Optic Nerve Hypoplasia And Optic Atrophy In Dogs

Electrical impulses from the eye are carried by the optic nerve to an area of the back of the brain where vision is sensed and then interpreted. If the optic nerve is injured, it usually leads to, in the best case scenario, a partial loss of vision and, in the worst case scenario, complete blindness.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia In Dogs

When the optic nerve does not fully develop the resulting condition is called optic nerve hypoplasia. In Miniature Poodles it is often inherited. Optic nerve hypoplasia can exist in both eyes or in only one eye, and it can occur on its own or alongside other abnormalities. If the optic nerve fails to develop in both eyes, newborns will be born blind. If only one optic nerve is affected it may go completely undetected, or show up later in life if the “good eye” ends up being compromised.

Papilledema In Dogs

Swelling in and protrusion of the optic desk is called papilledema and is caused by fluid buildup in the eye. The condition is usually associated with orbital tumors, and in most animals it is very uncommon. When papilledema occurs the optic disk usually appears to be raised above the surface of the retina, and surrounding veins will appear to be swollen. Unless the optic disk degenerates, however, light reflexes of the pupil and vision overall is typically not affected.

Optic Atrophy In Dogs

If glaucoma, advanced retinal degeneration, inflammation, trauma, or low pressure in the eye that is prolonged occurs, optic degeneration, also called optic atrophy, can occur. When optic atrophy is present the optic disk appears smaller than normal, darkly colored, appears to be flattened, and highly apparent reductions in the optic nerve and retinal blood vessels are apparent. Reflexes of the pupil and vision are both absent, and, unfortunately, optic atrophy is not treatable.

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