One of the most serious eye conditions in dogs is glaucoma. Glaucoma affects thousands of dogs globally across a range of breeds every year. Not only is it very painful, but will lead to blindness. It can affect one or both eyes, and is the result of a build up of pressure in the eye.
What Is Glaucoma? The eye produces a clear fluid called aqueous humor which provides nourishment and maintains the shape of the eye. In normal circumstances the amount of fluid the eye produces is always equal to the amount that leaves the eye resulting in the pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure) being equal. If more aqueous humor is produced then what leaves the eye then the intraocular pressure increases, resulting in glaucoma. This increased pressure can cause the eye to bulge and become enlarged and is very painful.
Diagnosis is carried out by measuring the intraocular pressure with a tonopen or tonometer. Several readings are taken and then averaged out.
Medication can be administered through eye drops (which help regulate the pressure) in the short term, but more long term treatment involves laser eye surgery. If the dog is actually blind, then eye removal may be necessary and the skin is sewn together or a false eye is placed in the socket.