Hi, my 9 year old neutered male Maltese Bosco recently lost his vision. He was diagnosed with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degenerative Syndrome a couple of days ago. In September he went from 9 lbs to 12 lbs and since that time he has gone to 14 lbs. His blood work, done in October was all normal, including a thyroid panel. Before the weight gain he was on Acana and then I switched him to Acana Light in October but this made little difference. My vet switched him to Science Diet Metabolic food for the last 5 weeks or so and he has gained about 0.5 lbs. One symptom of SARDS is Cushing’s disease and this is what is probably going on with him. Some of his Cushing’s symptoms such as the excessive thirst and urination have abated so I am hopeful that the Cushing’s aspect of his disease is passing (which can happen with SARDS). Does anyone have any advice to offer for dogs with this disease? What food should little Bosco be eating? I’ve read articles that suggest some vision can be regained by switching to a raw diet. My vet has little experience with this disease. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!Hi, my 9 year old neutered male Maltese Bosco recently lost his vision. He was diagnosed with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degenerative Syndrome a couple of days ago. In September he went from 9 lbs to 12 lbs and since that time he has gone to 14 lbs and has stayed there despite being on Science Diet Metabolic food for the last 5 weeks or so. His blood work, done in October was all normal, including a thyroid panel. Before the weight gain he was on Acana and then I switched him to Acana Light in October but this made little difference. One symptom of SARDS is Cushing’s.theBCnutMember
Boosting your post. So sorry to hear about your poor pup.Shannon CMember
I am having exact same thing with my dog right now. Any update on your pup?John KMember
Sorry to hear about all your dogs. My 8 year old shep mix went through this 6 years ago. She went blind in a week and gained weight. Unfortunately it turned out to be tumors. It’s a horrible disease and leaves you feeling hopeless. Vet bills were in the thousands. I feel for you and your dog and all other owners who are going through this. I really believe it was because of her diet.
I rescued 2 dogs 5 years ago and had them on a raw diet. 1 chicken leg and thigh in the am and again in the pm bones and all. They thrived on this diet. However I had to travel a lot and my family didn’t share my affinity for raw chicken. So I was thrilled when I found this site which guided me to an acceptable diet of Fresh Pet rolls and Orijen senior kibbles. I also mix this with raw pumpkin, organic chia seeds, and organic raw dried cranberries.Margy FMember
My 6 year old dog took Bravecto on June 5th a week later he was bloated had open leisions on his back , which then was treated with antibiotics. Then was very thirsty and peeing every 20 minuets.its now been 3 months and in one week has been diagnosed as totally blind I’m devastated. He still is peeing a lot now they are testing him for cushings Disease. He was fine before taking this tick and flee tablet. Has anyone else had this happen.Kayla MParticipant
My small mixed breed dog was given Heartguard and was on antibiotics (Baytril) and went blind overnight (dilated pupils freaked me out!) & couldn’t smell. She was walking uncoordinated, developed dementia symptoms over that week. It traumatized me and broke my heart.
This happened too fast.
She eats real meals (chicken breasts, rice, vegs) everyday, but was also eating a new dog food to cover any missed nutrients, “Purina One Smart Blend” (2 flavors – the salmon and chicken & rice blend) and Purina Beyond small dog (chicken).
She was drinking a lot of water and had UTI and protein in urine (and and also high WBC, RBC- this has all cleared up though after a few months – antibiotics did not help it).
She peed every 30 minutes.
Could NOT hold it for an hour. It was insane. How can a dog pee that much? All they kept checking for was diabetes which was negative.
At first I thought it was from a manufacturing defect of the heart guard (did too much active ingredient get in her chew?? :(. )
or the antibiotics themselves??
Maybe some dogs can’t metabolize certain antibiotics or have a liver issue, that potentially could slow things down and it therefore effects/travels to their brain? (So much water drinking!).
My vet said nothing. We just kept doing bloodwork and urinalysis.
My dog then suddenly developed every Cushings Symptoms (eating), and was finally diagnosed a few months later and put on med.
(I also wondered if perhaps an infection like a virus occurs and if it triggers the bone marrow, and then things go haywire… leading to other issues involving the eyes, pituitary/brain inflammation. (Hence all the drinking and peeing?)
Or maybe if she were beginning to get Cushings, and the antibiotics and/or Heartguard somehow caused an extreme imbalance or could then cross the brain brain barrier leading to the blindness?
The sudden onset of blindness and dementia symptoms was the worst part. For 3 months she didn’t know who I was.
It was rapid.
With a lot of love and care and supplements and her new med she is coming around. (Still blind, but she had a moment where she could see and her eyes are no longer dilated).
If anyone is reading this, I read a lady used bilberry for her dog and it reversed.
It’s too late for us, but it you spend $4 at Walmart on a bottle and it it somehow helps, please try it and report it. (Of course, take dog to a opthamologist. We did to see if it was glaucoma or anything. I wish I could have afforded an MRI and neurologist, for peace of mind to see what was happening. 🙁
(P.s. Ocuglo didn’t help her in any way, we started it that day… and it was expensive for a supplement).Frenky CParticipant
This is the first time I heard about the disease. Read about it just now and it’s kinda rare. Anyway I wish your baby well. This is a good post for information. Thanks!Kayla MParticipant
If anyone else’s dogs go blind/pupils dilate after
enrofloxacin (Baytril) or Levofloxacin,
Please post here.Patty WParticipant
Kayla, this week, my 9 year-old female dog Lexi was diagnosed with SARDS and is now blind. It happened fast and the Ophthalmologist has recommended testing for Cushing’s Disease. My dog has been on Heartguard Plus for years. Also, she was recently on Neo-Poly-Dex Ophthalmic Suspension drops for 3 weeks. My dog has also been on special dog food and has been eating Hill’s Prescription Diet R/D dry and wet food. I wonder if the Heartguard Plus or the Neo/Poly/Dex drops caused this?Patricia GParticipant
My schnauzer was diagnosed in 2017 after giving him Heartguard Plus.Heidi PParticipant
My 10 year old Schnauzer went blind within 4 weeks and after taking him to a veterinary ophthalmologist, was diagnosed with SARDS. (As a side note, his blind dog halo is a life saver in so many ways – it gives him more confidence to move around). He has been getting Heartguard Plus his whole life and when I read through these posts, I am absolutely incensed! I am thinking about launching a class action lawsuit against them so I would appreciate any and all feedback from pet lovers that have experienced blindness & they’re pets are/were on Heartguard. Thanks to everyone that has posted their experiences with this..Mary MParticipant
Hey there. My dog had surgery this summer for a broken and infected tooth. Prior to the surgery, I did notice one or other of the dogs (I have 2) was drinking more. After the surgery, the dog in subject, part Aust. Cattledog and part Golden Retriever, was being treated with pain killers and antibiotics and really struggled in strange ways. She was panting and drooling a lot, she seemed disoriented, and was depressed. I attributed a lot of this to the pain killers, but I took her back to the vet and they diagnosed her with an upset stomach, which can cause the drooling. She seemed to recover a bit after taking medication to settle her stomach, but the disorientation did not abate. Finally, one day she ran into the vacuum cleaner, which was left in the middle of the floor and we realized she was having vision issues. Two days later, she was diagnosed as totally blind. They ran several tests and posited that she had either PRA or PRD, which cannot be treated and don’t have other medical issues. Now, a month or two later, she is drinking a lot more water again, is drooling, panting a lot, and seems more disoriented than when she was first diagnosed as blind. I’ve been reading about SARDS and Cushings Disease and it sure sounds like she is suffering from both. I’ve always given my dogs a really nutritious food — Earthborn – Great Plains Feast (bison) — though it isn’t fresh. I can’t afford more testing and am concerned the resulting treatment would also be expensive, so I’d like to try augmenting her diet with foods that might help her with her symptoms. She doesn’t seem to be gaining much weight, so I think I have some freedom with what I try. Any suggestions on what might be good to try would be welcome! I will try the bilberry!
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