Yarmouth Veterinary Center

75 Willow Street
Yarmouth , ME 04096



Blind Quiet Eye(s)

- Loss of vision in one or both eyes without evidence of pain or inflammation


- Lens = the normally clear structure directly behind the iris, focuses light on the retina

- Iris = colored part of the eye

- Retina = the back of the eye, where light is received

- Optic nerve = the nerve that runs from the back of the eye to the brain


- Many causes of blindness have a genetic basis, including cataracts (opacities in the lens) and progressive retinal degeneration


- Dogs

- Cats


- Many dog and cat breed predispositions


- Many causes occur specifically in young or old patients, for example SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome) occurs in old dogs, optic nerve hypoplasia (underdevelopment of the nerve at the back of the eye) is congenital (present at birth)


- Vary with the underlying cause

- Bumping into things

- Clumsiness

- Reluctance to move

- Poor vision in poor light

- Signs are usually more severe if vision is lost quickly


- Cataracts

- Loss of focusing power in the lens

- Sudden acquired retinal degeneration

- Progressive retinal degeneration

- Retinal detachment (separation of the retina from it's underlying support)

- Taurine deficiency in cats

- Various toxicities and drug reactions

- Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)

- Optic nerve hypoplasia (underdevelopment of the nerve)

- Cancer, trauma, or inflammation of the optic nerve

- Amaurosis (blindness due to a problem outside the eye, usually a lesion in the brain)


- Diabetes

- Related pets with genetic problems

- High blood pressure

- Decreased oxygen to the tissues of the central nervous system


- Varies with the cause

- No effective treatment for many causes, including retinal degeneration

- Severely restricted exercise for patients with detached retina

- Some forms of cataracts and retinal detachment can be treated surgically

- Antibiotics if infection is confirmed or suspected

- Antiinflammatory medication if inflammation is suspected


- Repeated ophthalmic exams

- If treatment includes medication, exams and testing to monitor effects and side effects


- Pets with progressive deterioration of the retina or genetic cataracts should not be bred, and related pets should not be bred unless genetic screening is available and they test negative for the problem


- Vary with the cause

- Permanent vision loss

- Loss of the eye

- Long term inflammation and pain

- Obesity due to inactivity

- In cases of inflammation of the optic nerve, apparent resolution can be followed by relapse

- Death


- Varies with the cause but generally poor for return of vision

- Most pets can lead a relatively normal and functional life