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Covid 19 Ophthalmology for Animals - August 6, 2020

Veterinary care is an essential part of our community and we want to assure you that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services at this time. We also want to work with you and our staff to limit direct contact in order to focus on safety for everyone during this pandemic. Accordingly, we ask that you follow the below steps for the safety of all:

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, please remain in your vehicle and call us.
  • After receipt of the call, we will check you in as soon as possible from outside the hospital.
  • If you are at the hospital to pick up medication, please remain in your car outside the hospital and call the front desk. We will deliver your order to your car as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or may be at risk of exposure to coronavirus, please ask a healthy friend or family member to transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf.
  • We will do our best to coordinate your visit from outside the hospital, including providing follow up instructions and taking payments.

Ophthalmology for Animals, Inc., we have various ways to help care for your pets without a trip or call to the hospital.

  1. Home Delivery: medications, including prescriptions and refills, can be ordered by sending us an email or text
  2. Email: your questions, concerns, prescription refills, and pictures. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe, and please don’t hesitate to call with questions.

We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual, and therefore, we appreciate your patience!

Golden Retriever Pigmentary Uveitis

pdfPDF version available for download here

Pigmentary Uveitis (PU) or Pigmentary Cystic Glaucoma (PCG) is a bilateral inherited disease of Golden Retrievers. The pathogenesis of the disease is still not well understood, but there is no underlying systemic illness associated with it.

Subtle signs of early disease, including redness, make it difficult to detect a problem at home until the disease is more advanced. A veterinary ophthalmologist can detect pigment on the lens and uveal cysts (fluid-filled structures behind the iris) as the earliest signs during the ophthalmic examination. The significance of uveal cysts is still being investigated, but a relationship between the cysts and development of glaucoma has been documented. Over time, signs can progress to pigment on the corneal endothelium (inside of the cornea), posterior synechiae (adhesions), fibrinous material in the anterior chamber, cataract in the lens, and eventually glaucoma (elevated pressure inside the eye).

golden retriever pigmentary uveitisThe prevalence of this disease among Golden Retrievers in North America is estimated to be between 5-10%. Most dogs diagnosed are over the age of 5 years, and the average age at the time of diagnosis is 8-10 years old. Unfortunately the overall prognosis for the eyes is guarded with many eyes becoming blind due to glaucoma. Glaucoma is a painful disease in which the pressure inside the eye increases and causes damage to the structures responsible for vision. Elevated intraocular pressure results in the clinical signs that you may have noted at home (cloudy eye, redness, squinting). The longer the pressure in the eye is elevated, the more damage occurs to the structures in the eye responsible for vision, eventually resulting in permanent blindness. In a normal eye, fluid is constantly produced by the ciliary body and drained out the iridocorneal angle (also called the drainage angle). The iridocorneal angle has a net-like meshwork with large spaces through which the fluid flows. Secondary glaucoma is caused by obstruction of drainage of fluid from the eye through the iridocorneal angle.

Because the duration of pressure elevation is a critical factor for prognosis, acute glaucoma is an emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible to decrease the pressure. Signs of glaucoma include redness, cloudy eye, tearing, loss of vision, an enlarged or “bulging” eye, lethargy, increased sleeping, or loss of appetite. The disease causes pain and headaches when the pressure is elevated.

Glaucoma is unfortunately difficult to treat and not all cases can be resolved. The goals of therapy are to maintain a normal intraocular pressure and treat the underlying cause of the glaucoma. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the disease many animals lose vision despite treatment. For blind, painful eyes permanent resolution of glaucoma is recommended via enucleation (removal of the eye), intrascleral prosthesis (replacing the contents of the eye with silicone), or chemical ciliary body ablation (destruction of the ciliary body with an intraocular injection). Not all options are appropriate for every patient and here are pros and cons to each of these treatments, which we are happy to discuss.

We Are Ready To Help

Request an appointment with one of our veterinarian specialists to see how we can help you and your beloved pet.

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