SARD-Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration
Fortunately, this update is not to notify you of another loss of one of our four legged family members. It is, however, another type of loss. This picture is of one of our own dogs, Amy.
Last Sunday night Amy woke up in the middle of the night very confused and almost frantic running from room to room. I got her settled down, and she went back to sleep. On Monday night she woke up twice acting the same way, and in the morning it was as though she could no longer see. We took her to see Dr. Larry first thing Tuesday morning, and he confirmed she was blind. On Wednesday we took her to see a specialist in Vacaville. He told us she had SARD-Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration. He explained to us that it is possible for a dog to go to bed one night with perfect vision and wake up the next morning completely blind. I think it took two days for Amy to completely lose her vision. There is nothing we can do for her but to help her make this big adjustment. I can't imagine how confused she must be-it is heartbreaking to watch her bumping into the walls that just a week ago she could see.
In all our years of rescuing, we have not seen this happen before. We learned that it almost always happens to small to medium sized middle aged female dogs. Amy is all of those things. Although SARD does not seem to be common, we want you to be aware that it can happen. I only wish I could explain it to Amy so she wouldn't be so scared by this sudden onset of blindness.