I don't know about you, but when I look deep into my dog's eyes, I see him thinking, analyzing and understanding what I'm telling him.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that dogs can suffer from. It results from an increase in intraocular pressure and is a very painful condition, which can lead to complications such as loss of sight.
Does this disease remind you of something? This is likely because humans can get glaucoma too. That said, glaucoma in animals is generally more painful, as the pressure in the eye tends to rise to higher levels than in humans!
Does your dog have glaucoma and are you worried about seeing them in pain, about seeing their quality of life deteriorate? In this article, we present natural solutions, a gentle holistic approach to help you support your pet and offer them a better quality of life.
Read on to learn more about glaucoma in dogs and its natural remedies. Our natural health experts have over 20 years of experience in the field and are there to support you. Gain peace of mind for you and your dog.
So first of all, let's take a look in detail at what glaucoma is, how your dog can develop it and learn how to detect it.
Glaucoma in dogs
As mentioned above, glaucoma is a disease that affects the eyes and is characterized by an increase in intraocular pressure to levels that are unsafe for the animal. It’s actually a problem with the drainage of the aqueous humor, a liquid that is found inside the eye.
Glaucoma is more frequently encountered in dogs (0.675%), although it’s possible in cats too (0.197%). Primary (often hereditary) glaucoma is most often found in purebred dogs, while secondary glaucoma (caused by another disease) is more often found in cats.
Glaucoma vs cataracts in dogs
You've probably heard of cataracts in dogs. Although this disease also affects the dog's eyes, it is quite different. A cataract is in fact a partial or total opacity of the lens. It can be identified by a white or bluish tint in the center of your dog's eye.
That said, an advanced cataract can cause the development of glaucoma.
What causes glaucoma in dogs?
Heredity, cataracts, inflammation in the eyes or a tumor in the eye are possible causes of glaucoma in dogs.
Some dogs will be unlucky in the genetic lottery and develop glaucoma simply because of genes passed down from their parents. Certain breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Basset Hound and Akita are predisposed to developing glaucoma.
Elevated intraocular pressure can be induced by cataracts. In fact, glaucoma can develop when the lens undergoes a dislocation, which interferes with the drainage of the aqueous humor.
Inflammation in the eyes can also induce glaucoma. This inflammation, either secondary to an infection or uveitis, for example, can interfere with the drainage of intraocular fluid and lead to increased pressure in the eye.
Finally, if your dog develops a tumor in or near the eye, it may develop secondary glaucoma. This tumor can put physical pressure on the eyeball and increase intraocular pressure. The tumor can also directly interfere with the drainage of the aqueous humor.
Signs of glaucoma in dogs
Symptoms of glaucoma in dogs can vary from one animal to another. Glaucoma can be identified by a half-closed, uncomfortable eye, or by an enlarged eye in more advanced cases. The signs therefore vary according to the stage of the disease.
Signs of glaucoma in dogs: early stage
In the early stages of the disease, symptoms can be very subtle and often go unnoticed. First signs of dog glaucoma include:
Half-closed or closed eye
White-bluish appearance of the cornea
Redness of the eye
Increased frequency of blinking
Signs of glaucoma in dogs: end stage
The more the disease progresses, the more severe the signs of glaucoma become and the more it will bother the animal. Here are some examples:
Swelling of the eye, increase in its size
Loss of vision
Lethargy, loss of appetite (secondary to significant pain)
It is rather rare for a dog to suffer from glaucoma in both eyes at the same time. This is one of the reasons why this disease is often diagnosed late, as a dog can adapt and live very well with vision in only one eye.
Glaucoma in dogs: treatment
Several approaches exist for the treatment of glaucoma in dogs. Your vet will talk to you about so-called conventional treatments, while a holistic vet can talk to you about natural options for relieving it. Below you will see our suggested home remedies for dog glaucoma.
Conventional treatment for glaucoma in dogs
If your dog has glaucoma, your vet will suggest different treatments such as medical eye drops or ointments to try to reduce the pressure in the eye. In more advanced cases, surgery may be recommended.
The cost of dog glaucoma surgery
I have personally attended surgery for a dog with severe glaucoma. In this case, it was an enucleation surgery, which is the removal of the whole eye, since the damage was irreversible. The dog suffered from loss of vision and constant pain. This surgery was a great relief for them and the dog adapted very well to this handicap. A real warrior!
Surgery in a veterinary setting is always relatively expensive, but it is sometimes essential for the comfort of the animal. Since surgeries to relieve glaucoma are often more complex and performed by veterinarians that are specialized in ophthalmology, the cost can easily run into the thousands of dollars.
An enucleation is a generally simpler surgery, therefore it’s quicker to perform and as a result is usually less expensive. From one vet clinic to another, prices vary, but it's good to budget a few thousand dollars for such procedures (or buy pet insurance when your dog is young).
How to prevent glaucoma in dogs?
Your vet will likely suggest diagnostic tests to find out the cause of your dog's glaucoma. In cases of glaucoma that is secondary to a disease, they may suggest that you use preventive medication on the unaffected eye since an underlying cause predisposes both eyes to the development of glaucoma.
That said, a gentle and natural way to prevent glaucoma in dogs is to ensure that you always provide a good balanced diet to your pet and ensure that it receives all the nutrients and vitamins necessary for proper eye functioning.
Glaucoma in dogs: home remedies
If you prefer a gentler approach, here are our tips for natural treatments for canine glaucoma. We suggest spinach, carrots, vitamin C, magnesium, and CBD oil. Of course, getting your vet’s advice is always recommended to confirm that these natural solutions are appropriate for your doggie.
Spinach does not only give strength to the well-known Popeye! It contains a high level of carotenoids, which help to support and strengthen eye tissue. This helps prevent the degeneration of the eyes and is therefore an asset in cases of glaucoma! Adding chunks of fresh spinach to your dog's meal is a great way to incorporate it into your dog's diet.
Similarly, carrots contain a type of carotenoid that is valuable for eye health; beta-carotene. This is probably why children are told to eat carrots to have good vision! Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of cells in the eyes. Personally, I use small carrot slices as treats for my dog!
Vitamin C helps control the presence of free radicals in the body and thus helps reduce inflammation. This is why vitamin C can be an ally in cases of glaucoma. Dogs synthesize vitamin C naturally in their bodies, but a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to health consequences. Adding a vitamin C supplement to your dog's diet should, however, be evaluated by your vet to ensure that it does not cause an imbalance in the body.
Magnesium can help relieve your dog's glaucoma, since it works on blood circulation by relaxing the walls of blood vessels. As glaucoma is manifested by an increase in pressure in the eye, magnesium can have an impact on this disease due to this characteristic.
The use of CBD oil is increasingly popular, both in humans and animals, for pain control among other things. While it doesn’t treat the glaucoma directly, this product could help relieve the discomfort caused by this condition.
Be careful, some CBD oils sold on the market may contain traces of THC (toxic for dogs). It is therefore necessary to ensure that the product you buy is safe for animals.
As with all natural products, the ones mentioned above have their limits. If your dog has lost its eyesight due to glaucoma, it is highly unlikely that adding spinach or carrots to their diet will enable the dog to regain its sight, as you can imagine. However, these are good habits to adopt to slow the progression of such a disease and thus increase your pet’s quality of life.
Homeopathy: Natural Eye Pressure Support
We have discussed that some natural solutions can help your dog maintain good eye health. Now let's talk about EYE PRESSURE SUPPORT, designed to promote the proper functioning of your pets' eyes.
Many pet parents have enjoyed using EYE PRESSURE SUPPORT for their pets suffering from this disease. It’s a high-quality natural product that can be used alone or in combination with so-called conventional treatments.
We understand that you may feel sad or worried about such a diagnosis in your faithful companion. This is why we have developed our line of holistic products, with the aim of helping your animals maintain a good quality of life, without having to use chemical compounds.
When to put down a dog with glaucoma?
We address this question because many people ask this question online. A euthanasia decision is specific to each person and is always case by case. It is therefore impossible for us to tell you when that time has come. That said, if your dog is in pain and its quality of life is compromised, we advise you to visit your vet and they will be there to advise you in these difficult times.
Unfortunately, despite adequate treatment, primary glaucoma is usually incurable and once vision is lost, it cannot be regained. Glaucoma that is secondary to another disease will have a different prognosis, depending on its underlying cause and the treatment undertaken.
We're sorry if your dog has been diagnosed with glaucoma, especially if they are in pain. Does your dog live with glaucoma? We are curious to know how your pooch has adapted to this condition and to know the treatments you gave them that made them feel better. Leave your comment in the section below to share your experience with glaucoma with our fellow readers.
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HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.
Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.
Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.