This is an eye condition.

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

What is Primary Open Angle Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the result of high intraocular pressure, and if left untreated, can lead to pain and vision loss. The "angle" of primary open glaucoma (POAG) refers to the intersection of the cornea and the iris: this is where aqueous humor (clear fluid filling the eye) must flow to exit the eye. In open angle glaucoma, the iridocorneal angle remains unchanged, and other factors contribute to increased resistance to outflow.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Symptoms can appear suddenly and quite dramatically. Affected dogs’ pupils may be abnormally dilated and the vessels on the surface of the eye may appear engorged. Your dog may also be averse to bright light, shake their head, or paw at their eyes.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Glaucoma has an adult onset.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Veterinarians perform a complete ocular exam and use a device to measure the intraocular pressure of the eye to diagnosis glaucoma. At risk dogs are often tested at their yearly exam.

How is this condition treated?

With early diagnosis, glaucoma can be managed with a variety of medical and surgical options. In severe end-stage cases, surgical removal of the affected eyes may be indicated.

What actions should I take if my dog is affected?

  • While both eyes are usually affected with glaucoma, one is often affected before the other. In these cases, many studies indicate that prophylactic treatment of the unaffected eye can significantly prolong its health and vision.
  • Left untreated, the unaffected eye usually develops glaucoma within a year, whereas prophylactic treatment can extend the health of the eye to two and a half times that.
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