If your pet seems to be running into furniture or struggling to see, retinal detachment could be the cause. Our team here at Veterinary Revision has everything you need to know about retinal detachment and your furry friend.


What is retinal detachment?

First off, it’s important for us to define what the retina is. The retina is the innermost lining located in the back of your pet’s eye. This structure is responsible for collecting light impulses which are then transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve to interpret what it sees. Retinal detachment refers to the separation between the retina and the rest of your pet’s eye.


What causes it?

There isn’t one main cause for retinal detachment. Things like high blood pressure, inflammatory disorders (uveitis), autoimmune disease, cancers, and age or breed-related vitreal or retinal degeneration can all cause retinal detachment. Because of this wide array of possible causes, nearly any dog (or cat!) may experience retinal detachment. 


What are the symptoms?

One of the most common symptoms of the condition is a loss of vision in one or both eyes. The associated vision deficits may be subtle or obvious, and squinting, redness of the eyes, and/or discharge may also occur. If left untreated, retinal detachment typically leads to irreversible blindness. 


How is it treated?

Treatment is typically directed at the underlying cause of the retinal detachment. In most cases, a medication regimen directed at the cause is sufficient to achieve retinal reattachment and often (but not always) vision restoration. However, in certain cases related for vitreal abnormalities or retinal degeneration, surgical intervention to fix the retina into proper position may be necessary.


If your pet is experiencing vision problems, prompt diagnosis and carefully selected treatment will usually allow vision restoration or stabilization.