Glaucoma doesn’t only affect humans; your pet can develop it too. Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases to a point where the optic nerve is damaged, causing loss of vision and blindness. Glaucoma is relatively common in animals and can develop as your pet ages—this is known as chronic glaucoma—or as the result of an injury or illness—this is known as acute glaucoma.
In many cases glaucoma can progress quite rapidly—especially when it is the result of injury or underlying illness—and is considered an emergency situation. Symptoms to look for include:
-Redness in the eye;
-Tearing or discharge;
-Eye sensitivity to light;
-The eye may look cloudy;
Due to the severity and incidence of glaucoma, we recommend that you have your pet checked regularly for this disease. A routine glaucoma exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma, but can also help set a baseline measurement for your pet. Setting a baseline measurement is important because normal Intraocular Pressure (IOP) can vary between species, breeds and even individual pets.
Your veterinarian will use an instrument called a Tonometer to measure the fluid pressure inside your pet’s eyes. It is a noninvasive procedure that should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort; though your veterinarian will apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the exam.
The examination is very quick to perform and once done, your veterinarian will explain your pet’s measurement, what it tells us about the health of your pet’s eyes, and provide any treatment options if necessary.