Issue Description Glaucoma is an increase of pressure within the
eye. If the pressure within the eye is elevated for more than several
hours, permanent damage or blindness can result.
Causes Glaucoma is due to an obstruction to the
drainage of aqueous humor from the eye. Continued fluid secretion into
the sealed eye elevates the intraocular pressure. Certain breeds of
dogs are more predisposed to this disease including the Cocker
Spaniel, Beagle, Basset Hound, Poodles, Terrier Breeds, and Siberian
Husky. Although it may affect pets at any age, it is usually diagnosed
in middle-aged dogs, approximately four to six years old.
Symptoms Most dogs with glaucoma will suddenly have a
red, painful eye. Many dogs exhibit eye pain by a loss of appetite,
excessive sleeping, or a decrease in activity. A decrease in vision is
usually not recognized unless both eyes are affected. Some breeds of
dogs will not have a red, painful eye but will have only a slow loss
Diagnosis Your vet can perform routine assessment of your
pet's eye pressure with a fairly straightforward procedure. Since the
most common time for inset of symptoms is between the ages of four and
six, this is the time to establish an eye baseline.
Treatment Glaucoma that has been present for less than 48
hours requires emergency treatment. Although only a small percentage
of dogs regain vision in an eye that has glaucoma, emergency treatment
helps relieve the extreme pain associated with this condition. If your
dog has had glaucoma for more than 48 hours, emergency treatment may
not be effective. Emergency treatment generally requires one day of
hospitalization. Long term treatment is often needed to control
glaucoma requiring oral medication and/or eye drops for the rest of
your pets life. A surgery to relieve increased eye pressure is
frequently recommended instead of long term medication if the eye is
Occasionally, the oral medication used
for glaucoma, Daranide, may produce a loss of appetite and lethargy.
On rare occasions, vomiting and/or diarrhea may occur. The eye drops
may cause temporary redness and tearing immediately after
Types Of Surgery Available The Eye With a Potential for VisionLaser: Laser energy can be directed into the
eye to selectively destroy the fluid producing cells. This "turns
down" the flow of fluid into the eye and subsequently reduces
intraocular pressure. Laser surgeries are about 75% effective in
keeping an eye comfortable, amount of vision restored to the eye is
dependent on the amount of damage done during the pressure spike.
The Blind EyeEye Removal (enucleation): Although this
surgery seems drastic, enucleation is the most reliable way to
alleviate the source of your pet's pain. The eyeball is removed, a
silicone ball is placed in the eye socket, and the eyelids are
permanently sutured over the ball. The ball prevents the skin over the
eye socket from sinking in.
Intraocular Evisceration & ImplantationThe inner contents of the eye are removed and
replaced with a black silicone ball. The outer portions of the eye
remain. The eye is sutured shut for 4 weeks while the eye heals. This
surgery is often chosen by pet owners who cannot tolerate eye removal.
The resulting eye does not look exactly like the dog's original eye
but may be more cosmetically appealing than enucleation.