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What is Retinal Detachment?

Animals suffering from this condition often display vague symptoms such as anorexia and lethargy, if your pet is displaying signs not typical of him it is vital that veterinarian consultation is sought quickly. These generalized signs are often the first symptoms for underlying conditions that may progress rapidly without prompt treatment.

Retinal detachment can be caused by a range of factors such as congenital defects, inflammation, trauma and vascular diseases. This condition is the separation of the retina from the retinal pigment epithelium.

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Retinal Detachment Average Cost

From 248 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,600

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

The symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the detachment. Symptoms may include:

  • Impaired vision or blindness – This is often difficult to for owners to recognize and it may be hard to pinpoint when this symptom first developed
  • Dilated pupils
  • Visible retinal vessels
  • Swelling of the orb

Other symptoms will vary depending on the underlying disease that caused the detachment. In viral and bacterial infections fever, lethargy and anorexia may also be seen, while in causes of trauma other injuries such as facial lacerations may be noted.

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Causes of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

There are three main types of retinal detachment in dogs.

Detachments caused by inherited ocular defects such as collie eye anomaly and retinal dysplasia. This highlights the importance of not breeding from animals who suffer from this condition

Acquired non-rhegmatogenous detachments are caused by an accumulation of fluid or cells between the retina and RPE. These are classified as: 

  • Hemorrhagic – With the build up of blood caused by conditions such as hypertension, trauma, neoplasia and therapies such as blood transfusions
  • Exudative – With the build up of neoplastic or inflammatory cells caused by metastatic tumors and infections such as brucellosis and cryptococcosis
  • Transudative – With the build up of serous subretinal fluid caused by conditions that affect the circulation such as uremia and hypertension

Rhegmatogenous detachments these detachments are caused by tears in the retina. Causes may include cataract formation or complication following ocular surgery, trauma, and glaucoma.

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Diagnosis of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

Your veterinarian will conduct a full clinical examination on your pet. Using an ophthalmoscope, she will carefully examine your pet’s eyes. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose retinal detachment on visualization, the examination may give further information on the cause. Fluid such as exudate and frank blood may indicate the cause. Other tests used to determine the cause of retinal detachment are: 

  • Biochemistry, which may show elevated urea and creatinine in uremic disease
  • Blood pressure monitoring to determine if hypertension is the cause
  • Thoracic and abdominal radiographs (your pet may require sedation for this) 
  • Hematology which may indicate neoplasia, anemia or other systemic disease
  • Cytology which may provide further information of the cause and indicate bacterial or viral cause, allowing a culture and sensitivity test to be performed
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Treatment of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

The treatment your dog requires will vary depending on the underlying cause of the detachment.

Surgery 

If your dog has suffered from a rhegmatogenous detachment surgery may be indicated. This will be performed under general anesthetic with careful monitoring throughout the procedure. There are a range of surgical methods that may be used including laser retinopexy, titanium tacking, use of expandable gases and vitrectomy. Your veterinarian will discuss the preferred method of treatment with you and the benefits and risks of this method. 

Medication

For infections, culture and sensitivity testing of exudate may indicate the causative bacteria and the most appropriate medication for treatment, however this is considered the most difficult form to treat.

Systemic corticosteroids may be used to encourage the reabsorption of fluid in transudative cases. Medication and therapeutic diets should be utilized to control other diseases that cause this condition such as hypertension and uremia.

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Recovery of Retinal Detachment in Dogs

The prognosis for your pet varies on the underlying cause of the retinal detachment. Unfortunately, in many cases, the prognosis may be guarded to poor in regards to return of vision, although many pets go on to live high quality lives following blindness. 

If your pet requires surgery it is vital to provide him with a warm, dark environment for recovery. Highly palatable food should be given to encourage nutrition and energy for healing. 

As ocular surgery success is often guarded, particularly due to the high rates of self-trauma, adequate pain relief is vital as well as use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent injury. 

If this condition was caused by an underlying chronic illness, discuss whether a therapeutic diet will be beneficial for your pet’s on-going health with your veterinarian.  

If your pet sustains loss of vision, careful management of the environment is necessary, ensure your canine’s environment stays the same, with no changes to furniture layout. Provide your pet with a safe, quiet area to rest, ensuring there are no hazards that may cause accidental injury. Make changes to your yard if necessary so that your pet is unable to exit your property, due to the risk of traffic accidents.

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Retinal Detachment Average Cost

From 248 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,600

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Retinal Detachment Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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American Akita

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Hyphema

American Akita has VKH...his left eye has a hyphema and was prescribed tobradex by the vet. I’m worried he has retinal detachment of glaucoma

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. Glaucoma is a possibility with hyphema, and if you are concerned, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 20, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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Seven Years

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

Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blindness

She cannot see..Opthamalogist said she has retinal detachments can u tell me what it is n is it treatable n all?

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Retinal detachments are sometimes treatable if caught very early, but tend to be permanent if too much time has passed. There are different causes for this condition, and it would be best to discuss what treatments she may need with your veterinarian. Dogs do tend to do okay without vision as long as they are kept indoors and safe, as they have many other senses that become heightened. I hope that she does well.

July 28, 2020

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Retinal Detachment Average Cost

From 248 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,600

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

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

Compare plans
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