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Hello, my name is Kerri and I have been blessed with the most wonderful rescue basset hound, Edward G. Robinson, ever. He was given up and hard to adopt because he has the eye problem, nystagmus, which causes his eye balls to move rapidly all the time. It definitely does not affect his quality of life. I am wondering if anyone else has a basset with this? There seems to be no real treatment for it; Eddie is my first basset, and fits in very well with my two older dogs even though he is only 3.
Any information would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I had a cat with nystagmus years ago and she lived a long and happy life. It didn't impair her ability to get around at all. I'm sure Eddie will do just fine!
 

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Do you have any history on Eddie? Are there any other symptoms associated with the nystagmus? Nystagmus (jerky eye movements) can be caused by many conditions, including infections, tumors, hypothyroidism, chemicals and so on, or it may be idiopathic, congenital with the cause unknown.
The diagnosis of idiopathic vestibular disease is tentatively made by the presence of acute clinical signs in the absence of other physical findings. The minimum data base include physical examination, otoscopic examination and neurologic examination
As bassets are prone to ear infections and hypothyroidism I'd want at least rule out these as a cause of nystagmus. Biscuit, I figured you be interested in the fact that this can occur with Ehrlichiosis.

References include:
Vestibular Disease
Canine Vestibular Disease
Vestibular Diseases in Animals

I also found the following from an AKC webpage:
Operation to Correct Ocular Motor Problem Available

The VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is seeking additional canine research subjects with Nystagmus, a genetic defect that causes the eyes to move rapidly back and forth. The Ocular Motor Neurophysiology Laboratory has been studying the eye movements of Belgian Sheepdogs with this defect. As a result of these studies, they have developed an operation on eye muscles that slows the oscillation and allows the dogs and humans to see better. They have begun to apply the operation to humans who have the same eye oscillation and have had good results. The lab currently has two females and one male who should be carriers of the gene, and is looking for information from anyone who has noted such eye movements in Belgian Sheepdogs or other breeds. Dr. Louis F. Dell'Osso, Director, requests information from breeders or owners who have puppies with this defect. Contact L.F. Dell'Osso, Ph.D., at 216-421-3224 or by e-mail at [email protected].
You might want to email Dr. Dell'Osso and tell him about Eddie. It'd be neat to hear what he had to say.

[ October 03, 2003, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: Barbara Winters ]
 

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Yes. Biscuit had some of the incoordination and other problems.

But he never had the nystagmus. This was a very real blessing, as he was such a visual guy and kept his eyes focussed completely on me throughout his entire ordeal. :)
 
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