Glaucoma is an eye disorder, resulting from increased pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure). This can be extremely painful for the pet and may lead to blindness. Glaucoma can occur rapidly in our pets or may develop gradually depending upon the cause.
There are two types of glaucoma that affect pets: primary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma. Primary glaucoma is typically caused by an anatomical defect that leads to decreased draining of aqueous fluids from the eye. Secondary glaucoma is caused by a different disease process in the body. Diagnosis is made by measuring the eye pressure (IOP) of both eyes by tonometry and comparing the values of each eye to one another as well as the expected normal range.
Symptoms of glaucoma include eyes that present as bloodshot, cloudy corneas, dilated pupils, and squinting. Dog breeds predisposed to glaucoma include Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Chihuahuas, and Basset Hounds. When cats develop the disease, it is usually the secondary form. For that reason, diagnostics to identify the underlying cause are crucial.
Treatment is usually lifelong unless the glaucoma is secondary to a different disease process that can be identified and reversed. The main treatment for glaucoma consists of various eye drops that have been formulated for the treatment of human glaucoma. It is important that the eye drops are given on a consistent schedule. If glaucoma is diagnosed in one eye, it is common to start prophylactic treatment of the other eye to prevent rises in IOP. In cases of primary glaucoma, there are surgical options for correcting the anatomic defect. When pressures cannot be controlled with medication, additional pain control medicines, or even removal of the eye, may be needed to keep the pet comfortable.
Most glaucoma medications are obtained at human pharmacies with a prescription from your veterinarian. We’re more than happy to work with you to select the best medication for your pet based on diagnosis, age, lifestyle, and breed.
Suspect your pet might be suffering from an eye condition? Have questions about your pet’s glaucoma diagnosis? Give us a call at (318) 686-5945 today! You can also check out the helpful links below.