Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue

Harlequin Haven
Great Dane Rescue

11567 St. Rt. 774
Bethel, Ohio 45106

Open By Appointment Only


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Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure inside the eye increases to the point that it produces changes in the structures and function of the eye. Glaucoma often leads to blindness. The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists has defined 42 different breeds of dogs with a genetic predisposition toward glaucoma.

If diagnosed early and properly medicated, the pressure in the eye can be controlled, and the dog's vision can be saved.

Our dogs have the same symptoms as humans. The early warning signs of glaucoma are typically blurring vision, and chronic headaches.  Unfortunately, our dogs cannot tell us when their vision is blurred or if they are having headaches.

Often glaucoma has advanced and the dog is displaying obvious symptoms (very red painful eyes, cloudy corneas, markedly swollen, protruded eyes) before the owner is aware of the problems. Once it has reached this point is it almost always too late to save the dog's sight and in many cases it is too late to even save the eye.

Early diagnosis is best made by measuring the pressure within the eye. This is a painless procedure and done with a tonometer. Unfortunately, the normal measurement has a wide variation, and it is best to establish what is normal for that individual. Ideally, this is done when the dog is young. Once the normal is established, the pressures should be checked annually for changes which would be an early warning of glaucoma. The measurement can easily be done when the dog receives its vaccinations.

Veterinary ophthalmologists are recommending monitoring the eye pressure in all breeds of dogs, and especially for those breeds with established genetic predispositions for glaucoma. Pressures should be monitored in adult dogs annually even if puppies' "normals" are not available for comparison.

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