Glaucoma in Dogs

Glaucoma in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Eye Pain / Pain / Redness / Swelling / Vision Problems

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Rated as serious conditon

28 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Eye Pain / Pain / Redness / Swelling / Vision Problems

Glaucoma in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the condition of increased pressure in the eye. Eye pressure is normally regulated by fluid flowing into and out of the eye at a balanced rate. If too much fluid is made or too little fluid is drained, the pressure in the eye increases, causing damage to the retina and optic nerve. Glaucoma can be painful and approximately 40 percent of cases lead to blindness within one year. If treatment is not started within hours of pressure increase, vision will likely be lost. Glaucoma is the elevation of pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP) beyond a specific point at which vision is compromised or is no longer possible. Glaucoma is a frequent cause of blindness in both humans and animals.

Glaucoma Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$900

Symptoms of Glaucoma in Dogs

Symptoms of glaucoma should be treated as an emergency as vision can be lost within hours of disease signs. Glaucoma usually begins in one eye. 50 percent of cases spread to the other eye if left untreated.

Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Pupils of eyes different sizes
  • Mild to severe eye pain (rubbing eye on the floor or with paw)
  • Appearance of vessels in the white of the eye
  • Redness of the eye
  • Cloudy cornea
  • Fluttering eye lid
  • Squinting
  • Tearing
  • Appetite loss and anti-social behavior (due to pain)
  • Light avoidance
  • Weak blink response
  • No response of pupil to light
  • Vision problems (bumping into objects, difficulty finding toys, walking gingerly)
  • Bulging swollen eye
Types

There are two forms of glaucoma in dogs:

  • Primary Glaucoma

    – The fluid flow rate into or out of the eye is abnormal resulting in an increase in eye pressure.

  • Secondary Glaucoma

    – A separate condition causes intraocular fluid drainage to be slowed or blocked, resulting in increased pressure. Twice as common as primary glaucoma.

Intraocular pressure is measured using a tonometer:

  • Normal Intraocular Pressure – 15-25mmHg
  • Primary Glaucoma – 25-30mmHg
  • Secondary Glaucoma – 10-30mmHg
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Causes of Glaucoma in Dogs

  • Primary Glaucoma

    – Caused by genetic predisposition. Usually appears at or after 2 years of age. Genetically predisposed breeds include (but are not limited to) the basset hound, beagle, chihuahua, chow, cocker spaniel, dachshund, maltese, miniature poodle, samoyed and siberian husky.

  • Secondary Glaucoma

    – Caused by infection, inflammation, injury, lens luxation, or tumor.

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Diagnosis of Glaucoma in Dogs

As irreversible eye damage and vision loss can occur within hours of symptoms, if any one of the symptoms are noted, visit your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will want to know onset of symptoms and any history of trauma or behavioral patterns associated with pain or vision loss. He will perform an ophthalmologic exam and may choose to treat your pet in the clinic or may refer you to veterinary ophthalmologist.

Tonometry

Intraocular pressure is measured with a tonometer. A drop of anesthetic may be put on the eye first. One type of tonometer blows a puff of air on the eye and measures the indentation. Another type presses a small plastic disk against the eyeball to measure pressure. The Mueller method uses an electronic tonometer.

In sudden glaucoma, the pupil has a sluggish response to light, the blink response is weak or absent, the cornea is swollen or cloudy, the eye is red, inflamed and tearing, and the pet may be squinting.

In chronic glaucoma, the pupil has no response to light and the blink response is absent. The cornea is cloudy and the eye is red and inflamed. Tearing is possible and vessels are seen on the cornea. The eye is often enlarged.

X-ray

Your veterinarian may want to rule out the presence of an eye abscess, injury or tumor. An x-ray or ultrasound will allow the space around the eye to be visualized.

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Treatment of Glaucoma in Dogs

Treatment depends on cause and severity of the glaucoma. The goal of treatment is to restore normal eye pressure (by decreasing fluid production and/or increasing fluid drainage) and provide pain relief. In the case of secondary glaucoma, the cause of the condition must be treated as well. This may include repair of trauma, surgical removal of any tumors, or antibiotics for infection. If only one eye is affected, steps will be taken to prevent glaucoma’s development in the other eye.

Medications

Most medications are topical drops or ointments that will lower the pressure of the eye and/or treat inflammation or infection. Topicals are often administered 3 times daily for a defined period of time. Some medications are oral.

Beta-blockers reduce fluid production. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitor diuretics reduce fluid production. Cholinesterase inhibitors help delay the onset of glaucoma in the unaffected eye. Corticosteroids can help control inflammation. Mitotic medications shrink the pupil to allow fluid release. Osmotic diuretics dehydrate the eye (used with caution in diabetics or cardiac patients). Prostaglandin analogs can improve fluid flow from the eye.

Surgery

Surgery may be required in cases of primary or secondary glaucoma. There are a variety of surgical approaches used for the varying degrees of severity and vision damage:

  • Cyclophotocoagulation

    – A laser instrument destroys the secretory epithelium of the eye’s ciliary body (responsible for fluid production within the eye).

  • Gonioimplantation

    – A shunt (small tube) is implanted to provide a fluid drainage outlet.

  • Enucleation

    – Complete removal of the globe of the eye (eyeball). Used in severe cases or when other therapies aren’t effective.

Repeat surgeries may be required depending on the underlying cause and the eye’s response to surgery.

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Recovery of Glaucoma in Dogs

Glaucoma medications can help delay progression and provide comfort, but most pets lose vision in one or both eyes within two years without surgery.

If the condition is caught early, follow-up appointments will be scheduled to determine if treatment is helping or if the condition is worsening. The unaffected eye will continue to be examined for signs of glaucoma. When treating with drops, keep the tip of the dropper sterile. Never touch it to the surface of the eye or with hands. Surgery patients will need to wear an Elizabethan collar (e-collar or cone) to prevent rubbing the eye.

Breeds predisposed to developing glaucoma should have the eyes checked every 6 months so that cases can be detected and treated as early as possible. Always watch for any abnormalities with the eyes and report them to your vet as soon as possible.

In cases of enucleation surgery, loss of an eye is usually not difficult to adapt to and pets only suffer a mild loss of depth perception. You can speak with your veterinarian on how to make the house safe for transitioning to seeing with one eye. Watch off-leash pets outdoors as it will take a while to adapt fully.

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Glaucoma Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$900

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Glaucoma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Pomchi

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Fifteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bloody Stool

dog pooping waterfall of blood

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without being able to examine your dog, and fortunately, it is hard to say what might be causing this, but it certainly does sound like your dog needs medical attention right away. A veterinarian will be able to examine your dog, see what the cause of this problem might be, and get treatment. I hope that all goes well.

July 28, 2020

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Kimber

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Cattle dog

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Redness Of Eye

At what point should I consider having eye removed? Glaucoma dx in both eyes. IOD R 27 L 50. Currently on drops to help lower pressure. Diagnosed 9 months ago.

Aug. 16, 2018

Kimber's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If Kimber's glaucoma is not being controlled (IOP of 50 is not controlled), and she isn't visual in one or both of her eyes, it is typically better for them long term to have the eyes removed, as they are not longer painful, don't need to have the frequent drops, and they could not see regardless. Since I can't see her, I'm not sure whether you should have the eye or eyes removed, but a consultation with your veterinarian or veterinary oncologist would help you make that determination. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 16, 2018

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Gizmo

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Chihuahua

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7 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Loss Of Appetite
Squinting
Itchy Eyes
Blurred Vision

I noticed about 2 months ago the my dog had what looked to be white crusty stuff, looked like sleep, in her eye more than normal in both eyes. With her being black and short haired it was really easy to see that it was uncommon but I had also noticed that she was sneezing a bit more this spring than usual as well. We took a short three day vacation and that when I noticed she wasn't eating like she should but then I considered she was out of element because we never really go anywhere. Within a week she had started rubbing her face between blankets and her paws, completely stopped eating, she couldn't see and I noticed her right eye had become kind of bluish colored, normally dark brown. I took her to the vet within a week and said it was full glaucoma in right eye and starting in left. They gave me drops. 1 drop each eye twice a day and that was it. Is there more that should have been done?

July 19, 2018

Gizmo's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It depends since glaucoma may be a primary condition or a secondary condition; in primary glaucoma you can only manage the glaucoma, in secondary glaucoma you can manage the glaucoma and treat/manage the underlying condition. You should check the intraocular pressures with your Veterinarian regularly to see how effective treatment is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 19, 2018

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Winnie

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Havanese

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Glucoma,

My dog has glucoma in one eye.The vet suggested some drops and we put it in both his eyes. However those drops made him very uncomfortable. He would not be able to sleep and then one day his other eye also clouded. We immediately stopped the drops and his other eye recovered to normal. Now he is able to see from one eye. His other eye is still buldged. But he shows no signs of pain. Should we leave him like that. Or should we take some action. Will his buldged eye evercome back to normal?

June 26, 2018

Winnie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Glaucoma may be primary or secondary, if it is secondary it may be ‘cured’ if the underlying cause is successfully treated but if it is primary glaucoma then it would need lifelong management. The majority of dogs presenting with glaucoma in one eye will develop glaucoma in the other eye within a year. You should discuss with your Veterinarian other options or consulting with an Ophthalmologist. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 27, 2018

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Losi

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Chihuahua, tibetan spaniel

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Tearing, Painful, Squinting

Our dog started getting a cloudy eye recently. Shortly after, she developed a small abscess on the skin, just below the lower eyelid, I've checked in her mouth well for rotten teeth but found nothing. Treated the abscess, which quickly dried up and went away. We suspected she was nipped by another dog, causing the abscess. Now, after a week of being healed, her eye seems irritated, painful and tearing. We are going to get her into the vet immediately, but have no real 24 hour emergency centers less than an hour away. Is there anything I can do from home to help her be comfortable until morning?

June 1, 2018

Losi's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I'm not sure what is causing the irritation to her eye, so can't really recommend anything other than a cool compress around her eye, keep the skin around her eye clean, and don't let her rub at it until you can get her in to be seen.

June 1, 2018

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Peyton

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Bichon Frise

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10 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Cataracts, Glaucoma Cornea Ulcers

10 yr old Bichon w juvenile cataracts in both eyes, he has been basically blind for several years. About 5 weeks ago, noticed that left eye looked rolled back into his head. Visited vet next day, diagnosis ulcer on his cornea - given antibiotic drops. Week later, eye is not better. Return to vet who refers us to ophthalmologist, same diagnosis ulcer 60% of cornea, pressure normal. Continue drops. Another week, eye is not better and is now bulging return immediately to ophthalmologist and diagnosis is secondary glaucoma left eye and a small ulcer on the cornea of right eye. Drops to reduce pressure and new pain meds given. Rechecked 4 days later, pressure is normal now. A few more days go by and now the left eye is red and muddy looking & right eye is weepy and he is in obvious pain. Surgery to remove the left eye is scheduled for Tuesday at the vet. Going back to ophthalmologist for a second/final opinion on Monday. I hate the idea of removing his eye but understand it may be what is best for him. Now, Considering if both eyes should be removed at the same time. He’s blind in both eyes and the right eye looks better than the left but doesn’t look good. Wouldn’t it be better to remove both eyes and not but him through a second surgery?

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Kaya

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Mini Australian ShepherD

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15 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pink Discharge From Eye

My adopted 14.5 year old mini Aussie had enucleation surgery of her left eye. That was about 2 months ago. She is a fear biter and I had the surgery done quite quickly after she was diagnosed as she would not let me put drops in her eye without always try to nip/bite at me. I did treat tricks but she’s too darn smart and wouldn’t even come to me to take treats. Now her right eye is tearing a lot, seems to be pink in color and the white of her eye seems a bit red, not as red as her left eye was before surgery. I read that once one eye has had glaucoma the other eye might also get it. I’m worried that is what is happening. So my dilemma is if I should put her through another surgery (recovery was very difficult as she would not take her pain pills the first night, it was a struggle and I had to use gloves to avoid being bit). I don’t know that she would do well being totally blind because of her fear reactions and so I’m so torn about wondering if I should put her down if glaucoma does happen in her only remaining eye. Will either of our lives be a good quality of life. I didn’t know when I adopted her 1.5 years ago that she was a fear biter. Groomers won’t take her now because since the enucleation she is more fearful and they couldn’t even get a muzzle on her. The original examination with the ophthalmologist was awful, two of their medical teams couldn’t even get a good reading as she went berserk even with a muzzle on. I’m just so torn as to what to do and what to expect.

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Ferra

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Siberian Husky

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4 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Red Eyes
Anisocoria

I have a Siberian Husky about 4 months old. Shes gotten Anisocoria about 3 times since I got her (I got her at 9 weeks) with one or more weeks apart. Two out of the three times it happen right at the end of our afternoon/ evening walks and she always acts fine (willing to play and eat) and usually takes a nap after. Every time she gets it it goes away in 5-30 mins and its like nothing ever has happened. Im so confused on what it could be.

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Lila

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Lhasa Apso

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8 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Clouding

I have a rescue dog who is 8 years old. She is a Lhasa apso poodle mix. She developed diabetes about a year ago and her glucose was over 800. She also developed glaucoma in one eye at the same time as the diabetes. We started her on the Dorzolamide HCL/Timolol Maleate drops twice daily. Her eye pressure is normal. She gets insulin 15 units of Vetsulin and she well controlled at about 225 at 5 hours after eating. Any possibility that the glaucoma might resolve and she won’t need the drops with the glucose in good control. She hates the drops but doesn’t mind the shots? Thanks

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Bob

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Chihuahua

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10 Years

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Fair severity

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2 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Red Eye

Dog started running in to things, white of eye and eye looked red, pawed at eye. Doctor ran test put dog on Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Ophthaimic Solution a drop in eye twice a day. Vision is back, eye no longer red and Bob seems like his normal self.

Glaucoma Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $350 - $3,500

Average Cost

$900

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