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View Full Version : Sudden blindness - any advice please? Update :)



gemmam
28-05-2009, 10:21 AM
My 7 year old bunny has gone completely blind. I *think* this has happened suddenly in the last few days, I noticed his eyes looked odd, sort of bulging, and also saw him bump into something after I had moved some tubs etc round in the garden. However I suppose it is not impossible that it has happened more gradually and I haven't noticed it before.

The vet has no idea what the cause is, she said when she looks at the back oif his eyes they are abnormal, she can't see the back properly, mentionned retinas possibly detached. She said she has never seen anything like it before and couldn't really come up with a reason. She thought an abcess is unlikely as there is no discharge/weeping etc, and a tumour seems quite unlikely as he has no neurological signs at the moment. Also both these things would normally affect one eye and both are the same.

She gave him anti-inflammatory/steroid/pain relief for now but did mention possibly PTS. The other option would be GA/X-ray to see if there's anything going on, but I think she said tumour/abcess wouldn't be treatable anyway (presumably brain surgery not realistic in a rabbit)?

Does anyone have any experience of anything similar? Anyone have a bunny that has adjusted ok to being blind? He was subdued yesterday but today is more active and I have seen him do a couple of binkies so surely he can't be feeling that bad? He still comes when called, just takes longer to find me! Eating and drinking normally. I am taking him back tomorrow but don't expect to get any more answers. Do I just wait and see if he develops neurological problems etc?

Dustyrabbit
28-05-2009, 11:53 AM
This must be distressing.

Bumping it up in the hope someone can give you some advice.

Jack's-Jane
28-05-2009, 11:57 AM
Acute glaucoma maybe :?

Did vet check intraocular pressure ?

gemmam
28-05-2009, 12:11 PM
She mentionned glaucoma but said she hadn't seen it in a rabbit before. She didn't check the pressure, thank you I'll ask about that tomorrow. He does actually seem a lot happier today. I'm not sure if he is adjusting to the loss of sight or if the medication has made him feel better in some way.

gemmam
28-05-2009, 12:18 PM
Sorry, back with another question. Jumping the gun I know but if it is glaucoma and he's already lost his sight, what can we do for him? I assume the pressure is painful so constant pain relief? Are the eye drops for glaucoma meant to protect remaining sight (in which case it's too late/pointless to give these) or do they do something else?

lilbun
28-05-2009, 12:30 PM
Glaucoma does occur in rabbits.
The drops are important as they may preserve any vision left but will also help to keep the eyes comfortable so that hopefully it won't be necessary to remove them. Which drops has the vet prescribed?

gemmam
28-05-2009, 12:57 PM
Glaucoma does occur in rabbits.
The drops are important as they may preserve any vision left but will also help to keep the eyes comfortable so that hopefully it won't be necessary to remove them. Which drops has the vet prescribed?

No drops and no diagnosis yet.

I'm just pondering whether if it is glaucoma, as his sight appears to be 100% gone, would normal painkillers be best to relieve any discomfort, or specific glaucoma eye drops?

I'm still not sure glaucoma could explain such a drastic loss of sight in an apparently short space of time either?

Jack's-Jane
28-05-2009, 01:03 PM
http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/27001415/

abbymarysmokey
28-05-2009, 01:10 PM
Injury? EC?

I remember somebody else's bun had suspected glaucoma, but nobody was able to establish the correct pressure of a rabbit eye...not sure if there have been any advances on this since then :?

gemmam
28-05-2009, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll ask about checking eye pressure tomorrow. He has no other symptoms to suggest EC (or anything else really). He was slightly quiet/subdued yesterday but fine in himself every other day. I suppose injury is possible but there isn;t a mark on him and both eyes are equally affected so I don't think he has hurt himself. Hopefully the vet will have some more ideas tomorrow. There is no discharge or cloudiness, just the bulging :?

Angie65
28-05-2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll ask about checking eye pressure tomorrow. He has no other symptoms to suggest EC (or anything else really). He was slightly quiet/subdued yesterday but fine in himself every other day. I suppose injury is possible but there isn;t a mark on him and both eyes are equally affected so I don't think he has hurt himself. Hopefully the vet will have some more ideas tomorrow. There is no discharge or cloudiness, just the bulging :?

Sometimes EC has no symptoms at all.

Hope he is ok

As far as blind buns are concerned, I have a extremely poor sighted REW - she is a bit nervous, but comfortable in places she knows, & she follows her boyfriend around:D I do have to let her know I'm approaching when I pick her up - but she's only ever nipped me once:oops:

And I have a minilop. She's got bad hearing too. She pelts into things all the time:shock::lol:

Jack's-Jane
28-05-2009, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll ask about checking eye pressure tomorrow. He has no other symptoms to suggest EC (or anything else really). He was slightly quiet/subdued yesterday but fine in himself every other day. I suppose injury is possible but there isn;t a mark on him and both eyes are equally affected so I don't think he has hurt himself. Hopefully the vet will have some more ideas tomorrow. There is no discharge or cloudiness, just the bulging :?

Which makes me think that something may have caused an acute increase in intraocular pressure
Did the Vet check Buns blood pressure ?
Chronic hypertension can sometimes cause an acute increase in intraocular pressure.

LurcherGirl
28-05-2009, 02:55 PM
My 8-year old lionhead Charlie went suddenly blind too... well over the period of a few weeks! It started off with her having cataract earlier this year, but still being able to see. And then very suddenly she went completely blind. I think it was quite rapid as she did seem to struggle a bit to adjust.

Now a few weeks down the line, she is fine. She got used to getting around without eyes guiding her. I make sure that I leave things in the same place for her and she probably also takes her mate as a guide.

So just the blindness itself is absolutely no reason to put a rabbit to sleep! They adjust quite easily.

Vera

Hugo's There
28-05-2009, 03:37 PM
The vet has no idea what the cause is, she said when she looks at the back oif his eyes they are abnormal, she can't see the back properly, mentionned retinas possibly detached. She said she has never seen anything like it before and couldn't really come up with a reason. She thought an abcess is unlikely as there is no discharge/weeping etc, and a tumour seems quite unlikely as he has no neurological signs at the moment. Also both these things would normally affect one eye and both are the same.


I had a bunny with bulging eyes, both protruding although one was slightly more severe than the other. The vet diagnosed tumours behind the eye, and although they couldn't rule out abscesses completely they thought this much less likely. The only way to be certain would have been a CT scan but this would have been too stressful for her as she had other health problems but there were no other neurological symptoms or any discharge. As it progressed she did have some bleeds behind her eye and possible glaucoma in one.
Forgot to add that she already had cataracts due to Ec.

rodneyvet
28-05-2009, 04:03 PM
Can you post a picture of the head of this rabbit, also how old is he (you may have mentioned this sorry) reasons for acute bilateral blindness would include some sort of head trauma (unlikley in this case) and a sudden increase in blood pressure causing retinal detachment, I can give more information but would like to see a picture first if thats ok
goodluck

gemmam
28-05-2009, 04:16 PM
Thank you all so much, it's great to have some ideas and questions for when I go back to the vet.

Rodneyvet - I haven't yet attempted to put any photos on here yet so not sure how to do it but I'll try and post one tonight after my children go to bed. What sort of things could cause the sudden increase in blood pressure? My vet definitely mentionned she thinks the retinas are detached.

I'll be back on later and thanks again.


Edit - forgot to say, he is 7 years old.

gemmam
28-05-2009, 04:18 PM
I had a bunny with bulging eyes, both protruding although one was slightly more severe than the other. The vet diagnosed tumours behind the eye, and although they couldn't rule out abscesses completely they thought this much less likely. The only way to be certain would have been a CT scan but this would have been too stressful for her as she had other health problems but there were no other neurological symptoms or any discharge. As it progressed she did have some bleeds behind her eye and possible glaucoma in one.
Forgot to add that she already had cataracts due to Ec.

What happened with this bunny in the end if you don't mind me asking?

Hugo's There
28-05-2009, 04:51 PM
What happened with this bunny in the end if you don't mind me asking?

Unfortunately she was pts after a month with us :(

By the time she got to our sanctuary she was already very poorly with her eye problems, she also had advanced dental disease and was very underweight so our options were fairly limited.

When the vet saw her they wanted to pts straight away, but we begged for a bit longer and managed her condition with high pain relief for the 4 weeks until she stopped eating. We were just glad we were able to give her some quality time as a loved house bunny even though her time with us was so short.

Hopefully ,as your bunny has a loving owner who has spotted the problems quickly, she will have more options available to her :) I just wanted to use our bunny as an example of tumours affecting both eyes.

rodneyvet
28-05-2009, 05:21 PM
Thank you all so much, it's great to have some ideas and questions for when I go back to the vet.

Rodneyvet - I haven't yet attempted to put any photos on here yet so not sure how to do it but I'll try and post one tonight after my children go to bed. What sort of things could cause the sudden increase in blood pressure? My vet definitely mentionned she thinks the retinas are detached.

I'll be back on later and thanks again.


Edit - forgot to say, he is 7 years old.

Sometimes a thymoma (benign tumour of the thymus- a lymph gland in the chest) can press on the vessels returning from the head causing an increase in blood pressure in the head. I would want a chest xray and or ultrasound scan to diagnose this. I wiould also want the xray to evaluate heart size to see if there may be some cardiovascular reason for a raised bp. there are issues with measuring intraocular pressure as normals are hard to quantify in rabbits. Bilateral abscessation may be possible but less likley. If i were to see this case I would go for a blood panel (as renal issues can also lead to hypertension) and survey radiographs as a start (as well as the ocular exam of course)
Goodluck

gemmam
17-06-2009, 11:49 AM
Sorry I just realised I never updated this.

Well the good news, he is still here and is happy and well (lthough permanently blind) By the time I took him back to the vet's, the bulging had reduced dramatically. We had no idea if this was a result of the drugs or not but he had more of everything, plus ten days of antibiotics just in case. The bulging went completely within another day or so and hasn't returned.

The downside I suppose is we didn't find out the cause. As the bulging has gone I suppose this rules out tumours which is great. There could have been an abcess or infection that either directly affected the eyes (unlikely) or caused a huge increase in blood pressure causing the retinas to detach.