Glaucoma is a complicated series of infections that often result in optical damage. It results in increased production of aqueous humor thus straining drainage of the fluid.
The balance between the production of aqueous humor and its drainage is very important when it comes to maintaining intraocular pressure. When this disturbance occurs and the pressure in the pet’s eyes increases, a condition known as glaucoma is the end result. If left untreated, the fluid causes enlargement and misshaping of the eyes and eventually blindness.
Primary and secondary glaucoma
Primary glaucoma is genetic related and though it’s rare in cats, it’s common in some dog breeds. It starts in one and progresses to both eyes with time.
Secondary glaucoma, on the other hand, occurs when drainage of aqueous humor is prohibited probably due to eye infections. Infections that may result in glaucoma include uveitis, advanced cataracts, chronic retinal detachment and cancer of the eyes.
Signs and symptoms
Increasing pressure in the eyes can be very painful even for pets. In fact, the pain experienced is higher in pets than in pets. This manifests in form of headaches, and when advanced migraines may occur. In the case of pets, this can be very difficult to tell. So what criteria can you use to ascertain the possibility of glaucoma in your pet? Here are a few behavioral changes to look for.
- Loss of appetite
- Increased irritability
- Unwillingness to play
- Constant pawing or rubbing of the face and eyes
- Squinting, fluttering eyelids and keeping the eyes closed
- Dilated pupils
- Bulging eyes
- Loss of eyesight
Unfortunately, most cases of glaucoma are diagnosed when it’s too late and eyesight in one eye is already lost. As mentioned previously mentioned, it’s not easy to notice the loss of eyesight even in one eye as pets adapt quickly. Treatment of glaucoma in such cases will focus on preventing the spread of the disease to the unaffected eye as well as controlling the pain in the affected eye.
Once glaucoma is suspected, the best thing for your pet is visiting a veterinary ophthalmologist. He will use special technology to ascertain the type of glaucoma your pet is suffering from. He also tries to determine what triggered it in the first place. Both of these are very important in determining the appropriate treatment. Ultimately, the treatment is mainly focused on relieving the pain.
Reduce the risk of glaucoma for your pet
The best strategy you can use to reduce the risk of full-blown glaucoma is to relieve the pressure changes around the eyes. If it can be diagnosed early enough, the best for your cat or dog as then, there’s a chance of surviving.
- Vitamin C & E, antioxidants, rutin, lutein, beta-carotene and astaxanthin can be used to improve the general health of your pet’s eyes.
- Effective management of oxidative damage by reducing stressors in your pet’s environment.
- Constant veterinary examinations to monitor eye pressure, especially for older pets.
- Relieve the pressure around your pet’s neck by use of loose harnesses or tying them around the pet’s torso.