© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and dvm360 | Veterinary News, Veterinarian Insights, Medicine, Pet Care. All rights reserved.
Some blind dogs may get chance to see again
Ames, Iowa - An experimental treatment may reverse a form of blindness and restore vision in dogs that had experienced sudden loss of sight, according to research from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
AMES, IOWA — An experimental treatment may reverse a form of blindness and restore vision in dogs that had experienced sudden loss of sight, according to research from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
During a six-week period, researchers, led by ISU veterinary ophthalmologist Dr. Sinisa Grozdanic, tested the treatment on two dogs with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS).
The treatment was intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), which is used in other cases to treat immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases.
"This is the first small sign of hope that something actually can be done," Grozdanic says.
Grozdanic's team collaborated with the university's Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences on the project.
The test was prompted by the fact that the molecular profile of SARDS eyes is simi lar to immune-mediated retinopathy in humans, which often is antibody-induced, Grozdanic says.
Despite the treatment's potential, Grozdanic explains that not all dogs can benefit. Animals with severe cardiac or kidney disease, for example, could not tolerate IVIg. And it would not work for dogs with advanced retina degeneration.
To determine whether a dog is a viable candidate, an optical coherence tomography scan is recommended to evaluate retinal condition.
SARDS affects up to 4,000 dogs annually in the United States.