Identifying and Treating Glaucoma in Dogs
Glaucoma, a condition affecting the eye, is common among dogs. Although it mainly occurs in older pets, this disease can actually impact animals well under age 3. Without diagnosis and treatment, glaucoma can lead to decreased vision and even blindness.
Vision health is paramount to quality of life. The team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital want to educate our pet families on the signs of glaucoma in dogs. After all, vision health is paramount to quality of life!
What Is Glaucoma in Dogs?
The eyes are one of the most important organs in that they allow us to navigate the world. In our pets, this importance cannot be underscored, and maintaining their good health requires vigilance and understanding of their function.
Glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eye. This pressure is called intraocular pressure (IOP), and as it rises, it can be painful and lead to permanent blindness.
Glaucoma in dogs can be caused by genetics or be a result of another disease. Breeds commonly affected by glaucoma include Cocker Spaniel, Jack Russell Terrier, Chow Chow, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Shar Pei, and arctic breeds, such as Malamutes and Huskies.
Diseases that can lead to secondary glaucoma include lens displacement, retinal detachment, cataracts, and inflammation.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Pet owners should be aware of some of the signs of glaucoma:
- Swelling or enlargement of the eyeball
- Rubbing at eye
- Bloodshot eye
It is vital to follow up with your veterinarian when symptoms appear. Your veterinarian can test the pressure of the eye using an instrument called the tonometry, along with a thorough eye examination.
Treating glaucoma is dependent on the extent of damage and its cause. Sometimes glaucoma can be managed using medication to decrease the pressure, as well as by decreasing stress on the eye, such as no longer walking on a leash and collar. Sometimes we use surgery when the cause of glaucoma is cataracts, lens issues, or a retinal tear.
Maintain Great Vision Health
One of the simplest ways to keep your pet’s eyes healthy is to maintain those important annual wellness exams. As a pet ages, certain conditions come into play that can increase your pet’s chances of developing glaucoma, and more so if they have genetic predisposition. Annual exams help diagnose changes early.
At home, do a monthly check of your pet’s ears, eyes, and overall health to look for any signs of change. Follow up with changes to ensure early detection and quick treatment. If you would like more information about glaucoma in dogs, please do not hesitate to call us.