Veterinarian's Assistant: The Vet will know if the dog can have that. Have you spoken to a vet about the dog's eyesight?
Yes, he called it iris atrophy. But he didn't go any further than that, just gave a name to it
Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Iris?
No her name is ***** ***** I am talking about the condition "iris atrophy". Her name is*****: Hello, I'm Dr. Kara, with over 20yrs of veterinary experience. Please give me time to review & type a full response. I can't take phone calls.
Expert: I am sorry to hear about Daffy's change in vision and difficulty finding her ball.Iris atrophy is a thinning of the colored part of her eye. It is a common aging change. It usually has nothing to do with vision however, most dogs with iris atrophy should be able to see just fine. However if the iris becomes very thin and moth-eaten the pupillary muscles may not be able to change the pupil size (in particular there is an inability to constrict), and the pup's pupil remains large so their eyes always look dilated. That can come along with inflammatory conditions or glaucoma so dogs with iris atrophy that appear to not see well should see a veterinary ophthalmologist.This is a picture of a dog with a cataract and iris atrophy: https://live.staticflickr.com/5009/5261087978_c046d7126b_b.jpgThe cataract is the white color to her lens and the iris atrophy is the loss of iris and strands of leftover iris tissue which allow you to easily see the lens/cataract behind the iris.Do Daffy's eyes seem as clear and bright as they once were? Or are there visible changes in her eyes (cloudiness, redness)? If so they may or may not be related to her trouble seeing.Dogs that have a haziness to the center of their eye may have cataracts. A cataract is a lens (clear center in the middle of the colored iris) that has abnormal conformation such that rather than light going through the lens and being focused on the retina so that information can be sent to the brain, it reflects back the light, thus the cloudy gray appearance.See this link for a picture of a dog's eye with a cataract. Notice there is a complete haze that obscures all light: http://f01.justanswer.com/ref/https_encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTcTA2cDJgjaO4wUYlGjc8teBYf6V7uiDQeefUOF8Xzqp7xshh6Cataracts can be due to diabetes, trauma, old age or they can be inherited (unlikely since she is older). As long as some light is getting through she can see shadows enough and they may not affect her getting around, and if one is affected more than the other she could rely more on the "good" eye and maneuver quite well. Some owners don't notice any signs at that point. Over time if both eyes are affected then owners start to notice more trouble with the finer aspects of vision.The other possibility for lens haziness is an old age change whereby the lens looks blue or gray in color simply because it gets thicker with age. These dogs, although their lens looks grayish, have a normal retinal shine when light goes into the eye and that does not affect vision. Usually both eyes will look similar with nuclear sclerosis. See this link to a picture of a dog with nuclear sclerosis:http://f01.justanswer.com/ref/http_beechnutanimalhospital.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/nuclear_sclerosis_1.jpgNotice with nuclear sclerosis that although there is a slight blue or gray tinge to the lens it isn't foggy and light is penetrating the eye.Acute glaucoma is certainly a concern when dogs go blind suddenly. This is painful so if she seems to have a sensitivity to bright light and signs of blindness, then that would make sense. Inflammation from glaucoma can cause a haziness in the eye, and her eyes may look bigger, and or have a bubble appearance and show increased tearing as a pain response.Another possibility for sudden vision loss is SARDs. Sudden acute retinal degeneration.This is a disease we are really just exploring. Dogs go blind suddenly (over days to weeks) for no apparent reason. They often have no symptoms except sudden blindness. Some have symptoms of hyperadrenocorticism (over active adrenal gland) but test normally when an ACTH test is run. The symptoms can be increased appetite, weight gain, increased water consumption. But it's variable.Initially the retina looks perfectly normal when they go blind but in time it degenerates (over months) so that it changes it's reflectivity and the vessels within the eye become small.SARDS can't be reversed, nor is there any treatment. But most blind dogs do very well after an adjustment period.They learn to memorize their homes. Here's a link to one article: http://www.michvet.com/library/ophthalmology_SARDS.aspProgressive retinal atrophy is a slow, degeneration of the retina (back of the eye that processes the light that enters her eye). The loss of vision seems to initially affect the pup's night vision and then progresses to total blindness. Owners may not notice anything is wrong since these dogs learn to accommodate with limited vision, until they completely lose most or all of their vision. It is not painful.Another possibility, seen less commonly, that can occur in dogs with hypertension (high blood pressure) is bleeding into the eye and a detached retina. That would cause a billowy grayish appearance when looking into her eye. That needs immediate treatment to try to save her vision.I highly recommend that she see a veterinary ophthalmologist for an examination. They can differentiate between a cataract and nuclear sclerosis, glaucoma and hypertension or SARDS.If this is a cataract they can run some tests to try and determine why it formed and see if it is worth treating them surgically. If this is glaucoma then there are surgical or medication options.It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!
Expert: Also, I'll check back in with you in 6 days on 3/23/2020. I can also answer any additional questions that may arise. Don't worry, there's no additional fee for this follow-up.