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Glaucoma in Dogs




Your veterinarian will prescribe multiple drugs to lower the pressure within your dog's eye and to get it into the normal range as quickly as possible in an attempt to salvage vision. Often, a dog will have a long-term condition that has gone unnoticed or that has been misdiagnosed before the obvious symptoms of glaucoma have become present. In such cases, the optical nerve has been damaged beyond reparation and surgery may be indicated.


There are different treatments depending on the exact nature of the glaucoma. The fluid may be drained and the fluid producing cells altered to stop fluid buildup within the eye. This process, called cyclocryotherapy, uses cold temperatures to kill the cells that produce intraocular fluid. If found early, this procedure may slow down or stop further progression. However, in most long term cases the eye will have to be removed. The empty eye socket may be closed up permanently, or the eye cavity can be filled with an orb, to keep the ocular space filled.


Most dogs will adjust over time to the loss of their eye, especially as they may have been losing their vision over a period pf time. Talk to your veterinarian about ways in which you can help your dog to transition, and how you can help to make its home and outdoor life easier without its sight. In such cases, you will need to attend your dog when it is outdoors, as it will be more vulnerable to other animals.


Living and Management


If the condition has been caught early enough and your veterinarian is able to manage the condition, you will need to revisit your veterinarian regularly to have the pressure within the eye assessed and to monitor for drug interactions and make changes as necessary. Your veterinary ophthalmologist will examine the unaffected (or "good") eye to determine its risk of also developing glaucoma. Because more than 50 percent of dogs with primary glaucoma will develop complications in their unaffected eye within 8 months, preventative therapy should be done quickly.



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