Category Archives: Glaucoma

Any news and developments in the treatment of glaucoma

* Glaucoma robs Port Perry dog of sight, but not his life |

By Chris Hall
Sep 18, 2014

Things that go bump in the house

DURHAM — It’s safe to say, we never saw it coming.

Of all the concerns we had for our dalmatian, we never expected him to go suddenly blind — overnight, as it turned out.

A happy Dexter dog went to bed on a cold March Saturday night, tired from playing in the living room while the Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a solid win over Anaheim.

The next morning, however, everything changed in his world and ours.

As humans, we’re visual species. When we think about losing our vision, it’s devastating. I’m sure for a dog, it’s upsetting, but they’re phenomenal creatures and adapt very well. Dr. Tara Richards

We woke up to a dog trembling in his own bed, laying in a mess of urine. His eyelids were clamped shut over his amber eyes, unwilling — or unable — to open them. He looked like he was squinting to keep out the sunlight.

Scared, we had no idea what was wrong with Dexter. We rushed him downstairs and into the backyard where he seemed stunned and dazed. He tried to open his eyes, which went suddenly cloudy in the bright morning light.

Unknowingly, we had just been given a crash introduction to canine glaucoma.

At the emergency clinic in Newmarket, a vet technician studied Dexter and said it seemed like he was suffering from a massive migraine. A vet there suspected acute glaucoma — capable of rendering a dog blind in only hours — but referred us to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in downtown Toronto, where that diagnosis was soon confirmed.

In simple terms, glaucoma is a serious eye disease where fluid in the eye is produced faster than it can be removed, which leads to a sustained increase in intraocular pressure. That increasing pressure causes degenerative changes to the optic nerve and the retina.

Medications were administered in an effort to relieve the pressure. A needle was poked into Dexter’s eyes in an attempt to remove the fluid. Nothing worked.

In a matter of hours after waking up on Sunday morning, we learned that his left eye could not be saved. His right eye would probably meet the same fate.

Soon, the veterinarian, Dr. Tara Richards, an ophthalmologist at VEC, was on the phone introducing us to a variety of new terms — the scariest being enucleation: surgery to remove both eyes that would see Dexter forever blind, his eyelids sewn shut.

Throughout our discussions, Dr. Richards repeatedly stressed the ordeal is harder on the owners than the pets. Then she pleaded with us not to euthanize him (it was never a consideration) because he was a happy, healthy dog who could manage just fine without his eyes.

“It’s a common thought that goes through most people’s minds, especially when their dog is losing complete vision,” said Dr. Richards of the initial euthanasia reaction.

Out of “numerous” glaucoma cases, Dr. Richards said she only failed once in persuading a pet owner not to put their dog down.

“As humans, we’re visual species. When we think about losing our vision, it’s devastating,” she said. “I’m sure for a dog, it’s upsetting, but they’re phenomenal creatures and adapt very well.”

Dr. Richards was right. Glaucoma may have robbed Dexter of his sight, but certainly not his life.

Six months after he returned home, Dexter is Dexter again.

His disability is more of an after-thought than an ongoing concern.

In his head, he has mapped out our house and yard entirely, turning corners, ascending stairs, locating his favourite chair and, of course, finding his food bowl, with no problems.

He bumps into things occasionally, but that’s more our fault than his — Rule No. 1 with a blind dog: Never move the furniture or place objects in his way.

It’s interesting to see his other senses at work. His nose now probably is his best guide, but touch would be a close second. He knows that the cobblestone pathway through the yard will take him to the deck and the house. When he finds the throw rug in the living room, he can turn right and end up on his chair or left and wander into the kitchen.

Perhaps we missed the warning signs — a dog uncharacteristically rubbing its eyes with paws or against furniture, swelling of the eye, irritability and loss of appetite — but we’ll never know for sure.

What we do know is we still have Dexter.

Our lives have changed, sure. He is more dependent than ever on us — he depends on us to warn him of impending cranium crackers — but he’s still the same dog.

A dog going blind is not the end of the world.

Perhaps, maybe, Dr. Richards was right: This entire ordeal was harder on us than on Dexter.

We would have never saw that coming.


The age at which glaucoma can strike depends on the breed, with most dogs experiencing their first symptoms around middle age, between four and six.

The most common breeds affected include cocker spaniels, dalmatians, basset hounds and Boston terriers.

The cause of glaucoma can be broken down evenly into two categories: hereditary, meaning it’s in the dog’s genes, or through some sort of disease.

For dog breeds prone to glaucoma, it’s advisable to get their intraocular pressure checked regularly during annual vet visits. Even if there’s no sign of glaucoma, an ongoing history of the eye pressure can help track changes in your dog’s eyes.

And, most importantly, keep a close eye on your dog, said Dr. Tara Richards.

“A dog with red eyes, that’s not normal,” she said. “It needs to be seen by a vet.”

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* Apodaca: Lessons learned from an ailing family pet

Source: Daily Pilot
March 01, 2014|By Patrice Apodaca

Petey, a Labrador mix, has been treated for a variety of ailments, including losing his sight.

Petey, a Labrador mix, has been treated for a variety of ailments, including losing his sight.

Since my dog lost his vision, I’ve listened to experts and consulted websites for advice about coping with a sightless pet. But aside from all the practical tips, I’ve learned that living with a blind dog is a lesson in patience, commitment and letting go of anxiety over carpet stains.

It is, most of all, a lesson in love.

I have no doubt that all you pet owners instantly recognize this kind of unconditional, unrestrained love. We cherish our animal friends, and take our responsibilities for Continue reading

* Observer-Reporter | Donations helping blind dog regain sight

Dupree the 6-year-old blind boxer

6-year-old Dupree is blind but with the help of donations, he will shortly undergo surgery to restore his sight in one eye.

Thanks to the generous donations of others, Monday will be life-changing for Dupree and his foster family. Dupree, a 6-year-old boxer, is blind.

While his blindness does not hinder his daily activities, Dupree’s foster mom and New Life Boxer Rescue volunteer Patricia O’Brien Roche of McMurray was determined to restore his sight.

“He’s such a sweet boy,” Roche said. “So if we could have his eyesight restored, why not?”

After having Dupree examined by a specialty veterinarian in the North Hills, Roche learned Dupree suffers from mature cataracts. An expensive surgery would restore sight in his right eye. Dupree’s left eye is full of glaucoma, and the retina is detached. Continue reading

* Your Pets and Glaucoma

Jack Stephens

Glaucoma is increased pressure within the eye.  Cells inside the eye produce a clear fluid (‘aqueous humor’) that maintains the eye’s shape and nourishes the tissues inside the eye. The balance of fluid production and drainage is responsible for maintaining normal pressure within the eye. In glaucoma, the drain becomes clogged, Continue reading

* Canine Glaucoma- a Leading Cause of Blindness

Sharon Kay

Canine glaucoma occurs in approximately 8% of dogs in the United States. It is the leading cause of blindness in middle aged dogs. Glaucoma in dogs, as in humans, is an abnormal buildup of fluid inside of the eye. Continue reading

* Five Complications Of Canine Diabetes — Is Your Dog At Risk?

Darlene Norris

Has your pet been diagnosed with canine diabetes? Is so, you need to know about these complications that often go along with diabetes in dogs. Diabetes is a complex disease, and the more information you have, the better you’ll be able to care for your companion. Continue reading