This disease that causes sight problems for pets can even cause blindness. That is why it is so important to take them for review with the veterinarian. In this article, we update you on glaucoma in dogs.
What is glaucoma in dogs?
As a first step, it is very important to know this pathology well, which causes progressive damage to the optic nerve and with it, a decrease in the animal’s visual field. Glaucoma in dogs can occur in one eye or both, and when it is too late, it is one of the leading causes of blindness in pets.
There are two types of glaucoma: the primary and the genetic. The first is due to genetic or physical causes, which do not allow a correct circulation of the fluid responsible for moistening the eye structures. The genetic or secondary appears due to trauma or disease.
Although all dogs can suffer from glaucoma, the truth is that certain breeds are more prone, as is the case with the Maltese bichon, the cocker spaniel, the Pekingese, and the French Bulldog.
Symptoms of glaucoma in dogs
Because the evolution of this pathology can be very slow, since it is not advanced, it has no symptoms. It is difficult to diagnose. However, as pet owners, we must pay close attention to certain, albeit subtle, changes in the animal’s eyes.
Then, in later stages, it can cause red eyes, nausea, vomiting, aggressive behavior, swelling of the eye area, excessive blinking, appearance of a ‘cloth’ or cloudy layer in the front of the eye, dilated pupils that do not respond to the light and protruding eyeball, reddening of blood vessels.
Enlargement of the eyeball (buphthalmos), advanced degeneration within the eye, and complete vision loss (blindness) are the last three signs of glaucoma in dogs. At that stage, there are no treatments to reverse the situation.
How is glaucoma treated in dogs?
When the veterinarian performs different tests that determine eye pressure and identifies a higher tension than usual, he is likely to diagnose early glaucoma. You can prescribe various drugs – such as mannitol – to save the animal’s eyesight.
If there is accumulated eye fluid, it will be drained, which aims to protect the optic nerve. Cyclocriotherapy is a technique that uses very cold temperatures (freezing) to kill the cells that produce such fluid in excess.
In the event that glaucoma is chronic and the affected eye can no longer see, being more susceptible to infections or corneal lesions, the doctor is likely to indicate excision. Someplace a prosthesis for aesthetic reasons and others choose to suture the cavity.
In order not to reach this point, where there is no possibility of recovery, prevention is essential. If you have a dog vulnerable to glaucoma, comply with annual veterinary checks and, in case of any symptoms, consult with the professional.
If your pet already suffers from glaucoma in one eye, do your best so that the same does not happen in the other. For example, it is said that it is better to wear a harness before a collar to reduce intraocular pressure.
Finally, within the prevention of glaucoma in dogs, there is also the possibility of applying drops (eye drops) to control the production of intraocular fluid, especially if the animal has a very thin cornea or belongs to a breed with a higher risk of this disease.