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Surveying veterinary ophthalmologists to assess the advice given to owners of pets with irreversible blindness
  1. Andre Tavares Somma1,
  2. Fabiano Montiani-Ferreira1,
  3. Ana Isabella Schafaschek1,
  4. Luisa Gatti1 and
  5. Heidi Featherstone2
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
  2. 2Ophthalmology, The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre, Marlow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Fabiano Montiani-Ferreira; montiani{at}


Background The primary purpose of this survey was to determine how veterinary ophthalmologists manage cases of irreversible blindness and to report the most common causes of blindness.

Methods Respondents completed a questionnaire sent by email with the cooperation of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and the Latin American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. The questionnaire was developed containing 12 questions with both open and closed multiple-choice response options.

Results One hundred and eight veterinary ophthalmologists answered the questionnaire. Of the respondents, 83 per cent had graduated for more than 10 years. Glaucoma (63.56 per cent) was the main cited cause of blindness, followed by progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (17.80 per cent) and retinal detachment (6.78 per cent). The major concerns of owners refer to the impact of blindness on quality-of-life, (39.31 per cent), followed by depression and anxiety (20 per cent), and environment adaptation (11.72 per cent). General recommendations include avoidance of changes in the domestic environment (18.45 per cent), use of auditory stimulation (14.09 per cent) and avoidance of dangerous areas (12.75 per cent). Almost 31 per cent of professionals do not recommend the use of literature on how to deal with blind pets.

Conclusions The survey determined glaucoma and PRA as the most common causes of irreversible blindness in pets. Several recommendations that are frequently given to owners of blind pets are presented.

  • eyes
  • survey
  • ophthalmology
  • blind
  • QoL
  • veterinarian
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  • Funding CAPES.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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