Skip to main content

In dogs, there is a primary form and a secondary form of glaucoma. 

The primary form is an inherited disorder. This means that there are some specific dog breeds who are more likely to develop this condition, even at an early age. 

The secondary form of glaucoma in dogs instead mostly derives from an underlying eye condition such as uveitis, intraocular hemorrhage, lens displacement, cancer of the eye, intumescent cataract formation, and complications following certain types of eye surgery.

A Lesson in Anatomy

In order to better understand the dynamics that take place in dog glaucoma, it helps to have a better grip on the anatomy of a dog's eye.

Usually, a dog's eye presents as a normally shaped structure that appears healthy and with tissues of a normal color. 

This is the combination of various well functioning mechanisms that ensure vision.

In a normal eye, for instance, special fluids ensure that the dog's eye is nourished and maintains its typical shape.

In order for these fluids to work well, they should be produced and drained efficiently. 

However, sometimes things may go wrong and this is where secondary glaucoma in dogs sets in.

Causes of Secondary Glaucoma

In secondary glaucoma, the dog's eye drainage system no longer operates as it is supposed to because of an underlying eye condition.

For example, in a case of lens displacement, the lens may pop out of place and settle right over the drainage hole, preventing the fluid from draining away. 

When this happens, more fluids are being produced than being removed causing a a cascading chain of events and problems.

Excess fluids in the dog's eye cause increased pressure in the eye. Affected eyes therefore, will tend to stretch and enlarge. 

The result is ultimately great damage that leads to permanent blindness. 

For this reason, owners suspecting signs of glaucoma in their dog should take immediate action and have their dog's eyes seen by a veterinarian or better, an ophthalmologist specialist right away.

dog-glaucoma-picture

Symptoms of Glaucoma in Dogs

One of the biggest problems with glaucoma is that it is often misleading. 

Many dogs may have vision loss in one eye, but they may effectively compensate with the other, therefore, owners may not be able to recognize early warning signs.

Following are some symptoms which attentive owners may be able to detect, and that warrant an immediate veterinary appointment.

Scroll to Continue

Discover More

Screenshot 2022-11-29 200314

Scotland's "Suicide Bridge," Where Dogs Jump Off

As odd as it may sound, there is a bridge located in Scotland from which hundreds of dogs have jumped off, giving this bridge a bad rap.

Screenshot 2022-11-28 134639

Why Does My Dog Yawn When I Kiss Him?

If your dog yawns when you kiss him, you may be wondering what's up with this behavior. Discover why dogs yawn and what it means.

Spleen Cancer in Dogs

Different Types of Pain in Dogs

There are different types of pain in dogs and differentiating one from another can help you better understand your companion.

• Reddened, blood shot eye

• Cloudiness

• Ocular Pain

• Loss of Vision

• Bumping into Furniture

• Enlarged Eye

Diagnosis of Secondary Glaucoma in Dogs

The best way to diagnose secondary glaucoma in dogs is by having the dog undergo an ocular pressure reading. 

This test is known as 'tonometry'.

 Generally, a normal pressure reading in dogs with healthy eyes will give a reading between 10 and 20 mmHg. However, dogs with glaucoma may record readings from 45 to even 65 mmHg. 

The procedure is painless and does not require general anesthesia.

Treatment of Glaucoma in Dogs

Temporary management involves the use of eye drops and medications that either focus on reducing the amount of fluids the eye produces or attempt to increase the drainage.

 In some cases, gentamycin is injected in the eye for the purpose of destroying the cells responsible for producing fluids.

 In order to permanently treat glaucoma, if vision is still retained, surgery is the ultimate treatment option.

In this surgery, the eye's cells that produce fluids are destroyed and an artificial drainage implant is inserted.

 Dogs that have lost vision, unfortunately will not regain it, and enucleation (a surgical procedure to remove the eye) may be recommended. 

Owners that are uncomfortable with having a dog with no eye, may opt to have a prosthetic eye inserted.

Photo credits:

Related Articles