Dog Breeds Predisposed to Glaucoma (alphabetical) 

Afghan

Akita

Alaskan Malamute

Basset Hound

Beagle

Border Collie

Boston Terrier

Bouvier Des Flandres

Cairn Terrier

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Chihuahua

Chow

Cocker Spaniel

Dachshund

Dalmatian

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

English Springer Spaniel

Giant Schnauzer

Great Dane

Maltese

Manchester Terrier

Miniature Pinscher

Norfolk Pinscher

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwich Terrier

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Poodle

Saluki

Samoyed

Scottish Terrier

Sealyham Terrier

Shih Tzu

Siberian Husky

Smooth-Coated Fox Terrier

Tibetan Terrier

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Whippet

Wire-Haired Fox Terrier

Glaucoma occurs when too much fluid collects in an eye.  This painful condition affects dogs, cats, and horses.  In addition to severe pain, glaucoma can rapidly cause permanent blindness.  When owners identify glaucoma quickly, they can save the eye.  Periodic screening for dogs and cats can identify the problem in time for effective treatment.

Glaucoma can be subtle and difficult for owners to detect.  While it can be quite painful, it is not always painful in horses.  Signs of glaucoma include a bulging eye, dilated pupil, inflammation, cloudiness, discomfort, redness, and blindness.  There may be only one of these signs or a combination of signs.  Some types of glaucoma are likely to affect one eye in horses and then later affect the other eye.  Dogs have a tendency to tilt their heads toward the swollen eye and to paw at a painful eye.  Blindness can result quickly from pressure on the optic nerve, especially in dogs.  Blindness does occur later in the disease process for horses than it does for dogs and humans.  If you suspect glaucoma in your animal, contact Healing Springs Animal Hospital right away.  A mere hour can make a difference in the outcome of some cases.

In the past, accurate diagnosis of glaucoma required referral to a specialty hospital.  However, Healing Springs Animal Hospital is now equipped for state-of-the-art diagnosis of glaucoma in dogs, cats, and horses.  A device called the Tono-Pen enables our veterinarians to measure the pressure inside an eye.  The device is portable and will be available for large animal calls if the owner alerts Healing Springs to possible eye problems when scheduling the visit.

The pain and other symptoms of glaucoma can be easy to miss, especially when the effects develop over a time span of weeks or months.  This is why routine evaluations for glaucoma are so important.  Only veterinarians properly equipped for this testing can reliably evaluate for glaucoma.  Healing Springs will make Tono-Pen assessment a standard part of the senior wellness screening for cats and dogs.  Cats and dogs should begin having annual senior wellness screenings around age 7.  Veterinary ophthalmologists also recommend that the 42 breeds predisposed to glaucoma should be evaluated annually beginning year 1 (see list to the right).

Dogs and cats have an exciting new treatment option for glaucoma.  In the past, the primary treatment option was I.V. Mannitol.  Now, owners can drop Latanaprost in the affected eye once or twice daily to manage the glaucoma.  The first treatment works in one to two hours.

Treatment in horses begins with antibiotics and eye drops.  Positive effects are often seen in seven days.  If not, the medications need to be changed.  If that still doesn’t work, laser surgery may be an option.  Laser surgery works by destroying the ciliary body (the body responsible for creating fluid in the eye).

If the eye is already blind or if medications are not working, you should have your vet surgically remove the eye.  Even when the eye is blind, it can be continuously painful for the animal.   Surgically removing the eye will remove the pain and provide for a better quality of life.

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