Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
31 Veterinary Answers

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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What is Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye?

Your pet’s eye health is something that is pretty vital to their existence. Hyphema is one disorder that can occur. Hyphema is a visible bleeding of the eye from either a trauma or secondary disease. It can stem from major issues such as glaucoma, retinal separation, tumors, and more. While it sounds serious, and it can be, it is usually treatable.

Canine retinal bleeding or, hyphema, is a breakdown of the blood-ocular barrier and subsequent inflammation of the anterior chamber. It is a hemorrhage in the eye due to blunt trauma, secondary disease, or retinal detachment. For most, it is painful.

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Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $150 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

The symptoms of hyphema, as mentioned above, are visible. They can develop gradually or suddenly, depending on the cause. Some of the symptoms you should be watching for as a pet owner are:

  • Small blood clots in the front of the eye
  • Blood filling the entire front of the eye
  • Multiple layers of unclotted hemorrhage
  • Expressions of pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rubbing of the face

These symptoms should never be ignored, and if displayed, you should take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Left untreated, your pet could face impaired vision or permanent blindness.

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Causes of Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

There are many causes of hyphema in dogs, although most are unfortunately very serious. The most common causes of hyphema are:

  • Blunt trauma to the head
  • Anterior Uveitis - this is the inflammation of the iris and ciliary body

  • Intraocular Tumors
  • Congenital and/or heritable conditions
  • Retinal separation

While obviously you cannot guarantee breeding out conditions like this, if you are a pet breeder, you should always try and breed dogs that do not have a history of this condition. Some of the most common breeds that can develop hyphema are Rough Collies, Labradors, and Boxers.

Hyphema that shows up suddenly can be a symptom of an underlying disorder that has not been diagnosed yet, or, of course, trauma. Reoccurring hyphema is a symptom of an ocular disorder that will require further treatment.

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Diagnosis of Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

If you notice any of the pre-mentioned symptoms, it is important that you take your pet to their veterinarian as soon as possible. Until then, try and monitor your pet’s behavior. Keep them out of direct light and keep their face clean. 

Once you are able to see a veterinarian, they will perform a complete physical exam as well as ocular tests such as:

  • Schirmer tear testing
  • Fluorescein staining
  • Tonometry
  • Ocular ultrasound
  • Blood pressure tests

These tests will determine if the hyphema is caused due to trauma, glaucoma, tumors, or anything else. Most likely, the tests will be performed at a veterinary ophthalmology specialist clinic. These tests will also determine which is the best treatment for your pet.

The vet will do a full examination of their body to make sure that the blood clots have not formed in other places as well. Blood clots anywhere else in the body can be fatal. If there has been a trauma, they will perform x-rays to check the skull and any other injured areas.

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Treatment of Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

Unfortunately, there are no direct drugs that can treat hyphema. However, the veterinarian may prescribe an intracameral tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). This is a drug that breaks up the blood clots in your pet’s eyes and helps them slowly heal. They may also prescribe topical corticosteroids and antibiotics, which are drops that will help reduce inflammation and infection. The vet will most likely prescribe pain relief to help with any discomfort your pet may have.

Once the hemorrhage has been treated, specialists can then treat the underlying issue if there is any. A surgery may be needed in the case of e.g. retinal detachment.

Death is rare from hyphema but if left untreated, blindness and eye loss is a very real possibility. For older pets or pets that have reoccurring hyphema, it is more likely they will go blind or have to have an eye removed to cease infections.

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Recovery of Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye in Dogs

Uncomplicated hyphema should be treated and completely healed within 1-3 weeks. With a more serious case, such as one due to tumors, it could take much longer. The underlying disease must be treated in order for the hyphema to cease. Your pet may have to be hospitalized for a while to be monitored.

Your pet will most likely have to go in for regular ocular examinations to monitor the healing of glaucoma or tumors and to have their intra-ocular pressure (IOP) measured to make sure that it is not at a level that risks another hemorrhage.

Once your pet is allowed home, they will be restricted to cage rest and minimal exercise until their IOP levels are stabilized and there is no more threat of hemorrhage. To protect their eyes further, you should monitor them closely and possibly purchase an Elizabethan collar to keep them from touching their face.

Of course, for pets who have had surgery or damage from the hemorrhage, you should monitor and limit their experiences outside for a while. Direct sunlight can be very painful for your pet, and if they rub their face on the ground, it can cause infection or re-opening of wounds.

Hyphema is a serious condition that must be treated as such. While your pet may have to make some short-term sacrifices, treatment is possible. Timing is everything when it comes to hyphema, so be aware of the signs and keep your pet’s eyes healthy.

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Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $150 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

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Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Ask a Vet

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staffor

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1 Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding Out Eyes

My two dogs got in a fight and the one had blood coming out both eyes but not because a cut it was from in side

Jan. 10, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

Hello, you are through to Dr. Linda. That is very concerning. Dogs can cause significant damage to each other and oftentimes the damage is worse under the surface (this is called the 'tip of the iceberg' effect). Your dog needs to be examined by a vet ASAP. They almost certainly will benefit from anti inflammatories, pain relief and antibiotics.

Jan. 10, 2021

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Thirteen Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Bleeding

Recently noticed that our dog’s left eye had dried blood around the perimeter. Unsure if The blood was caused by an injury or potential popping off blood vessel around the eye

Dec. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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4 Recommendations

It looks like he may have scratched the issues around his eye causing it to bleed. If he can see and otherwise acting normal this may be able to wait until your vet opens back up tomorrow. If he cannot see he would need to be seen right away to save his eye sight

Dec. 25, 2020

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Bleeding of the Retina in the Eye Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $150 - $2,000

Average Cost

$500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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