What 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.
Several eyelid abnormalities benefit from surgery. Surgery is utilized to correct inherited or acquired conformational abnormalities such as entropion, macroblepharon (excessive eyelid length), ectropion or eyelid agenesis, to remove tumors of the eyelids, or to treat distichiae and ectopic cilia.
What kinds of eyelid issues could my pet have that require surgery?
Entropion is inversion or ‘rolling in’ of the eyelids, leading to contact between eyelid hairs and the cornea. This contact is irritating and uncomfortable, and causes corneal ulceration, scarring, and pain. In contrast to entropion, ectropion is eversion or ‘rolling out’ of the eyelids and is often seen in combination with macroblepharon. Ectropion results in exposure and irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea due to evaporation of the tear film and collection of dust and debris. These conformational abnormalities are most often inherited and can be seen with excessive eyelid length, weak eyelid cartilage, extensive facial folds, a particular skull conformation, or the anatomy of the orbit.