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Canine Glaucoma

Canine Glaucoma can be a complicated and scary thing for pet owners whose dogs suffer from the condition. There are several different types, causes and treatments. We've gathered together some information and sources for medications to help you better understand and discuss the condition with your dog's veterinarian.

Medications For Glaucoma In Dogs

There is a somewhat limited number of pet meds available at this time to treat glaucoma in dogs, these include tablets taken orally or ophthalmic solution eye drops. Some glaucoma meds can be expensive, but buying online can save you up to 60% on occasion depending upon the particular medication in question.
Canine Glaucoma Eye Drops and Ophthalmic Solution Meds
Eye drops are a common way to help relieve the symptoms of canine glaucoma often helping relieve the pressure that can build up in the eye due to the condition. Like oral medication, drops can have side effects. Azopt 1% is an ophthalmic suspension CAI inhibitor often prescribed to treat glaucoma in dogs - * $169
glaucoma in dogs is more common in some breeds than others
A generic ophthalmic solution glaucoma eye drop alternative to Trusopt
Our low price find - starting around $69.99 for $16.00 off retail cost An ophthalmic solution often prescribed to treat glaucoma in dogs
Our low price find - starting around $36.00 for over 50% off retail An ophthalmic solution commonly prescribed to treat canine glaucoma
Our low price find - starting around $15.00 for over 60% off retail
Tablet and Oral Medications For Glaucoma In Dogs
Oral medication tablets are sometimes prescribed to treat glaucoma in dogs, including Acetazolamide and Methazolamide. These medications can interact with other drugs, have side effects and adverse reactions. Sometimes prescribed for canine glaucoma but is also prescribed for an entirely different purpose in horses. Acetazolamide starts around $48, but the pharmacy we send shoppers to for this sells only to veterinarians. Methazolamide is a tablet pet medication prescribed to treat glaucoma in dogs.
Starting at $2.39 each per tablet with an online discount around 16% off retail

A Description Of The Condition And The Cause

The animal eye is a complex system consisting of many components with different functions. One of these components, the ciliary body inside the eye, produces a liquid called the "aqueous humor", this liquid flows around the eye carrying various vital materials to various parts of the eye. Eventually, the aqueous humor utilizes a vast network known as the Iridocorneal Angle of the eye, to drain the fluid away. If more fluid is being produced than is being drained away, excess fluid will build up inside the eye causing an often painful increase in pressure within the eye itself. This imbalance in fluid production and drainage, and subsequent pressure produced inside the eye is known as Glaucoma. Glaucoma often affects just one eye in the beginning, but will usually spread to both eyes eventually.
There are different types of glaucoma including open angle, closed angle, goniodysgenesis and pigmentary. The disease may also be characterized as Primary or Secondary. Primary Glaucoma occurs as it's own disease, whereas Secondary Glaucoma is a product of another issue such as lens dislocation, a detached retina, cancer or advanced cataracts, or, simply a trauma to the eye. Regardless of the cause or classification, glaucoma can be serious and the onset quick with little warning. If left untreated, the high pressure in the eye can destroy the dogs eyes internal structure eventually resulting in permanent blindness.
Glaucoma is rare in cats but seen more frequently in dogs. Glaucoma is often genetically inherited, particularly among certain dog breeds, including but not limited to huskies, cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, boston terriers, norwegian elkhounds, damnations, basset hounds, samoyeds, shar peis, cairn terriers and labrador retrievers. But, mixed and other breeds can also develop the eye disease as well.

Diagnosis And Treatment

Glaucoma can often be felt by your pet as an intense headache and is believed to be more painful in dogs than it is in people, however, the symptoms are often difficult to recognize. Their discomfort may hide itself within their behavior, including a loss of appetite, disinterest in play or simply irritability. You can also look for changes in behavior, general vision loss, cloudy eyes, dilated pupils, increased tearing or red, bloodshot eyes. Sensitivity to light as observed by squinting, or, eye pain as seen by the dog rubbing on it's eyes may also be a sign of developing Glaucoma in your pet's eye. Once severe levels are reached, glaucoma can result in large, bulging eyes, but, by the time this symptom is seen it is often too late to save your dog's vision in that eye. The earlier the glaucoma is diagnosed, the better the outlook for your pet's vision.
Treatment and expectations will vary depending upon the cause and kind of glaucoma in your particular pet, consequently proper diagnosis is very important. There are several diagnosis methods available to veterinary ophthalmologists, but your pet will often have to be sedated to perform the proper tests.
early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of the disease
Once diagnosed, there are some treatments available to temporarily help your pet, however, glaucoma is usually not considered a curable disease and surgery will often be required eventually.
One of the first non-surgery options for glaucoma is often eye drops, such as timolol or trusopt, which help decrease fluid production or pressure within the eye. An orally administered tablet, such as the diuretic acetazolamide or methazolamide which helps decrease fluid production in the eye, may also be prescribed. If medication is not enough and surgery is necessary, the surgery chosen by your veterinarian will often depend on how much vision is left in the eye. If your pet's vision is still present, ophthalmologists will often use a drainage implant surgical procedure. Another surgical option is to inject the eye with a drug, often the antibiotic gentamicin, that will kill the affected fluid producing cells within the eye. This procedure will usually leave the eyeball cloudy with a significant decrease in size. Or, your veterinarian may choose to install an implant creating a semi-artificial eye. It is important to note that surgeries that do not involve complete removal of the eye are not 100% guaranteed and additional surgeries are sometimes required. Eye surgery procedures can be costly. Constant monitoring and follow-up treatment are usually necessary for the lifetime of your pet. If permanent blindness has already occurred, the eye is sometimes removed completely and replaced with a prosthetic eye. There are two options regarding which prosthetic outcome to choose for your pet. One option is to install a prosthetic eyeball and then sew the eyelids shut over it. The prosthetic eye is left in place to prevent a sunken-in appearance at the eye socket. The 2nd option is to install a black prosthetic ball and leave the eye lids open. Your pet will not be able to see out of this eye but will be able to move it and blink around it.
Preferably, your pet's glaucoma can be diagnosed early enough to avoid eye removal. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in dogs and it should be considered a very serious condition in your pet. Glaucoma can also cause irreversible damage very quickly in your pet, sometimes within hours. Consequently, we advise playing it safe, always take your dog to an experienced veterinarian ophthalmologist or specialist immediately upon noticing any signs of potential glaucoma.
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