Retinal Dysplasia: An Inherited Cause of Blindness in Dogs
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Race Foster, DVM

Lab puppyRetinal dysplasia refers to a disorder in which the cells and layer of retinal tissue did not develop properly. Usually first noticeable in puppies about six weeks of age, the retina will appear to be layers of folded tissue rather than flat. This can only be seen with the aid of an ophthalmoscope. Various forms of retinal dysplasia are found in many breeds including English Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Sealyham Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Cocker Spaniels, Rottweilers, Yorkies, and Old English Sheepdogs. Retinal dysplasia, however, is not limited to these breeds. It is considered an inherited trait.

What are the symptoms?

Some dogs have no symptoms and can only be identified with an ophthalmic examination. More severely affected puppies may be partially or totally blind.

What are the risks?

Retinal dysplasia generally results in inadequate vision and can lead to blindness.

What is the management?

There is no treatment for retinal dysplasia.

 
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