blindness after dental surgery

Welcome To Blind Dog Support Forums General Discussion blindness after dental surgery

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Beth 2 months ago.

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  • #3554


    my dog jazmine went in monday morning for a dental cleaning and tooth extraction. picked her up that evening. she seemed ok, but lethargic from anethesia. When I came home from work tuesday evening, I noticed her eyes were a deep red, the whites and even her dark brown eyes looked rusty red. took her to the vet wed. am and he confirmed blind/was referred to purdue university opthomology, where we went the next day. batteries of tests, they can not find a cause. her retinas are detached. has anyone had a similar experience after a “routine” sugery?
    i am devastated

  • #3564


    Hi Sarah, I am sorry that you had this terrible experience. I have a blind pug who became blind 4 years (age 8 years) ago pretty much overnight. I guess I noticed that she was losing her playfulness at 8 yrs, but attributed it to getting older. Then after a few weeks I realized she could not see. Like you, we went to a canine ophthalmologist who diagnosed Sophie with SARDS. Sudden Acute Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. Did your doctor tell you about this malady? It’s what they diagnose when a dog literally wakes up one day and cannot see anything. It sounds like your dog experienced the same thing after her dental surgery.
    After my dog’s devastating diagnosis, we slowly adjusted to her being blind. Actually it was pretty amazing how quickly we both adapted to her being blind. She could navigate the house and yard pretty good and we were able to still take walks using a shorter leash and keeping her close to me. All was well until I took her in for her teeth cleaning. When I picked her up from the vet, she was very disoriented, barely able to walk. We came home and waited for several hours and still she was unable to walk or barely stand up. I called the vet, and took her back that evening to see if all was OK, as this behavior is not what I had ever had before when she had her teeth cleaned. The vet seemed to think that she was OK, so we went home. The next morning she was better but not acting normal. She was so disoriented, walking crooked and not able to navigate our home well at all. On the 3rd day we went back to the vet and she checked Sophie over and said she was fine. But I knew she was not fine, the anesthesia had definitely caused a big change in her behavior. Ever since the dental cleaning my dog is not the same. I am not blaming the Vet, as I have used the same dr. for over 30 years. But my opinion is that anesthesia is not good for older dogs. I think if I had not had her teeth cleaned she would still be able to get around much better. I have seen things on the internet about other dogs who have had similar reactions to anesthesia. In my case, the anesthesia caused some kind of neurological damage that affected her navigational skills. I have not seen any cases of dogs who became blind after anesthesia but after seeing the big change in my dog after teeth cleaning, I can believe this could be a possibility. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this, but hopefully you both will adapt well to her blindness. Like I said, until the additional neurological damage my blind dog and I were leading a pretty normal life. Good luck to you and your fur baby, may you have many more years together.

    Hopefully your dog and you will adapt OK.

  • #3572


    Hi Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about your dog. My dog, Zane, had a very similar experience at the age of 7. He had surgery to remove a growth on his foot (which ended up being a wart). He went in totally happy and healthy with normal vision and came out disoriented and lethargic. He started bumping into things and when I brought him to the ophthalmologist he was nearly totally blind. He was diagnosed with SARDS but no one could explain the correlation with the surgery. The original veterinarians were very deceitful when I confronted them ā€“ their story changed a few times, they lied about the timeline of his surgery and even falsified a surgical report. Although Zane’s retinas were still attached, I did plenty of research. From what I understand, a dog’s blood pressure spiking too high while under anesthesia will cause retinal detachment. Ask your vet for his surgical report ā€“ it should monitor his vitals, anesthesia dosage and timing of the procedure. They could just falsify the report like my vet did, but at least they’ll know you’re following up. There are also stories about spring-loaded mouth gags used during veterinary dentals causing oxygen deprivation to the retinas and brain in cats, but that causes retinal cell death and not retinal detachment.

    Even if Jazmine’s blindness was caused by veterinary negligence, there’s unfortunately nothing that can be done for retinal detachment after 24 hours. I totally understand the shock, sadness and guilt you’re going through. Feel free to ask me any questions. Zane did go through a period of depression and he still isn’t the same as he was before his vision loss, but overall he’s a very happy and healthy dog again. I modified my house to make things easier for him (scenting different rooms, lots of dog beds, carpet tiles as guides) and I talk to him a lot to guide him. He still loves his walks, so we walk twice a day and keep a fixed routine. He no longer runs or chases my other dog (my yard isn’t big enough, there’s always something to bump in to) and he’s more fearful of dogs in general, but he’s still extremely loving and docile and likes it when I “play dog” with him. I play tug-of-war with his toys and I even get on the floor and let him “bite” at my head, which makes him happy. šŸ™‚

    It’s a much harder adjustment for the dog when they lose their vision overnight than if it were gradual, but most dogs do adjust. It took Zane a lot longer than any of the stories I read online. It is good to keep them engaged and occupied. I found bully sticks and raw meaty bones to be helpful. The chewing keeps them occupied and alleviates some stress. Acupuncture was also a huge help to lower his anxiety. I’m enrolling him in a nose work class next month to help him feel a sense of accomplishment and gain some confidence back. It’s been about exactly one year now and he’s getting better every day. Let me know if I can help.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  houlaGirl.
  • #4560


    Hi Sarah, I just the very same happen to my little man(Pomeranian). My wife and I are devastated. I’m hoping you can tell me if your dog has regained their eyesite back. I’m sure I’m grasping at straws, but we went in with Toby being full of energy and being able to see. To a lost, confused and not so playful guy. Its only been 2 days, but I already miss playing Chase his little lamb before bed. It was our thing.
    I can definitely feel the lose and confusion you must have. Toby’s pupils still constrict and dilate. Did your dogs pupils do the same?

  • #4756


    The same happened to my dog Murphy. I took Murphy in for a routine dental cleaning under anesthesia. A week later he was diagnosed with SARDS. Very devastated. I now have my dog on the Plechner’s Protocol. I’m not sure if this will reverse his blindness. I will never put my dog under anesthesia again.

  • #4837


    I have not had this happen to my dog; however, my dog was weak in his hind legs post surgery. I am curious as to what meds your vets used to put your dog under and how it impacts bp. I am also wondering if they had someone actively monitoring the dogs bp. One thing I notice is that they place the dogs on their back for the dental procedure. Iā€™m wondering if that could have impacted my pups legs.

  • #4840


    In December my shepherd mix Daisy sent in for a tooth extraction and came home blind. She is older (12) and is pretty depressed – sleeps a lot… Iā€™m sad, too. šŸ™

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