Glaucoma is a condition of the eye where internal pressure increases and may damage the optic nerve and other parts of the eye.
Glaucoma may appear acutely or develop over a longer period of time. Acute cases show sudden swelling of the eye, pain-utterance and increased sensitivity to light. The eye is often reddened. Chronic cases may show no obvious symptoms for a longer time. If damage to the optic nerve has occurred, the animal's vision becomes impaired, and as a result they may collide with objects and find it difficult to move in their domestic environment.
The fluid inside the eye is constantly cleared through a draining site and replaced. If the draining becomes partially or fully blocked the incoming water causes the pressure inside the eye to rise. A blockage may occur if adhesion of structures inside the eye occurs, or as the result of a genetic anomaly.
If glaucoma is suspected a veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Increased pressure may damage the optic nerve. As much as a few hours of acute glaucoma may impair vision permanently. If diagnosed in time, the condition may be treated with medication or surgery alike. Treatment is aimed at reducing the eye pressure and removing the underlying cause. If vision cannot be restored and severe damage to the eye is present, removal of the eye may be the only option to provide pain relief to the animal.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult a veterinary clinic immediately.