Canine Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Part 2

| 9/26/2013 3:30:00 PM

One evening several weeks ago, our sweet family member Sarah was diagnosed with sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARDS). 

It is a rare disease that happens to dogs between the ages of 7 to 14 years old, with females being more prone than males. Symptoms vary from immediate to slowly diminished sight occurring over a few weeks. Approximately 4,000 canines are affected each year. dog and stove

Sarah was diagnosed with the disease and the diagnosis was further verified by an ophthalmologist. We were told that there is no cure and no treatment. The specialist did say that sometimes a regime of steroids and antibiotics could help a few dogs but the condition was not reversible and the prognosis was total blindness.

 Sarah’s pupils were fully dilated and her eyes cloudy and non-seeing. She was tripping over obstacles and bumping into things she could not see. She was frequently confused over this sudden blindness. She likes to sleep in Carol’s recliner, and thinking she was jumping into the recliner she would actually jump onto the wood stove or television stand. 

We bubble-wrapped all potentially dangerous furniture plus the woodstove until the metal grill-work we had ordered arrived. We used water pipe foam tubing on table and chair legs and corners that could injure her. We used oil of rosemary on places she should avoid that she could detect by smell and provide her more safety. We used an expandable leash in the fenced-in backyard to keep her from walking into trees or the fence. 

When she would encounter an obstacle unexpectedly she would often panic. She would use her front feet to feel her way along. We thought she might be able to detect some light so we left the lights on at night so she could let them guide her to get a drink of water if needed or change her sleeping location without going into a full panic. The worst part was her confusion and sudden jumping mistakes that would send her into a panic. We took our home (which was for sale) off the market so she would not become further confused by having strangers in the house or the relocation process when it sold.

10/2/2019 2:06:07 PM

Hi, I’m almost certain that I messaged you before, but please bear with me, I am desperately looking for a way to help my Bindi regain some vision. Did you use anything else besides the Neomycin snd Polymyxin B For Sarah? Please respond at your earliest. Thank you!

9/29/2013 10:17:35 AM

Thank you for that information. We had Sarah on antibotics too but they really mess up her bowels. Glad to learn about the bilberry. Thank you for sharing.... The vet said they thought SARDS was somehow associated with high blood pressure for dogs - about 10% are effected by high blood pressure. We don't understand it but Sarah seems to be helped by a neomycin and polymyxin B ointment. Sure appreciate the info. and thanks again for sharing.

9/28/2013 10:51:06 PM

My 7 year old welsh corgi developed a serious eye inflammation. The vet wasn't sure what caused it but prescribed antibiotics which I used but I didn't see that much progress. I added a Bilberry supplement and I've seen major improvement. There is no way for me to know how much was the antibiotic versus the Bilberry but I've decided to give my dog the supplement from now on as a preventative measure.

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