Glaucoma - Dr Russel testing Daisy's eye

Google Maps location for Winmalee Vet Hospital

Winmalee Vet Hospital
Winmalee Village Centre, 14 Whitecross Road
NSW 2777

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02 4754 4333

Faulconbridge Vet Hospital
453 Great Western Hwy, access via Coomassie Ave
NSW 2776

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02 4751 6388

Dr Russel checking Daisy's eye for glaucoma - Dr Russel is shown using the new tonometer, the very effective instrument used to measure the eye pressure in pets. All eye problems should be checked with the tonometer, as glaucoma can be very difficult to detect unless a tonometer is used. Daisy has already had to have one eye removed due to the pain and loss of vision caused by glaucoma. Daisy's remaining eye is also affected by glaucoma, so prevent further damage and pain, Daisy needs daily treatment, and regular checkups to ensure that the pressure inside the eye is controlled by the medication. PetFriends have the most effective equipment to check for glaucoma - this equipment is usually only available at specialist hospitals. The test is very quick, and does not upset the patient.


This treatment will be familiar to many, as glaucoma is not uncommon in people.


What is glaucoma?


Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in humans worldwide. It is such a scary condition because it usually results in no symptoms until sight has been lost.


Did you know that it is not only the two-legged members of your family who are at risk to this horrible disease? That’s right, both cats and dogs can develop glaucoma as well, and there are many similarities between the condition in humans and your furry mate. In both cases patients are usually completely unaware that there is a problem until some loss of vision has already occurred. Unfortunately, loss of sight is often not reversible. 


Glaucoma is caused by a steady increase in the pressure within the eye itself. This increase in pressure results in damage to the retina and optic nerve (the parts of the eye responsible for actually seeing). Because it is often very easy to miss the warning signs of early loss of vision in our four legged friends (especially if only one eye is affected), most cases of glaucoma in our pets are only diagnosed once the affected eye is completely blind. At this point the affected eye is usually a source of pain and often the only option is to surgically remove it.


Meet Daisy:


Daisy is a bouncy 12 year- old chocolate Labrador cross. She was brought in see Dr. Russel when her mum noticed that she had been a little quieter than usual for a few days. She had also noticed that one of her eyes looked slightly bigger than the other for a week or two. During her consultation Daisy was found to be completely blind in one eye and when the affected eye was gently examined, it was obvious that her eye was uncomfortable.


Suspicious that Daisy was suffering from glaucoma, she was referred to a specialist veterinary opthalmologist  to have the pressure within her eye checked. Sadly, our suspicions were confirmed – Daisy had glaucoma. The affected eye proved to be a source of constant discomfort to her and it was decided to surgically remove the affected eye.


Thanks to the surgery, Daisy is back to her normal cheeky self. She has been started on some preventative eye drops for her remaining eye, to reduce the risk of it suffering the same fate. Daisy will have to have regular checks to ensure that the pressure within her remaining eye does not begin to creep upwards. These checks will need to be done every 4 months for the rest of her life. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, it is now possible to accurately measure the pressure within an eye using a very accurate hand- held device and Daisy can now have her eye checks done with us, instead of having to travel into Sydney to see a veterinary opthalmologist.


It is estimated that currently more than 50% of humans in Australia with glaucoma are undiagnosed. Given how easily the early warning signs are missed in cats and dogs, it is likely that situation for Australian cats and dogs is a lot worse than this. Like glaucoma in humans, it is older cats and dogs who are most at risk to developing glaucoma.


The great news for the senior patients at Petfriends is that routine screening for glaucoma can now be done quickly, painlessly, accurately and cost effcetively. So if you feline friend is over the age of 8 or your canine mate is older than 7, we will routinely be offering screening for this silent disease as part of your annual health check and vaccination.


As with screening in older human patients, glaucoma can usually be treated effectively and blindness prevented with regular medication. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s eyes, contact on of our friendly team.

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