Eye pressure or glaucoma in dogs is a health problem that should be diagnosed early and approached with the right treatment methods. Undiagnosed and untreated glaucoma can cause vision loss. In this article, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about eye pressure in dogs.
Eye Blood Pressure in Dogs
Glaucoma in dogs is a health problem that causes increased intraocular pressure. In the diagnosis of this disease, also known as eye pressure, it is essential to measure the intraocular pressure with an instrument called a tonometer. As a result of increased intraocular pressure, damage to the retina or optic nerves occurs, and as a result, blindness may develop.
What is Intraocular Pressure?
Intraocular pressure is generated by the infiltration of the blood fluid by the ciliary processes of the aqueous humor. The light form of liquid that emerges as a result of filtration fills the space between the cornea and the iris. The fluid also nourishes the cornea and lens, creating intraocular pressure and giving shape to the eye. The fluid that creates intraocular pressure carries the nutrients and oxygen needed by the structures in the eye. Excess fluid is drained as it circulates between the cornea and iris. Intraocular pressure remains constant when fluid production, absorption or drainage is at an equal level.
What Causes Eye Pressure in Dogs?
Glaucoma in dogs occurs as a result of insufficient absorption of the fluid in the eye or insufficient drainage. Although the increase in intraocular pressure seems to occur with excessive fluid production, it is not actually related to excessive fluid production. Glaucoma in dogs is classified as primary or secondary glaucoma.
Primary Glaucoma: It can be expressed as an increase in intraocular pressure in a healthy eye. Primary glaucoma is more common in some breeds. Primary glaucoma occurs due to inherited anatomical anomalies in the drainage angle. Breeds such as Akita, Dalmatian, Norwegian Elkhound, Cocker Spaniel, Chow Chow, Great Dane, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Bull Mastiff are more likely to have primary glaucoma.
Secondary Glaucoma: Glaucoma that occurs as a result of increased intraocular pressure due to a disease or injury to the eye is referred to as secondary glaucoma.
Secondary causes of glaucoma;
- Intraocular inflammation that causes scar tissue that blocks the drainage angle,
- severe intraocular infections
- The lens falls forward and the absorption of the liquid is not ensured,
- intraocular bleeding,
- advanced cataract,
- It can be expressed as damage to the lens.
What Are the Consequences of an Increase in Intraocular Pressure?
The formation of high intraocular pressure causes damage to the retina and optic nerve. The retina is the lining layer in the innermost part of the eyeball. This layer contains light-sensitive rods, cones, and cells that convert images into nerve signals. The optic nerve is the nerve at the back of the eye that goes to the brain. It transmits the signals from the retina to the brain and ensures the realization of vision. These two structures can be deformed with the increase in intraocular pressure, and as a result, vision loss may occur.
What Are the Symptoms of Increased Intraocular Pressure in Dogs?
Glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure in dogs can cause much more severe pain than in humans. However, dogs cannot express their health problems like humans. Therefore, it can be difficult to tell when they are in pain. Symptoms to be considered about glaucoma in dogs;
- Eye pain,
- eye redness,
- Do not squint your eyes,
- cloudy cornea,
- avoiding the light,
- Weakening in blinking,
- eyelid movement,
- Clarification of the vascular structure in the white part of the eye,
- eye swelling,
- It can be expressed as vision problems.
You should take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms. Untreated glaucoma can cause severe pain as well as vision loss.
Eye pressure in dogs should be treated before it causes irreversible damage and poses a risk of blindness. For this reason, the situation causing intraocular pressure should be understood as soon as possible and treatment should be started. Drug treatment is frequently preferred in this health problem. In cases where drug therapy does not work or in advanced cases, surgical intervention should also be evaluated.
Medication: Medication can be administered to lower the intraocular pressure and bring the pressure back to the normal range of intraocular pressure as soon as possible. While topical drugs are preferred to reduce intraocular pressure, drug use may be recommended to control pain due to the problem.
Cyclocryotherapy: It is an application that interferes with the cells that produce intraocular fluid. The fluid can be drained and the cells can be intervened to prevent fluid accumulation in the eye. This procedure is usually applied in early diagnosis.
Surgical: It is the preferred method when glaucoma is not diagnosed for a long time. In this case, the need to remove the eye comes to the fore when the optic nerve and cornea are damaged beyond repair. In order to avoid severe pain in the area, the empty socket can be closed so that the ocular cavity is not exposed, or the eye cavity can be filled with a prosthesis.
After glaucoma is diagnosed and treated in dogs, regular follow-up is required.