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- To treat your dog’s retinal hemorrhage, it is crucial for him to be checked by the vet so that he can take proper medications. In some cases, surgery is needed.
- Retinal hemorrhage can be caused by a variety of things such as trauma/injury, generalized (systemic) high blood pressure or hypertension, kidney disease or heart disease, increased levels of thyroid hormones, increased levels of some steroids, and many more.
- Symptoms of retinal hemorrhage includes vision loss/blindness, demonstrated by bumping into objects, bleeding and bruises in other body parts, blood in urine or feces, whitish-appearing pupil, etc.
Have you noticed that your pooch is having difficulties seeing and problems maneuvering around? Does he have unexplainable bleeding in his eyes or other parts of his body? A retinal hemorrhage may be the problem or it may be a symptom of a much larger underlying issue. I highly suggest to take your pup to the vet immediately. A veterinary ophthalmologist will guide you how to treat your dog’s retinal hemorrhage.
Retinal hemorrhage in dogs happens when there is bleeding in the innermost lining of the eye. In veterinary ophthalmology, this is an emergency condition. The causes are usually genetic and breed specific. Retinal hemorrhages may involve one or both eyes and the age of onset depends on the ocular problem or underlying cause.
Therefore, in many dogs, the presence of retinal hemorrhages is often a sign of a serious underlying disease.The underlying disease may be more of a threat to the health of the dog than the actual hemorrhage.”These breeds are more at risk than others: Shetland Sheep Dogs; Collies; Labrador Retrievers; Australian Shepherds; Sealyham Terriers; Bedlington Terriers; English Springer Spaniels and Miniature Schnauzers.
What Can Cause a Retinal Hemorrhage?
There are several factors that can contribute to the bleeding of the retina, such as the faulty development of the retina or the lubricating fluids of the eyes (vitreous humor), which is genetic. Most of the causes occur due to trauma or other issues that are related to any inherent issues, such as:
- Result of a systemic disease (often generalized high blood pressure or systemic hypertension)
- Kidney disease or heart disease
- Increased levels of thyroid hormones
- Increased levels of some steroids
- Exposure to some chemicals, such as paracetamol
- Some fungal and bacterial infections
- Some forms of cancer
- Blood disorders – blood-clotting disorders anemia; hyper-viscosity of blood; etc.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Inflammation of blood vessels
Some factors may indirectly cause retinal hemorrhage or induce the things that can cause retinal hemorrhage, such as large-breed dogs’ propensity to become overweight, have high blood pressure, or have hormonal issues.
What are the Symptoms of a Retinal Hemorrhage?
An ocular disease related to the inflammation of the retina and choroid, retinal hemorrhages also often happens with retinal detachment. Sometimes, no signs may be observed.
If your dog begins to show several of these symptoms, you must take him to the vet or emergency animal hospital immediately:
- Vision loss/blindness, demonstrated by bumping into objects
- Bleeding in other body parts – small bruises throughout the body
- Blood in urine or feces
- Whitish-appearing pupil
- Pupil may not contract when bright light is shone in the eyes
- If blood from the back of the eye moves forward or eye becomes inflamed
How is a Retinal Hemorrhage Diagnosed?
To diagnose retinal hemorrhage, thorough ophthalmic examination is necessary. Although some are obvious, other retinal hemorrhages may be difficult to see. Your A veterinary ophthalmologist will be able to further evaluate your dog using special tools and instruments. Often, retinal hemorrhages are causes of underlying diseases that need to be addressed.
Tests to be considered include the following:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Biochemical profile
- Measure of arterial blood pressure
- Thyroid hormone assays
- Blood clotting tests
- Adrenal hormone assays
- X-rays of the chest and abdomen
- Blood tests for infectious diseases
- Ocular ultrasound
- Possibly a heart and/or abdominal ultrasound
Typically, a full ophthalmic exam will be done using a slit lamp microscope to closely observe the retina at the back of the eye for any abnormality. Ultrasound of the eye as well as measurement of the electrical activity of the retina may also be done. For further laboratory analysis, samples of the eye fluid (vitreous humor) will be taken. As some cases are due to genetic predispositions, genetic testing may also be done.
How is a Retinal Hemorrhage Treated?
First and foremost, dogs with retinal hemorrhage need immediate vet care. A veterinary ophthalmologist should be able to diagnose a dog and decide on the treatment plan which includes medications depending on the cause. In severe cases, a surgery is needed to reattach the retina back to the choroid coat.
Experts advise to get a dog to wear at Elizabethan collar to keep him from pawing at the affected eye. It is also important to never give a dog eye medications meant for humans—this can result to even more complications.
Be sure to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your vet so he can record and address the deterioration or progress of their eye condition. If your dog does become blind due to an underlying cause such as retinal detachment, remember that once the cause is under control, your dog’s eye will no longer cause him discomfort.
Do retinal hemorrhages go away?
Minor cases of retinal hemorrhages go away on its own after weeks or months. For others, medications and even surgery may be necessary.
What causes retinal hemorrhage in dogs?
Retinal hemorrhage in dogs has a variety of causes including trauma/injury, generalized (systemic) high blood pressure or hypertension, kidney disease or heart disease, increased levels of thyroid hormones, increased levels of some steroids, and many more.
How do you treat hemorrhage behind the eye?
Retinal hemorrhage requires attention of eye specialists as certain treatments and even surgery in some cases are necessary.
What is a home remedy for a dog’s eye injury?
Depending on the dog’s eye injury, a common home remedy is warm compress as well as damp cloth to clean the affected eye area. Sometimes a saline solution also helps. Don’t forget that only a vet can properly diagnose your dog’s eye condition and give the best care.