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
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