Glaucoma in pets occurs when there is increased pressure inside the eye. A clear fluid within the eye, known as aqueous humor, is essential to maintain the shape of your pet's eye and nourish its tissues. However, there must be a proper balance between this fluid production and drainage to maintain normal pressure and eyesight.
How Glaucoma Affects Your Pet
When drainage in the eye becomes blocked for one reason or another, fluid will build up resulting in excessive pressure. This can cause your pet's eye to stretch and become enlarged leading to glaucoma. If this eye condition is not treated immediately, it can result in partial or complete blindness. There are two forms of glaucoma in dogs and cats, and they are primary and secondary. The primary form of this eye condition is hereditary and typically begins in just one eye, but it eventually spreads to both. Secondary glaucoma occurs when a related eye disease reduces fluid drainage. These diseases can include uveitis, cancer, cataracts and retinal detachment.
Common Symptoms of Glaucoma
Common Symptoms of Glaucoma: Partial or Complete Loss of Vision, Lethargy, Extreme Headaches, Irritability, Decreased Appetite, Bloodshot or Cloudy Eye´s and Enlarged Eye´s. It is essential to note that some of these symptoms are difficult for people to recognize. Additionally, by the time some of them show up, the eye may already be blind. With that said, it is extremely important for pet owners to pay attention to any mood changes in their pets.
Treatments for Glaucoma
The logical way to treat glaucoma is to open up the drainage system in the eye to allow proper drainage. However, this can be difficult. Thus, many treatments involve decreasing fluid production in the eyes. There are several types of eye drops and pills that can accomplish this including OptiPranolol, Betaxolol and Timolol. Surgery is performed if the veterinarian believes that the eye still has potential for vision. In this case, a cycloablation procedure and a drainage implant can help to reduce intraocular pressure. If the eye is blind, the vet may choose to remove the eye and replace it with an artificial one or inject the eye with a solution that kills the fluid-producing cells. Glaucoma, while not a fatal condition, is a serious disease that can result in blindness. Since many of the symptoms of the disease are nearly impossible to recognize, it is essential to take note of any mood changes in your pet and seek veterinary attention immediately if necessary.
As stated above, primary glaucoma is a hereditary condition that is more common in some dogs than it is in others. Some of the breeds that the condition is most often seen in are listed below. Breeds commonly affected by Glaucoma: Cocker Spaniels, Chow Chows, Basset Hounds, Labrador Retrievers, Shar Peis, some arctic breeds and some cats.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.