Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in dogs and is caused by increased fluid pressure in the eye, or intraocular pressure. The abnormally high pressure causes damage to the retina and the optic nerve, leading to blindness.
There are two types of glaucoma. Primary glaucoma is inherited. Some breeds of dogs and cats have traits that predispose them to developing glaucoma. Primary glaucoma doesn't usually develop until a dog is 2-3 years old, or older. Glaucoma rarely occurs in both eyes at the same time.
Secondary glaucoma occurs when other eye diseases or injuries cause decreased fluid drainage. Some common causes of secondary glaucoma are inflammation inside the eye, bleeding in the eye, or dislocation of the lens.
Warning signs of glaucoma are pain, a diliated pupil, cloudiness within the cornea, red or bloodshot eye, and loss of vision. Click Here to view our glaucoma PDF
Suburban Animal Clinic recommends an annual screening of your pet using our Tono-Pen Vet to measure the intraocular pressure of the eye. This is usually done with local anesthetic drops placed in your dog's or cat's eye.
There are several different types of eye drops and pills that help decrease fluid production or increase fluid drainage from the eye. These medications can help, but they usually do not control glaucoma for the long term. They can help prevent or delay the onset of glaucoma, and can work as a temporary treatment until surgery can be performed in the affected eye.