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Five Facts about Feline and Canine Glaucoma

By Gina Carey. June 06, 2012 | See Comments

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    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

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Five Facts about Feline and Canine Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can result in blindness sooner than you may think. Here are five facts you need to know about it.

Feline and Canine glaucoma are eye conditions that will eventually lead to blindness. Early treatment is key to making sure your pet is healthy and comfortable, because your cat or dog could become blind in a short period of time.

1.) Glaucoma develops because of an imbalance in the eye

Glaucoma is caused when ocular fluid, also known as aqueous humor, builds up in the eye due to poor drainage. This fluid is normally produced and drained at a constant rate. Due to abnormal conditions within the eye, the drainage of the fluid is blocked, creating a pressure that cannot be sustained. This pressure causes pain in the eye, as well as vision loss.

2.) Glaucoma is often mistaken for other ailments

Early signs of glaucoma typically have similar symptoms to other eye ailments, such as cataracts and eye infections. Effective treatment of this disease is best administered during its early stages, so it’s important to take note of your pet’s eye health and act when changes occur. If your pet suffers from any of the symptoms of glaucoma, contact a vet immediately.

3.) Two types of glaucoma affect pets

Pets can develop glaucoma in two different ways: through genetic abnormality, and through an injury to the eye. Heredity, or primary glaucoma, occurs frequently in certain breeds, though any breed can pass it down. Secondary glaucoma develops when an injury blocks the drainage angle and increases pressure within the eye.

4.) Glaucoma is painful

Due to the constant pressure on the eye, this condition is hardly a walk in the park for your pet. Dogs and cats who develop glaucoma will endure a significant amount of pain, especially as glaucoma advances. Treatments for glaucoma can help reduce this chronic pain, and when vision is lost completely, eye removal to alleviate the pressure is an option.

5.) There is no cure for glaucoma in pets

Treatment of glaucoma in humans is far more advanced than it is for our furry friends. While there is no cure for glaucoma in pets, there are a number of medications and surgeries that can help delay the onset of vision loss and alleviate the chronic pain associated with intra-ocular pressure. These treatments help decrease the fluid in the eye by either curbing its production or increasing drainage.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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