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Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am so sorry to hear about your dog. There are several things that can cause sudden onset of blindness in dogs. We can see cataracts develop (presumably these can be seen by yourself or your vet as a whiteness of the pupil) as a result of diabetes. We can see retinal detachment as a result of high blood pressure (often seen with kidney disease), we can also see a condition called Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome, or SARDS.
Here is an article on that condition: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2013/dec/what-causes-sudden-blindness-in-dogs-31106
We can also see blindness as result of optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) or a mass/tumor in the brain.
Has your vet done any bloodwork on your dog or checked his blood pressure since this issue started?
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Hello. As far as the vaccines go, it really depends on the dog and their condition. In a healthy senior dog, we often do continue the vaccines if they aren't having health issues. The Bordetella vaccine has a shorter length of efficacy than the DHP vaccine, and really does need to be boostered yearly in particular if your dog is higher risk (i.e. goes out on walks, goes to the park, a groomer, etc.), the DHP vaccine some clinics now do every 3 years instead of yearly because it does tend to provide immunity longer than one year if they have had it several times.
That is hard for me to say. Some clinics have strict policies on vaccinating dogs that may be staying in the hospital (not sure if he did) or just routinely vaccinate yearly for everything. Most of the time the vaccines do not cause an issue, and aren't associated with blindness in any instances that I know of.
I know the test does appear to be irritating, but it is a test we use all the time and doesn't cause any internal problems to the eye. It would not cause blindness. The only circumstance I can see where I wouldn't want to do the test would be if a dog has a very deep corneal ulcer and I was afraid a small amount of pressure on the eye may cause it to rupture. Otherwise it is a safe test, just temporarily annoying. We usually put a small amount of numbing drops on the eye before doing it at my clinic, so it is less annoying to the dog.
Oh my goodness! I didn't realize you had lost him, I am so sorry to hear that. Did they find anything on his bloodwork that they had done?
Ok. Why don't you let me know when you get the results back in. Perhaps that will give some clue as to what happened. I will tell you it is very unlikely that a glaucoma test and the two vaccines would have resulted in your dog's deterioration unless it was an allergic reaction type situation, which usually we will see facial swelling and breathing issues as well, and usually this is something we know about from previous vaccinations. I am so sorry for your loss!
You are welcome. I will check back in later to see the results whenever you get them.