Canine Glaucoma Can Progress to Blindness in 24 hours!

by Michelle
(Portland OR)

Our 8 yr old Saint Bernard, Clara is a goofy, spoiled member of our family. One Sunday morning, after attending church we noticed that she looked like she was in pain. Her eyes were droopy and she did not want to open them. Upon examining her eyes I noticed that one of them looked very cloudy. Using a flashlight, I checked each pupil to see the level of dilation, and to see how well each one contracted with the bright light. Her right pupil "shrank" like you would expect but her left pupil did not. It stayed very large and cloudy. It is important to note that her eyes were completely normal when we went to bed Saturday night.

We rushed her to the emergency vet, and even though they began treatment right away for glaucoma, it was too late for the left eye. She is now blind in her left eye. The only "good " news was that we caught it before she spent days in pain, and before the other eye became affected. For now, she has vision in one eye and her pain can be managed. I shudder to think how much worse it could have been if we weren't paying attention.

We try very hard to be attentive dog "parents" and strive to stay pretty well-educated about canine issues. However, this is something that caught us completely off-guard. I had heard of canine glaucoma, but I just assumed it progressed the way it does in humans. Not at all. What can take years and years to progress in an elderly person can happen to a dog in a matter of hours.

I just wish that this was something EVERY dog owner was aware of, so they can watch for it, and get their dog to emergency treatment ASAP if similar symptoms arise.

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