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J. Leonard DVM
J. Leonard DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
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Experience:  licensed to practice veterinary medicine
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glaucoma in our basset hound

Customer Question

glaucome in dogs how much pain is my dog in and if i won’t put her through sugery and she is blind in one eye should we consider putting her to sleep. she is a 9 1/2 year old basset. acute imflamation for past 2 days and am giving her drops vet gave us with no change. Her pressure in left eye was 40. She is so lethargic and sad, not eating. Also now has a yeast infection in her ear and vet did not want to medicate this yet. we love her so much and it is breaking my heart to think she may be in alot of pain.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  J. Leonard DVM replied 11 years ago.
HelloCustomer-I have treated a lot of dogs with glaucoma and very often, since they cannot tell us of blurred vision, we miss the initial stages of the disease and get them when their readings are high and the meds are not able to do anything. I have had many patients with blind, non-functioning eyes and they seem to do very well. Many people are not able to do surgery.

I would go ahead and treat the ear infection. We recommend a blood test for thyroid condition (hypothyroid is very common in bassetts) to make sure that the ear infections do not have an underlying cause.

The not eating may be from other factors. Offer boiled chicken (no skin, no bones) and cooked rice, small meals more frequently until appetite is sturdy. If appetite continues poorly, consider a geriatric workup (full blood tests) to see if anything else is going on.

If you have been giving drops with no change, the eye is most likely done. We would usually stop the drops in that eye. Now, there is a newer thought about medicating the good eye in case that goes bad, but you will need to see what your vet feels about that one. Veterinary ophthalmologists change opinions on this every once in a while.

By no means put that sweet Bassett to sleep because of the eye!

Any other questions, let me know. Good luck, Dr. Jo
J. Leonard DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 35
Experience: licensed to practice veterinary medicine
J. Leonard DVM and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Vamvakias replied 11 years ago.

  Some additional information...glaucoma is very painful. There is probably significant damage to the eye already and once the eye is large...swollen to where you can see it bigger, the retinal damage is significant enough the eye is blind.  Blindness is not a problem..but even with blindness, the pressures will still go up and down. Meaning, it may be a blind eye but the pressures will increase periodically and cause significant pain. The evidence of pain is not eating, crying, pacing...


Anyway, even thou you may not be able to surgical correct glaucoma, you need to think long term with the eye. There are two options...one is to surgically remove the eye so that pain is gone and the eye was already blind...OR there is an injection placed in the eye that causes it to slowly die and absorb. Now I know this is upseting to hear, but as long as the eye is present whether it is visual or not...the constant cycle of pain will be there. With the injection the medicine kills the nerves and cells so the process of the eye absorbing is painless.


You don't have to make the decision now, but please discuss these options with your vet...both of these are much more preferred than putting your dog to sleep.


Let me know if you have further comments of questions.


DR.V

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to J. Leonard DVM's Post: thanks

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