What Is SARDS And How It Can Lead

To Dog Blindness

Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) is a disease in dogs causing sudden blindness.

It can occur in any breed, but female dogs may be predisposed.

Approximately 4000 cases are seen in the United States annually.

The cause of SARDS is considered to be idiopathic and the veterinary community is divided as to its cause, but the disease possibly involves autoimmune disease, toxins, elevations in adrenal sex hormones or Cushing's disease.

Symptoms include sudden permanent blindness, but may occur more slowly over several days, weeks or months, dilated pupils, and loss of the pupillary light reflex.

Other symptoms commonly seen are similar to those seen with Cushing's disease and include increased water consumption and urination, weight gain, confusion, restlessness, behavioral changes and lethargy.

These symptoms may develop over a few months preceding the onset of SARDS.