Glaucoma in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Glaucoma in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Author WDF Staff


Glaucoma is a condition that happens when there is a rise in eye pressure. In healthy eyes, a clear fluid is produced that nourishes the eye tissue and helps the eye maintain its shape. This fluid is called aqueous humor.


When the production of aqueous humor and its drainage is well balanced, the pressure in the eyes will be normal and they will function as they should. But if the balance is not in sync and if there is an overproduction of aqueous humor or not enough drainage, the pressure will begin to build. When the pressure becomes too high, it needs to be relieved because the eye will start to stretch and cause severe pain that can end up in the loss of vision of your dog.

Pain and symptoms

Glaucoma in dogs causes more pain and is more severe than the pain in human glaucoma. Because animals can’t directly show what is wrong with them or what causes them pain, you need to watch for symptoms that indicate glaucoma. Some of the glaucoma symptoms include: blinking more than usual, loss of vision, pain in the eyes, swollen eyes, squinting, cloudiness, etc.

Types of glaucoma

1. Primary glaucoma – is the result of genetics (it is inherited)

2. Secondary glaucoma – occurs when something happens to the eye. That can be trauma, eye injury, eye infection, etc.

Primary glaucoma - dog breeds

The most common is primary glaucoma. If this glaucoma occurs in one eye there is a 50% chance that the other eye will also develop glaucoma. Take note that permanent blindness can occur within a few hours if the high pressure is maintained. There is no cure for this condition, you can only control glaucoma with treatment.

There are some dog breeds that are prone to glaucoma. These breeds are Akita, Dalmatian, Beagle, Maltese, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, etc.

Can glaucoma in dogs be prevented?

Because glaucoma can be difficult to discover, the main thing is to make an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If you notice something strange with your dog's eyes take him to the vet immediately for a checkup. This will help the veterinarian differentiate the type of glaucoma and also he may discover a way to prevent glaucoma development in the second eye. 

Can glaucoma in dogs be cured?

There is no cure for glaucoma, but it can be controlled. Treatments for glaucoma are medications or surgery (if the pressure can’t be controlled with medications). Treatment of glaucoma is a long-term process that requires constant medical treatment to keep it under control. Once it loses sight, the best you can do for your dog is to provide him comfort. If your dog has only one eye infected you need to watch closely and monitor the second eye so it will not develop glaucoma as well.

World Dog Finder team

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