What is Glaucoma?

Chai Cahill came to see us so his eyes could be checked. Chai’s owners had noticed redness to the whites of eyes and had very sensibly asked for them to be looked at. A previous test showed they weren’t responding as quickly as expected and we needed to assess for glaucoma. Glaucoma  can be very painful and rapidly lead to blindness so it is important to spot the signs as early as possible and to treat.

Glaucoma is caused by inadequate drainage of the eye usually brought on by increased pressure. So what is Glaucoma? There are two kinds of glaucoma – Primary and Secondary

Kevin O’Leary prepares the tonometer

Signs of  Primary Glaucoma 

  • Eyeball may recede back into the head
  • Redness of blood vessels in the whites of the eye
  • Loss of vision
  • Cloudy appearance to eyes
  • Blinking
  • High pressure within the eye


Kevin is assisted by locum nurse Faye Hanshaw

Signs of Secondary Glaucoma

  • Redness of the blood levels in the whites of the eyes
  • Cloudy appearance to eye
  • High pressure within the eye
  • Inflamatory debris may be visible infont of the eye
  • Possible constriction of the pupil
  • Possible headaches, loss of appetite and change in behaviour as a result.

High pressure in the eye is caused when the normal outflow of fluid in the eye is impaired due to a primary eye disease such as the improper development of the eye’s filtration, or secondary to other eye diseases, inflammation of the tissues of the eye, eye tumor(s), or blood collection in the front of the eye from injury.

If you visit your opticians they will do a test where a puff of air is blown directly at the eye. This measures the pressure of the eye. Vets use an instrument called a tonometer which is gently touched onto the eye after a local anaesthetic eye drop. The level of ‘bounce’ of the tonometer gives a reading.

Fortunately Chai’s readings were within normal parameters.  If you have any worries that your dog may have glaucoma then please consult your vet as soon as possible.

Kevin touches the tonometer onto Chai’s eye