Eye issues causing vision impairment
SF Bay Basenjis

Kala, my almost 5 year old female baby had a tick bite last year and has developed some kind of an autoimmune condition. I took her to the vet when I noticed her eyes become red and painful. She sent me to an eye specialist and she prescribed antibiotic ointments and eye pressure drops and told me to take her to an internist. I took her to another vet and more blood work and testing, he could not find anything in her test results to pin point to a condition. She eats, plays and sleeps and lives normally but the last couple of weeks she has had major eye issues with cloudy cornea and she is sight impairment now. I do have an appointment with an internal med vet but wondering if anyone here knows of any genetic conditions which this may be from or other conditions the vets are not looking for not knowing Basenji breeds.

My first thought is PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is something that certain breeds (including the Basenji) are prone to. I don't know if that's what Kala has, but I'm fairly certain that it wouldn't have developed from the tick bite.

Are any of our experienced breeders more familiar with PRA?

@elbrant - PRA is a late onset genetic issue in many breeds including Basenjis. There is a DNA cheek swab test you can order from www.ofa.org and do yourself that looks for the gene that is most known to be the cause of most PRA. PRA typically doesn't cause red eyes/pain and usually starts with night blindness. It would not be caused by a tick bite. Did they check for lyme disease that is caused by tick bites? You can read more about PRA at www.basenji.org

Unfortunately I have nothing to offer other than my sympathies that this is happening. Hope you and your girl find a solution.

I agree with tanza. PRA (otherwise known as night blindness) is unlikely to cause the symptoms mentioned. But get a test done and rule it out. That should help your vets who are probably not ophthalmologically aware.

It doesn't take long for the results to come back -

SF Bay Basenjis

@tanza thank you and I agree with you as she didn't have night vision issues but good idea to rule out with a test.

@zande - The thing about PRA in Basenjis is that it typically starts as night blindness but will develop to full blindness...

@mosenji - Did any of the test check for Lyme? Since that is caused by tick bites?

@tanza Yes - but that is normally much later in life than this wee doggie.

@zande Oh for sure... PRA in Basenjis is late onset, after the age of 5ish... but it would start with night blindness and progress to full blindness

SF Bay Basenjis

Thank you everyone for your responses. Yes I did a whole panel for all kinds of diseases that could be born from tick and other insects and it was all negative or Inconclusive which is concerning. Going to an internal med doc this Saturday hoping to figure this all out and I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for your support and I'm so glad I'm on this forum.

SF Bay Basenjis

Hi all, took Kala to internal med and she definitely has vision impairment and chest X-ray was negative. The internist wants me to go back to the eye specialist. Have any of you heard of optical neuropathy due to inflation of the eyes?

@mosenji - for sure go back to the eye specialist. And I have never heard of Optical neuropathy in dogs

I have never come across it either - the eye specialist OUGHT to be able to get to the bottom of things. Good luck

SF Bay Basenjis

Hello Basenji lovers who replied to me. My update about Kala.
Since neither the internal med vet, the opthamologist nor general vet could find out what is going on with Kala, she is diagnosed with autoimmune disorder. No real test for it, nor medicine. She has been on cyclosporine, prednisone pills and Durezol drops and her eyes seem to improve. Now we are tapering down the meds but I have added CBD to her meals twice a day and I think that has made the most positive affect. Her vision is improved but not back to normal. I am hopeful. 🙂

@mosenji said in Eye issues causing vision impairment:

She has been on cyclosporine, prednisone pills and Durezol drops and her eyes seem to improve.

The Durezol is going to relieve the eye inflammation. Hopefully the Cyclosporine and Prednisone will treat whatever is causing the inflammation. Please keep us updated, our thoughts are with you.

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