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
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.