Don’t let your pet’s eyes get the bulge on you

By Susan Aiello • Published: April 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

When you get an eye exam, the doctor always checks for glaucoma, a condition in which pressure builds up in the eyeball. But did you also know that glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in pets?

Glaucoma usually develops when developmental abnormalities, infection or other problems block the flow of fluid in the eye. This buildup of pressure can crush the retina, a delicate tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye and sends visual images to the brain through the optic nerve.

Initial signs may be as simple as redness that is unexplained by allergy or infection. Later, the eyes bulge and have large, distended veins. Blindness can soon follow.

If caught early, the pressure in the eye can be decreased and blindness prevented by medications or surgery. Ask your veterinarian about testing eye pressure as part of your pet’s yearly exam.