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Glaucoma In Dogs

Education > Dog Health & Behaviour 23rd March 2019

Glaucoma is a condition where there is increased pressure within the eye. Inside the eye, cells produce a clear fluid (aqueous humor) that nourishes the tissues and maintains the shape of the eye. When there is proper drainage of the fluid into the bloodstream, normal pressure is maintained within the eye.

The problem starts when the drainage is partially or fully blocked. As the fluid continues to be produced but does not drain properly, pressure within the eye increases.

Glaucoma can be inherited or caused by different conditions including uveitis (inflammation of the eyes), lens displacement, retinal detachment and cataracts. The pressure within the eye or Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is measured using an instrument called a tonometer.

Being a painful condition, dogs with glaucoma may partially close or rub their eyes and avoid being touched. There may be eye discharge and the sclera (white of the eye) may look red. Left untreated, increasing pressure within the eye can damage the optic nerve and cause irreversible blindness. The pressure also stretches and enlarges the eye, resulting in your dog having a “bloodshot eye”.

Medicated eyedrops can provide pain relief and reduce both the inflammation and pressure within the eyes. If the pressure remains elevated, enucleation (surgical removal of the eyeball) may have to be considered.