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Glaucoma in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments


If medical treatment is not effective, a surgical procedure such as cyclodestructive surgery or filtering surgery may be done. These reduce fluid production in the eye. Some veterinarians use cryosurgery, which involves freezing and destroying a portion of the ciliary body to reduce the production of intraocular fluid. The operation can also be done with a laser, but this requires referral to a special canine eye center.

In chronic glaucoma the affected eye is blind and thus susceptible to corneal injuries and other problems, including intense pain. If these develop, the eye should be removed. If desired, a prosthesis can be inserted for cosmetic reasons.

Prevention: Eye examinations (such as the CERF exam discussed in Retinal Diseases, on this page)will detect small increases in intraocular pressure, thereby allowing sufficient time to start preventive treatment before glaucoma develops. Annual eye examinations should be performed on all dogs with a hereditary predisposition to primary glaucoma.

A dog with glaucoma in one eye must be watched carefully for signs of glaucoma in the other eye. Intraocular pressure should be measured every four months in these high-risk individuals. Dogs with primary glaucoma should not be used for breeding. There is now evidence that pulling on a neck collar increases intraocular pressure. Dogs with increased intraocular pressure, weak or thin corneas, or full-blown glaucoma should therefore be walked with a harness rather than a collar.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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