Glaucoma in Dogs


Glaucoma is a condition where pressure is put on the eye, triggering insufficient fluid drainage in the eye. If the condition becomes chronic or continues without treatment, it will eventually cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve, leading to blindness.

Glaucoma prevails in specific dog types that are genetically predisposed, such as samoyeds, cocker Spaniels, poodles, chow chows, and Siberians. Regrettably, 40 percent of dogs affected by glaucoma will end up being blind in the impacted eye within the first year, despite medical or surgical treatment.

Symptoms and Types of Disease of the Optic Nerve in Dogs

There are 2 primary types of glaucoma: main and secondary. Symptoms for sudden main disease, due to the eye’s failure to drain through the purification angles of the eye, are as follows:

  • Dilated pupil– or pupil does not react to light
  • Vision loss
  • Blinking of the eye
  • Soreness of the capillary in the whites of eyes
  • High pressure within the eye
  • Cloudy look at front of the eye
  • The eyeball may recede back into the head

Long-lasting, advanced disease:

  • Augmentation of the eyeball (buphthalmos).
  • Apparent loss of vision.
  • Advanced degeneration within the eye.

Symptoms for secondary glaucoma, or glaucoma due to secondary eye infection( s), include:

  • Possible that the edge of the iris circularly stays with the lens.
  • High pressure within the eye.
  • Inflammatory debris visible in the front of the eye.
  • Possible sticking of the iris to either the cornea or the lens.
  • Possible constraint of the pupil.
  • Soreness of the blood vessels in the whites of eyes.
  • Cloudy look at front of the eye.

In addition, there might be:

  • Headaches, with head pushing to eliminate feelings of pressure in head.
  • Anorexia nervosa.
  • Change in attitude, less desire to play or communicate.

Causes of Glaucoma in Dogs

High pressure in the eye occurs when the typical outflow of fluid in the eye is impaired due to a main eye disease such as the incorrect development of the eye’s purification angles, or secondary to other eye diseases such as main lens luxation (slipping of the lens in the eye), inflammation of the tissues of the eye, eye tumor( s), or blood collection in the front of the eye from injury. In dogs, secondary glaucoma is more common than main glaucoma.


You will have to offer an extensive history of your dog’s health, start of symptoms, as far as you have been able to tell, and possible occurrences that might have preceded this condition, such as injuries to the eye (even those which you think about small). During the physical exam, your veterinarian will test the pressure within your dog’s eyes using a tonometer on the surface of the eye. If the disease started suddenly, your vet will refer your dog to a veterinary ophthalmologist for a comprehensive assessment of both eyes, consisting of examination of the filtering angles by gonioscopy– measuring the anterior of the eye. Pressure within the eye can determine as high as 45 to 65 mmHg, making this an extremely painful condition.

Electroretinography will be also carried out by the veterinary ophthalmologist to identify if the eye will stay blind regardless of treatment. In secondary diseases, X-rays and an ultrasound might show abnormalities within the eye.

Typically both eyes are impacted, however not constantly. In cases where only one eye is impacted, actions will be required to protect the unaffected eye from establishing a diseased condition.

Treatment for Glaucoma in Dogs

Your vet will prescribe numerous drugs to reduce the pressure within your dog’s eye and to obtain it into the typical range as quickly as possible in an attempt to salvage vision. Frequently, a dog will have a long-term condition that has actually gone undetected or that has actually been misdiagnosed prior to the obvious symptoms of glaucoma have ended up being present. In such cases, the optical nerve has been harmed beyond reparation and surgery might be indicated.

There are different treatments depending on the specific nature of the glaucoma. The fluid may be drained pipes and the fluid producing cells become stop fluid buildup within the eye. This procedure, called cyclocryotherapy, uses cold temperature levels to kill the cells that produce intraocular fluid. If discovered early, this procedure may slow down or stop additional progression. However, in the majority of long term cases the eye will need to be gotten rid of. The empty eye socket may be closed up permanently, or the eye cavity can be filled with an orb, to keep the ocular area filled.

The majority of dogs will change in time to the loss of their eye, especially as they might have been losing their vision over a duration pf time. Talk to your veterinarian about methods which you can help your dog to transition, and how you can help to make its home and outside life simpler without its sight. In such cases, you will have to attend your dog when it is outdoors, as it will be more vulnerable to other animals.

Living and Management

If the condition has been captured early enough and your veterinarian has the ability to handle the condition, you will have to review your veterinarian regularly to have the pressure within the eye examined and to keep track of for drug interactions and make modifications as required. Your veterinary ophthalmologist will take a look at the untouched (or “good”) eye to identify its risk of also developing glaucoma. Because more than 50 percent of dogs with main glaucoma will establish complications in their unaffected eye within 8 months, preventative therapy should be done rapidly.



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