Does your dog or cat have glaucoma?
Whenever I am asked over the internet about advice regarding a dog’s eye condition, I nearly always recommend a full veterinary ophthalmologic exam, as it is nearly impossible to diagnose an eye condition by simply describing it in words. There are also many possible eye disorders that pets can suffer from including simple eye allergies and clogged tear ducts, to more complex, serious and sometimes emergency eye disorders including corneal ulcers or scratches, glaucoma, cataracts, as well as problems with the retina that can result in blindness, if not appropriately diagnosed and treated.
Many of these eye disorders can present very similarly. In the case of glaucoma, many of these pets can have very red and sensitive eyes, to more obvious cases with dilated pupils and protruding eyes, accompanied by varying degrees of visual deficits. While glaucoma is more common in certain breeds of dogs, it can occur in any pure or mixed breed canine.
Early diagnosis is essential in order not only to preserve the vision in the affected eye, but to potentially prevent the problem from occurring in the other eye as well. Diagnosis is usually only possible through a proper veterinary exam using an instrument known as a tonometer. If the intraocular pressure is noted to be elevated on several readings of the tonometer, a diagnosis of glaucoma is confirmed. Your veterinarian will then prescribe potentially various topical and oral medications such as Timolol, Pilocarpine, as well as oral Methazolamide.