Glaucoma 

  • Glaucoma is increased pressure within the eye and is very painful 

  • Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency 

  • Glaucoma can be primary or secondary

  • Always contact your vet immediately if you think your pet is displaying symptoms of glaucoma 

  • Animals can go rapidly blind with glaucoma

 

Symptoms of glaucoma 

  • Glaucoma usually presents with a painful eye, they may squint, rub the eye or not want to let you near them 

  • There may be some discharge or weeping from the eye 

  • Eyes may appear bloodshot 

  • The eyes may start to look cloudy 

  • The affected eye may look larger, or bulging compared to the other 

 

Primary glaucoma 

  • Primary glaucoma is usually hereditary 

  • Primary glaucoma is a consequence of abnormal drainage of the fluid from the eye 

  • Primary glaucoma usually develops in just one eye but will generally progress to both eyes

  • Primary glaucoma can develop very rapidly, or more slowly later in life 

 

Secondary glaucoma 

  • Secondary glaucoma occurs secondary to another abnormality in the eye, such as a luxated lens or an injury to the eye 

 

Treatment 

 

When an animal first presents with glaucoma it is important the vet ensures the pressure in the eye is stabilised, this may require hospitalisation for the vet to carefully monitor the eye and provide strong pain relief. If the pressure in the eye cannot be brought down then your pet may need referral to an ophthalmic specialist. 

 

Ongoing management will require regular eye drops and careful monitoring. 

 

Sometimes, when the pressure cannot be stabilised enucleation (removal of the eye) may be indicated, in this circumstance the animal has usually gradually lost their site due to the high pressure in the eye so they generally cope well with removal of the eye and will feel immediately more comfortable.