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Symptoms of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Retinal Detachment

How Retinal Detachment Affects Dogs

Retinal detachment can occur in one or both eyes – in other words, it can be unilateral or bilateral. It can also occur in only a small area of the affected retina (focal detachment), in multiple but separate areas of the retina (multifocal detachment) or across the entire affected retina (complete or total detachment). Focal retinal detachments that affect only small areas usually will not cause clinically detectable vision impairment. On the other hand, total detachment of the entire retina almost always causes blindness in the affected eye.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

The symptoms of retinal detachment are very similar to those of another disorder called retinal degeneration. These symptoms can include one or more of the following, in either or both of a dog’s eyes:

  • Acute onset of blindness
  • Progressive vision loss
  • Night blindness or impaired night vision (nyctalopia)
  • Impaired day vision (hemeralopia)
  • Red eyes
  • Greenish, shiny reflection of the eyes (tapetal reflection in dilated pupils)
  • Enlarged eyes
  • Dilated (enlarged) pupils
  • Asymmetrical pupil size (anisocoria)
  • Ocular discharge (+/- pus)
  • Bleeding (hemorrhage) inside the eyes

Dogs at Increased Risk

Retinal detachment is reported in many domestic dog breeds. It is presumed to be inherited as a recessive genetic trait in many breeds, including the American Cocker Spaniel, Bedlington Terrier, English Springer Spaniel and Miniature Schnauzer. Labrador Retrievers and Samoyeds can develop retinal detachment along with associated skeletal deformities because of what is thought to be incomplete dominant inheritance. Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs are predisposed to retinal detachment in association with collie eye anomaly. Shih Tzus may also be at increased risk of retinal detachment.

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Disorders Similar to Retinal Detachment

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