment – especially if it is present in only one eye – typically has a good prognosis, particularly if the underlying cause can be identified, addressed and prevented from recurring. Unfortunately, dogs with complete detachment of the retina are unlikely to have vision return to the affected eyes.