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At a Glance
Used in the treatment of canine primary glaucoma
Helps relieve pressure in your dog's eyes
Can be used before or after surgery


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At a Glance
Used in the treatment of canine primary glaucoma
Helps relieve pressure in your dog's eyes
Can be used before or after surgery

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Glaucoma can be scary for your pet. The pain and pressure caused by the condition is hard to ignore. Ask your veterinarian about Pilocarpine. It's a miotic agent used in the treatment of canine primary glaucoma and can help relieve the pressure in your dog's eyes by allowing fluid to drain more easily. And it can be used before or after surgery.

Pilocarpine is a medication primarily utilized in ophthalmology for the treatment of neurogenic keratoconjunctivitis sicca, a type of dry eye syndrome resulting from nerve dysfunction, and for diagnosing issues related to cranial nerve III.

While primarily intended for use in humans, pilocarpine is often prescribed off-label for veterinary purposes, particularly in dogs and cats. Its off-label use in veterinary medicine includes treating dry eye or glaucoma and diagnosing cranial nerve lesions.

  • Administration -The administration of pilocarpine varies depending on the condition being treated. For dry eye treatment, it is administered orally, often as a liquid solution mixed with food. Conversely, for glaucoma treatment or cranial nerve III diagnosis, it is applied topically, directly onto the eye.

  • Dosage -Pet owners should follow the veterinarian's prescribed dosage instructions closely. If a dose is missed, it should be administered as soon as remembered, but doubling up on doses should be avoided.

  • Side Effects -Potential side effects of pilocarpine use in pets include vomiting, diarrhea, increased salivation, increased urination, coughing, pulmonary edema, irritation at the application site, redness, squinting, cloudiness in the eye, and the development of irreversible constricted pupils with chronic eye use.

  • Duration of Effects -Pilocarpine typically begins to take effect within 1 to 2 hours of administration, and its effects typically cease within 24 hours.

  • Contraindications -Pilocarpine should not be used in pets with known allergies to the medication or in dogs with glaucoma stemming from uveitis or lens luxation. Caution should be exercised when using pilocarpine in pregnant or nursing pets.

  • Drug Interactions -While there are no specific known drug interactions with pilocarpine, pet owners must inform the veterinarian about all medications, including supplements and herbal therapies, that their pet may be taking.

Pet owners should closely monitor their pets for any signs of side effects following pilocarpine administration. Veterinarians may also regularly monitor tear production, eye pressure, and overall eye condition. In the event of an overdose or adverse reaction to pilocarpine, pet owners should contact their veterinary office immediately or follow the provided instructions for accessing emergency veterinary care.

Pilocarpine should be stored at controlled room temperature and protected from moisture, light, and freezing to maintain its efficacy.

The medication is not recommended in treating secondary glaucoma in dogs. Pilocarpine is for topical use only and should not be given orally. Before applying eye drops, make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly. Use the eye dropper with caution; the dropper tip should not come in contact with the eyes or the surface of the skin to avoid contaminating the medicine. Animals might develop initial irritation when the medication is administered; though, in very rare instances, only can these turn severe.

Though the medicine is not approved for treatment in animals, pilocarpine is a widely prescribed drug by veterinarians for use in dogs. The suggested dosage of medication would be one drop of pilocarpine 1% eye drops in the infected eye/s, thrice a day.

  • Eye Care Pharmacy
  • Falcon Manufacturer
  • Liquid Application
  • Spot On/Topical Application
  • Dog Pet Type

What is pilocarpine used for in dogs?

Pilocarpine is a medication commonly used in both human and veterinary medicine. In pets, particularly in dogs, pilocarpine is often used to treat conditions related to the eye, specifically to manage certain types of glaucoma. Glaucoma, characterized by increased intraocular pressure, poses a risk of optic nerve damage and vision loss without proper management. Alfred Solish, an eye surgeon from Los Angeles, cleverly likens the regulation of intraocular pressure to maintaining a tire's shape with air pressure. In the eye, this maintenance involves fluid pressure, specifically termed "aqueous humor." Properly regulating intraocular pressure is crucial to prevent fluid accumulation, a significant factor linked to glaucoma. Effective care and treatment of glaucoma necessitate vigilant monitoring and management of intraocular pressure. A key strategy involves reducing pressure to slow or halt the progression of the disease. To achieve this, miotic agents like pilocarpine can be employed, aiding fluid drainage by constricting the pupil and facilitating the opening of the drainage angle.

How can I treat my dogโ€™s glaucoma at home?

Margaret, an Animal Handling & Health expert from Australia, emphasizes that the mentioned disease is highly painful for dogs. While there are home treatments available, she strongly recommends an immediate visit to the vet for the dog's long-term well-being. Margaret shares her personal experience with one of her senior dogs, a happy and healthy cocker spaniel who had both eyes removed at different times. Despite the loss of vision, the dog exhibited no side effects, thanks to proper veterinary care. Margaret underscores the severity of the pain associated with the disease and urges pet owners to seek professional advice and medication for pain relief. She firmly states that attempting to treat this disease at home is not advisable and stresses the importance of consulting a vet.

What dog breeds are prone to glaucoma?

Certain dog breeds are more prone to glaucoma, a condition characterized by elevated intraocular pressure. Among these breeds are Cocker Spaniels, both American and English, which have a higher incidence of glaucoma. Basset Hounds, Chow Chows, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies are also recognized for an increased susceptibility to this eye condition.

What triggers glaucoma in dogs?

Glaucoma in dogs is typically triggered by an imbalance between the production and drainage of fluid within the eye, leading to increased intraocular pressure. The primary factors contributing to glaucoma include a genetic predisposition, anatomical abnormalities in the eye's drainage structures, inflammation, and certain underlying health conditions. Other potential causes include eye injuries, tumors, and lens luxation (shifting of the lens within the eye).

What are the effects of glaucoma on a cat's vision?

Glaucoma in cats can have severe effects on their vision. Increased intraocular pressure, a characteristic of glaucoma, can lead to damage to the optic nerve and retina. This damage may result in vision impairment or even blindness over time. Cats with glaucoma may exhibit signs of discomfort, squinting, increased tearing, dilated pupils, and a cloudy appearance in the affected eye. As glaucoma progresses, the eye may become enlarged and visibly bulging.

Can pets survive with glaucoma?

Pets, including cats and dogs, can live with glaucoma, with survival depending on the condition's severity and the underlying cause. While some cases of glaucoma can be managed with medications to lower intraocular pressure, others may require surgical interventions. In some instances, pets may lose vision in the affected eye despite treatment. If glaucoma affects both eyes or is not well-controlled, it can significantly impact a pet's overall quality of life.

Can dogs get their vision back after glaucoma?

Unfortunately, once vision is lost due to glaucoma, it is typically irreversible. The damage caused by increased intraocular pressure and optic nerve compression is often permanent. While early detection and prompt treatment can help manage glaucoma and prevent further vision loss, restoring vision that has already been lost is challenging. The primary goals of treating glaucoma in pets are to alleviate pain, reduce intraocular pressure, and preserve whatever remaining vision is possible. Treatment options may include medications, surgical procedures, or a combination of both. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure and improve comfort, but it may not fully restore lost vision.

What vitamins are good for pets with glaucoma?

While specific vitamins are not typically prescribed as a primary treatment for glaucoma in pets, certain nutritional supplements may support overall eye health. Antioxidant vitamins like A, C, and E, along with minerals such as zinc and selenium, are recognized for their positive impact on eye health. They may contribute to reducing oxidative stress, which can be beneficial for pets, including those with glaucoma. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to maintaining eye health. Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids found in leafy green vegetables, are believed to support eye health and may be beneficial.

Pilocarpine 1% is a miotic agent in veterinary medication indicated for the treatment of primary glaucoma in dogs. The medication is also found effective in the management of intraocular pressure related complications in animals. The drug has shown proven results in the clinical tests conducted in labs. The active ingredient present in the medication is pilocarpine, which is a cholinergic alkaloid that helps in decreasing the pressure mounting inside the eye ball. The drug can be obtained only by prescription from a licensed veterinarian, and is available as suspension eye drops.

Pilocarpine Hydrochloride 20 mg

Preservatives added:
Benzalkonium Chloride 0.01%

Other ingredients:
Monobasic Sodium Phosphate, Hypromellose, Edetate Disodium, Dibasic Sodium Phosphate, Purified Water. Sodium Hydroxide and/or Hydrochloric Acid may be added to adjust pH

Pilocarpine can cause local irritation when first used. Pilocarpine may cause systemic effects including vomiting, diarrhea and increased salivation.

Pilocarpine should not be used in secondary glaucoma. Wash hands before administering eye drops. Do not touch the dropper tip to the skin or eye.

Pilocarpine when initially administered can develop local irritation in certain animals. Excess sweating and increased salivation might also be experienced in certain dogs, which is a reaction to the medication. There have been reported instances of vomiting and diarrhea or loose bowels as well.

Use as directed by your veterinarian.

The usual dose used to treat primary glaucoma in dogs is 1 drop in the effected eye(s) 3 times a day. Do not use the eye drop if it is discolored or has particles in it.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle properly capped.

Pilocarpine is manufactured by Falcon
Option UPC/SKU
1%, 15mL 361314203151

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3. Tell Us About Your Pet and Vet

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