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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Pet Owners should learn to recognise the signs that could indicate an emergency situation and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible

Acute glaucoma is an increase in pressure within the eye and it is commonly seen in veterinary practice. Unless this condition is treated promptly structures in the eye can be irretrievably damaged leading to blindness.

The signs to look out for are :

  • sudden onset pain
  • aversion to light (called photophobia)
  • crying - tear overflow due to increased tear production
  • bloodshot eyes (due to congestion)
  • grey-to-white change in the clear surface (cornea) part of the eye (due to oedema)
  • the animal does not respond when the surface of the eye (cornea) is touched with cottonwool
  • the pupil is dilated and does not close when a bright light is shone into it.
  • blindness

If you notice any of these signs contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

There are many causes of glaucoma including :

  • Pectinate ligament dysplasia (gionodysgenesis), a congenital condition in which sheets of tissue obstruct the normal drainage angle of the eye, causing an increase in intraocular pressure late in life 
  • Other obstructions to the drainage angle including :
    • Neoplasia eg melanoma
    • Macrophages filled with lens debris following lens rupture
    • Inflammatory cells
  • Pupillary block
  • Lens luxation or subluxation
  • Uveitis


Updated October 2013