Aptos (831) 685-3321 | Monterey (831) 655-4939 Rx Refills
logo logo small

Covid 19 Ophthalmology for Animals - August 6, 2020

Veterinary care is an essential part of our community and we want to assure you that our hospital is open and will continue to provide services at this time. We also want to work with you and our staff to limit direct contact in order to focus on safety for everyone during this pandemic. Accordingly, we ask that you follow the below steps for the safety of all:

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, please remain in your vehicle and call us.
  • After receipt of the call, we will check you in as soon as possible from outside the hospital.
  • If you are at the hospital to pick up medication, please remain in your car outside the hospital and call the front desk. We will deliver your order to your car as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not feeling well or may be at risk of exposure to coronavirus, please ask a healthy friend or family member to transport your pet to the hospital on your behalf.
  • We will do our best to coordinate your visit from outside the hospital, including providing follow up instructions and taking payments.

Ophthalmology for Animals, Inc., we have various ways to help care for your pets without a trip or call to the hospital.

  1. Home Delivery: medications, including prescriptions and refills, can be ordered by sending us an email or text
  2. Email: your questions, concerns, prescription refills, and pictures. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe, and please don’t hesitate to call with questions.

We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual, and therefore, we appreciate your patience!

Glaucoma Management

glaucoma diagramWhat is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss in dogs and people. It is less common in cats and horses, but can occur in any species. Glaucoma is a painful disease in which the pressure inside the eye increases and causes damage to the structures responsible for vision. Elevated intraocular pressure results in the clinical signs that you may have noted at home (cloudy eye, redness, squinting). The longer the pressure in the eye is elevated, the more damage occurs to the structures in the eye responsible for vision (especially the retina and optic nerve), eventually resulting in permanent blindness.

What causes glaucoma?

In a normal eye, fluid is constantly produced by the ciliary body and drained out the iridocorneal angle (also called the drainage angle). The iridocorneal angle has a net-like meshwork with large spaces through which the fluid flows. Glaucoma can be either primary (genetic) or secondary. Primary glaucoma is caused by an inherited abnormality of the drainage angle, which slows drainage of fluid and causes it to build up within the eye, similar to a clogged sink drain. Certain breeds are known to be predisposed including the Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Beagle, Shar Pei, Chow Chow and Jack Russell Terrier. Secondary glaucoma is caused by chronic inflammation, lens luxation, trauma, and intraocular tumors, all of which obstruct drainage of fluid from the eye through the iridocorneal angle.

Some breeds particularly susceptible to glaucoma induced by lens luxation include the Jack Russell Terrier, Wire-haired Fox Terrier, and Shar Pei.

glaucomaHow would I know if my pet has glaucoma?

Because the duration of pressure elevation is a critical factor for prognosis, acute glaucoma is an emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible to decrease the pressure. Signs of glaucoma include redness, cloudy eye, tearing, loss of vision, an enlarged or “bulging” eye, lethargy, increased sleeping, or loss of appetite. The disease causes pain and headaches when the pressure is elevated but this can be difficult to detect in animals.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma is unfortunately difficult to treat and there is no cure. Primary glaucoma is always bilateral, though not necessarily symmetric. Secondary glaucoma can be either unilateral or bilateral depending on the cause. Treatment is aimed at maintaining the pressure in a comfortable range and limiting damage to the retina and optic nerve. Topical drops are initiated and periodic rechecks are performed to ensure the pressure is within an acceptable range. Drops typically are effective for a period of time, but eventually the glaucoma overcomes our ability to control pressures medically. The underlying cause of secondary glaucoma should be identified and treated if possible.

Surgery is recommended for primary glaucoma before complete loss of control with medications, which involves placing a gonioshunt or Ahmed valve. This procedure allows fluid to exit the eye through a one-way valve so if the pressure starts to increase the extra fluid can drain through the shunt. The average duration of control after this surgery is 1 year, but can range from several months to several years. Another surgical option is called ciliary body endolaser photoablation, which decreases the amount of fluid produced inside the eye using a very small laser directed at the ciliary body inside the eye. This procedure is not currently performed at Ophthalmology for Animals, but we are happy to refer you to an ophthalmologist that can offer this surgery.

Prognosis depends on early detection and the patient’s response to therapy. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the disease many animals lose vision despite treatment. For blind, painful eyes permanent resolution of glaucoma is recommended via enucleation (removal of the eye), intrascleral prosthesis (replacing the contents of the eye with silicone), or chemical ciliary body ablation (destruction of the ciliary body with an intraocular injection). There are pros and cons to each of these treatments, which we are happy to discuss.

pdfDownload more information about Primary Glaucoma

We Are Ready To Help

Request an appointment with one of our veterinarian specialists to see how we can help you and your beloved pet.

Request Appointment