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What is Glaucoma in dogs and cats?

Glaucoma is an abnormal pressure of the eye in dogs and cats. A normal eye drain of watery fluid and when that process becomes difficult, it causes continual pressure within the eye. The increased pressure can cause harm to the optic nerve, creating vision loss. The primary cause of glaucoma is unknown and occurs without warning, usually later on in life. There are several secondary causes of glaucoma in dogs and cats. 

Inflammation of the eye occurs because of debris and excess protein in the eye – very common in cats. These particles in the eye can block the normal drainage process of the eye. The fluid can block the pupil area and stick to the iris and lens of the eye, causing chronic inflammation. Dogs are highly affected as well with inflammation of the eye. 

Lens luxation or dislocation can block fluid flow and drainage. This condition is more common in certain breeds of dogs, especially those with bulging eyes. The pug, Lhasa apso, Shih Tzu, certain other terriers, Border collie and Australian blue heeler are all prone to this condition. Premature breakdown of the fibers of the eye that keeps the lens in place can cause the lens to move around and sometimes pops out. Aside from glaucoma, this can also cause tumor growth and cataracts. Tumors and trauma of the eyes are contributing factors to glaucoma in dogs and cats as well, by preventing fluid from draining.

 

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