Keeping an eye on pets during National Glaucoma month.
Tampa, FL (Vocus) January 9, 2009 -- In recognition of National Glaucoma Month, Florida Veterinary Specialists (FVS) are spreading the word and increasing awareness of animal glaucoma because pets are as susceptible as humans.
"When eyes go bad, they often do so quickly," said Dr. Noelle McNabb, DVM, Diplomate AVCO, a board certified specialist with FVS. "Pets with glaucoma are one of the most common emergencies that we see here in ophthalmology. Glaucoma in animals can be inherited which is known primary glaucoma, or develop as a result of another eye disease."
Like human beings, primary glaucoma occurs most commonly in dogs. Breeds that are commonly predisposed include the American Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Chow Chow, Chinese Shar Pei and various Terrier breeds. Secondary causes of glaucoma include dislocation of the lens, inflammation, trauma and tumors. All of these factors can impair fluid drainage from the eye which results in elevations in eye pressure.
“Vision loss from glaucoma is a result of pressure-related injury to the optic nerve,” said Dr. McNabb. “The degree of injury correlates to how high and for how long the eye pressure has been elevated.”
If treatment for glaucoma is not started within a few days, or in some cases, within hours, permanent vision loss can result. Therefore, it is important to take immediate action and be aware of the earliest signs of glaucoma.
Being familiar with some signs and symptoms that can be observed in a pet with glaucoma is important, especially if it is a breed predisposed to this condition. Dr. McNabb recommends being on the look out for the following signs:
1. Acute blindness
2. Dilated pupil
3. Cloudiness of the cornea
4. Increased prominence of blood vessels on the white of the eye (“Bloodshot eye”)
5. One eye seems larger or protrudes more than the other
6. Pain and squinting of the eye
At FVS treatment for acute glaucoma typically includes medications or brief procedures to lower the pressure immediately. Glaucoma surgery may include specialized laser therapy to reduce fluid production and pressure within the eye. In addition, custom valve implants may be surgically placed to manage the disease long term.
Florida Veterinary Specialists is a referral-based hospital with 24-hour emergency care services dedicated to providing a superior level of patient and client care through close cooperation with the family practitioner. Their specialized services include Acupuncture, Avian & Exotic, Behavioral Medicine, Cardiology, Critical Care, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Oncology & Radiation, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Rehabilitation and Surgery. Florida Veterinary Specialists is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is located at 3000 Busch Lake Blvd. in Tampa. In addition to its Tampa location, FVS has satellite facilities in Clearwater and Brandon. For further information, please visit www.fvs.com.
tajiana (at) bluepearlpartners.com
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