What is Blind Quiet Eye?
Though there are no obvious symptoms of the blind quiet eye, dogs affected by the condition display some unusual behaviors, which usually prompts the owner to seek veterinary advice. There are several causes of the condition and the treatment outcome depends on the underlying health problem.
All breeds, ages, and genders are prone to the condition, with old dogs being the most vulnerable group. Dogs that suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or genetic problems are also at a high risk of developing the blind quiet eye.
The condition is not painful and despite the fact that vision cannot be recovered in the majority of cases, most blind dogs can lead happy, fulfilling lives.
Blind quiet eye in dogs is a condition characterized by the loss of vision in either one or both eyes without any external symptoms of eye inflammation or ocular vascular injection.
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Symptoms of Blind Quiet Eye in Dogs
Not all dogs exhibit the same signs of the condition, as the symptoms that manifest themselves are connected with the underlying cause. However, affected dogs usually show one or more of the following signs:
- The dog has a problem moving around the house, tripping over furniture and household items, bumping into things and frequently falling both indoors and outdoors.
- Unwillingness to run, jump and even move.
- Unresponsive to movements, i.e., when you move your hand toward the dog’s eye, they don’t react.
- The inability to find their way around the house or yard during the night.
Causes of Blind Quiet Eye in Dogs
- The inability of the lens to focus
- Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome
- Progressive deterioration of the back of the eye (progressive retinal atrophy)
- Retinal detachment
- Ivermectin poisoning
- Lead poisoning
- Inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis)
- Trauma to the eye
- Underdevelopment of the optic nerve (optic nerve hypoplasia)
- Central nervous system blindness (amaurosis)
Diagnosis of Blind Quiet Eye in Dogs
Due to the fact that there are many underlying conditions that cause the blind quiet eye in dogs, the veterinarian has to perform a number of tests to rule out various health problems and determine what caused the condition.
Your veterinarian will start with a thorough physical examination of your pet. She will then order a number of tests to eliminate systemic illness. These tests include complete blood count, biochemistry profile and urinalysis. The results of the test are normal in most cases unless an illness affecting the entire body is responsible for the condition.
Your veterinarian may perform other laboratory tests if they suspect that poisoning or infections caused the blind quiet eye.
The next step is to perform an ophthalmic examination with a penlight. This may reveal conditions such as cataracts and retinal detachment (it is usually confirmed if the dog has high blood pressure). Ophthalmoscopy, on the other hand, may lead to the diagnosis of the optic nerve hypoplasia. If the test shows no abnormalities, your veterinarian will most likely conclude that the condition is caused by either sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome, inflammation or CNS lesions. If unsure which of these three conditions caused the blind quiet eye, your veterinarian will order an electroretinography.
Treatment of Blind Quiet Eye in Dogs
Because there are a number of underlying medical issues that can cause the blind quiet eye in dogs, the treatment depends on the diagnosis.
Most causes are not life-threatening, but you should be aware that there’s a chance that your dog will permanently lose vision in the affected eye. As far as sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, optic nerve atrophy or optic nerve hypoplasia are concerned, there is nothing that can be done to successfully treat the condition. Canines with progressive retinal atrophy or genetic cataracts should not produce offspring, as their puppies will most likely inherit the problem.
Cataracts and retinal detachment are surgically treated. If infections or inflammations caused the blind quiet eye, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to treat the condition.
Recovery of Blind Quiet Eye in Dogs
Again, the recovery process also depends on the underlying health problem. However, there are some basic guidelines you should follow to ensure that your dog maintains a high quality of life. It is important to keep in mind that most dogs affected by the blind quiet eye experience no pain and can lead normal lives despite losing vision in one or both eyes.
You will have to make some changes in your dog’s living environment and routine to help them adjust to the new situation. To begin with, ensure that your pet can walk freely around the house without bumping into things. It’s best to remove small furniture and clutter from walkways and secure rugs and cords. With some patience and time, your dog will learn how to function normally.
Also, talk to your vet about dietary changes, as your dog won’t be as active as before, which means that they will be more susceptible to obesity.
Blind Quiet Eye Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog breed is a mongrel dog. And I'm not sure he has blind quiet eyes ,but he seems to be bumping stuff and furniture. Should I bring him to the veterinarian?
There are a few different causes of blindness in dogs; it would be best to have Hobbie checked by your Veterinarian to determine the underlying cause as some causes of blindness may be due to more serious health conditions. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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