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Akita Friends
VKH Forum - Eyes
by Jamie Haight, Bea Pitts, Bev Lewis, Dr. Sophia Kaluzniacki, Les Ray
Definition and

VKH Diary







It was asked that we go into a bit more detail concerning the eyes and VKH.

When VKH strikes suddenly, it is the eyes that are the most affected. One day the dog is fine. The next day the dog is blind. Whether some of the sight can be recovered depends on the speed of treatment and the level of retinal detachment.

As Clark Schaak said, they just don't re-attach the same way.

Most outstanding, and most important is for owners to watch for a milky blue surface. One or both eyes will be bulging slightly from pressure and thus the light creates this odd looking milky colour. It is quite pronounced and very painful.

Pressure begins to build in the eye which causes the retina to begin to detach. Most often blood clots form. As with any blood clot, it must be monitored and then removed as soon as the dog is stabilized.

Some dogs never do stabilize for that treatment. But those who do, now face more poking, prodding, surgery and expense. And it can happen again and again.

From what I have heard from stories concerning the eyes from those who have shared their suffering with me, is that dogs whose eyes are affected do far worse than dogs who experience just depigmenting.

Sweetie, whose eyes were long blind, finally had them removed because they were still a great source of pain for her. She is doing well and has a few bouts where she must be returned to meds.

However, the option to remove a dogs eyes is very personal and not one that is easy for an owner to make. This is made even more difficult since the disease is still there and will still require treatment.

Dogs can live quite well when blind. There are countless stories but with VKH the blindness does not end the pain and there is the cruelty of the disease.

The roller coaster continues. There are no answers.

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