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Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD)

By Kirk N. Gelatt, VMD, DACVO, Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

SARD occurs in dogs. Clinical findings include acute loss of vision (often occurring throughout several days), widely dilated and poorly responsive to nonresponsive pupils, and a normal-appearing ocular fundus. Dogs affected most often are middle-aged and sometimes have liver disease and hyperadrenocorticism with clinical signs of weight gain, polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia. Electroretinography indicates loss of outer retinal function; complete retinal and optic nerve degeneration becomes apparent ophthalmoscopically throughout several weeks. There is no effective treatment.