Islands' Sounder


Eye disease in goldens | Letter

February 8, 2013 · Updated 2:40 PM

Our seven-year-old golden retriever Jackson, recently had his eyes removed after two months of suffering through three different surgeries and other procedures to try to save his vision. If we had known just three years ago of the insidious disease he had, we could have spared him this fate. I want to let all golden retriever owners know about “golden retriever uveitis.”

It is an inherited disease of unknown origin, but is becoming common. GRU is chronic and leads to cataracts and glaucoma, which can be blinding and extremely painful. When diagnosed early, GRU can be controlled with eye drops and medication. Unfortunately early signs of the disease are very subtle and cannot be diagnosed by simple observation. The most common symptoms include squinting, tearing, and redness for which most vets will prescribe ointments or drops which may cause the symptoms to disappear for a while but do nothing to treat the GRU. Only a veterinary opthamologist has the knowledge and equipment to diagnose this disease.

When your golden retriever is four years old, please take him to an opthamologist to be tested, and continue to do once a year, as the disease usually has its onset in middle aged dogs. Our doctor in Seattle had 186 goldens come into his clinic in 2010 with GRU. After that he quit counting. If learning of Jack’s experience can save the eyes of just one of his brethren, his suffering will not have been in vain. Additional information can be found at www.animaleyecare.net and www.seattleaec.com.

Jill and Roger Curtiss


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