Can Detached Retinas in Dogs Be Repaired?

by Naomi Millburn
    Retinal detachments are particularly common in shih tzus.

    Retinal detachments are particularly common in shih tzus.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    If something just doesn't seem right with your dog's eyesight, but you can't seem to guess what it could be, the possibilities are practically endless. Retinal detachment, for one, could be the trigger of your pooch's vision woes. Poor eyesight occasionally signifies the emergence of this disorder.

    About Retinal Detachment

    Retinas describe the membranes that are situated behind the eyes. They serve the key function of gathering light impulses that are promptly sent to the canine brain via optic nerves. Once these impulses arrive in the brain, they're translated as sight. Retinal detachment entails, simply put, these membranes breaking free from their typical locations behind the eyes, which stops them from working properly and therefore brings upon serious vision issues, namely loss of it.

    Possible Triggers

    Many different triggers are potentially at fault for retinal detachment in the canine world. It's an inherited condition for some dogs. In other dogs, it comes about as a result of another medical condition, whether inflammatory disorders, infections, hypertension or cancer. Some pooches experience the detachment in two eyes, and others, in merely one. Retinal detachment affects not only canines, but also felines.

    Common Symptoms

    Indications of retinal detachment in dogs are usually stronger in dogs who experience it in two eyes. If your dog is exhibiting signs of reduced or absent vision, it likely will be clear to you, whether he's constantly running into things in your home or doesn't seem to be aware that you're in the room with him. Other telling hints of retinal detachment in dogs are excessive blinking, eye redness, unusually luminous pupils, nervousness and confusion. Dogs occasionally even show behavioral shifts from retinal detachment, like sudden house soiling issues.

    Veterinary Care

    All eye issues in dogs call for immediate veterinary care, as they often intensify if they don't receive timely attention. As soon as you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, it's time to call the vet. If your pooch indeed has a detached retina or two, the vet can decide how to handle it by considering both the trigger and intensity of the problem. Surgery is a common management option for dogs with the ailment. The goal of the procedure is to put the retina back into its correct spot, and, in turn, to improve vision or halt blindness. These surgeries are often successful at getting the retinas back into position and restoring eyesight, but a lot of potential factors come into play. Management of confirmed triggers can be helpful, for one. Dogs who have retinal attachment in single eyes also have better chances of getting things "repaired." Remember that all instances of retinal detachment are different. While surgery might be beneficial for one dog's vision and putting the retina into its proper place, it might not do as much for another pooch.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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