Two unrelated adult dogs developed idiopathic, acute-onset, bilateral total blindness. The ophthalmoscopic changes were minimal and no electroretinographic response could be detected in either dog. The retinas were examined ultrastructurally 10 days (dog 1) and two-and-a-half months (dog 2) after they became blind. There was widespread loss of the outer segments of rod and cone photoreceptors. Where the outer segments persisted, there was marked tubulovesicular change with loss of normal orientation in their lamellae. Second order neurons (bipolar cells) and ganglion cells were unaffected. The cause of this selective and massive disruption of rod and cone endings was not established, but acute toxicity is proposed as a possible mechanism.
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