Q. What is glaucoma in dogs?
Glaucoma in dogs and other animals is a pressure build-up inside of the eye cause by trapped fluid. Like a faucet, fluid is made in the eye and drains out. When the drain narrows or clogs, fluid can’t get out of the eye and builds up, causing pressure.
Q. What does glaucoma in dogs look like?
Glaucoma in dogs typically causes eye redness and cloudiness. Lots of eye diseases can cause these signs, though, so it can be difficult to know if your dog has glaucoma. Glaucoma feels like a headache, so many times, dogs will not experience squinting or pawing at the eye, but may sleep more instead or not act like themselves. A full pet eye examination is important to know if your dog has glaucoma.
Q. How is testing for glaucoma in dogs done?
Testing for glaucoma is done by using a small device called a tonometer to gently touch the eye and measure pressure inside the eye. It’s like the “puff” of air at the human eye doctor, but the pressure test can’t be felt, which is great for our pets. If the pressures are higher than normal, we walk you through what it means and discuss the options for treatment.
Q. Can glaucoma in dogs be dangerous for the eye?
Yes, glaucoma can be damaging to the delicate eye tissues because they get squeezed from all the pressure. Depending on how high the pressure is, glaucoma in dogs can cause sudden or slow blindness. It also causes migraine headaches. Because our dogs can’t tell us their head hurts or if they aren’t able to see as well, it’s important to measure the pressure to know if it is high.
Q. How do you treat glaucoma in dogs?
Glaucoma in dogs is usually treated with eye medications, similar to how glaucoma in people is treated. Treatment of glaucoma in dogs should be done as soon as possible (within hours) to avoid continued damage to the eyes. Sometimes, glaucoma in dogs needs to be treated with a glaucoma procedure or surgery to decrease the pressure. Because we specialize in eye diseases, we will know just the right treatment to help keep your dog comfortable and able to see. We will also talk to you thoroughly about all your options.
Q. I think my dog has glaucoma, what should I do?
If you think your dog has glaucoma or an other eye problem, you should schedule an appointment at our office. We would love to meet your pets and talk with you about any eye condition your pet may have. Come visit us!