Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)

What is SARDS and how does it impact my pet's eyesight?

What is SARDS?

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome effects the function of retinal tissue and causes rapid vision loss. Vision loss from SARDS typically occurs quickly over a period of 24 hours to a month. SARDS occurs only in adult dogs, usually between the ages of 6 to 14 years and mostly in females. Larger breed dogs are most at risk, however dachshunds and Schnauzers are also predisposed to the condition. Although less common, other purebred and mixed breeds can also have SARDS.


How to Treat SARDS

Sadly, there is no scientifically proven treatment for SARDS and most dogs are irreversibly blind. The good news is that the condition is not painful and dogs living with the condition go on to live long, happy lives. And unlike other conditions that affect sight, most dogs with the condition are unlikely to experience any other internal problems. Your dog’s vision loss may never reverse, however some pets have seen some improvement in visual cues.

Acute blindness can be an adjustment for both pets and pet parents. But luckily sight is not a dog’s dominant sense, with adjustment your dog will begin to rely more heavily on their senses, usually their sense of smell. As a pet parent there are many things that you can do to help your pet adjust to living without vision.