In general, glaucoma is defined as an increased pressure within the eye. Glaucoma may further be categorized as either primary or secondary in nature. Primary glaucoma results from a structural abnormality within the eye that prevents the fluid within the eye from draining/circulating properly. The result is an increase in pressure within the eye. Treatment for the condition is aimed at decreasing the pressure within the eye by use of a variety of topically applied medications/drops. Much more common in the dog, than the cat, several breeds can be over-represented including the American Cocker Spaniel, terrier breeds, Artic Circle breeds (Husky, Samoyed, Norwegian elkhound), miniature poodles, Chow Chow, Shar Pei, Dalmatians, Basset-hound, and rarely Beagles.
Secondary glaucoma is caused by another primary problem within the eye or body (typically not a structural problem with the eye) that results in an increased pressure within the eye. Treatment is aimed at not only decreasing the pressure within the eye using similar drops mentioned above, but also finding and correcting the primary cause, whether infectious, inflammatory or even cancerous.
According to our Dr. Lee Stockstill, the clinical signs of glaucoma can be manifested by anything from an inflamed conjunctiva (tissue around the eyeball) and reddened sclera (the white part of the eye) to a bulging eye with a bluish colored cornea (the outer most part of the eye).
Glaucoma is a serious condition that might easily result in blindness and significant pain. In practice, a tonometer is used to identify glaucoma. Early diagnosis is key to treating this effectively and preventing blindness.