Glaucoma in dogs is common, and can rob your dog of his ability to see. If there’s a chance you can save or improve your dog’s eyesight, shouldn’t you take it?
Today I want to talk to you about the causes of glaucoma and how you can help prevent and manage this condition.
What Is Glaucoma In Dogs?
Glaucoma is a condition that’s caused by increased pressure in your dog’s eyes. Inside the eyes, between the lens and cornea, there’s a thick, clear fluid called aqueous humour. It nourishes the eye tissues and helps the eye keep its round shape.
When the production and drainage of the fluid are well balanced, the pressure will be normal. That means your dog’s eyes will function as they should. But if the fluid doesn’t drain properly, the pressure begins to build.
When this pressure becomes too much, the eye will stretch to make room for the build-up of fluid.
Symptoms Of Glaucoma In Dogs
There are two types of glaucoma: primary and secondary.
- Primary Glaucoma is usually the result of genetics and can affect a healthy eye.
- Secondary Glaucoma occurs after something else happens to the eye that blocks drainage. This could be an eye injury, infection or general inflammation.
With both primary and secondary glaucoma, your dog may experience headaches. You’ll know your dog has a headache if you see him trying to press his head to the floor/wall to relieve pressure. He may also experience a decreased appetite and reduced desire to play.
Other signs of glaucoma in dogs typically include:
- Blinking more than usual
- Redness in the blood vessels
- Some cloudiness in the front of your dog’s eye
- A dilated pupil or a pupil that doesn’t respond to light
- Loss of vision
- Eye pain (rubbing his eye with his paw)
- Swollen eye
It’s important to remember that glaucoma in dogs is serious. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. That’s why medical attention is strongly suggested to help preserve your pet’s eyesight.
RELATED: Other causes of blindness in dogs …
The problem is most conventional veterinary treatments block fluid production. This helps lower pressure behind the eyes. But since your dog’s eyes need the nutrients in that fluid, is it really a good idea to stop the eyes from producing it?
Thankfully, there are natural alternatives for conventional medication. They may even prevent the need for surgical treatment.
8 Natural Remedies For Glaucoma In Dogs
There are many different remedies that you can use to help relieve the pressure and protect your dog’s eyes.
Spinach is full of carotenoids, which can strengthen the ocular tissue and prevent further degeneration of the eye. Add some raw, organic spinach to your dog’s meals several times a week (1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight).
Fennel has many beneficial properties for eye health and can reduce the pressure of the damaged eye. Add 1 tsp per 10 lbs of your dog’s weight per day. You can also use fennel to make an eyewash by squeezing the juice from the fennel onto a clean cloth and gently wiping his eyes.
Carrots can help repair damaged eye cells because of its high beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is important for the formation of visual pigment in the retina. It also protects the cells lining the eyes.
Grate carrots up and add 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight per day to your dog’s food. This can help prevent eye problems in dogs, like glaucoma.
4. Vitamin C
For alfalfa, add a pinch per 10 lbs of bodyweight to your dog’s food per day. For Dandelion, sprinkle 1 tsp per 20 pounds of body weight directly onto your dog’s food.
You can also make a tea with dried dandelion. Boil 8 oz water and add 1 oz of the dried herb. Give your dog 1/3 cup per 20 pounds of her body weight, up to 3 times a day.
Magnesium relaxes the blood vessel walls and improves blood flow. Hemp and chia seeds are rich in magnesium. Give your dog 2 tsp of ground hemp seeds. For chia, give your dog 1/4 tsp per 10 lbs of bodyweight. You can also feed your dog kale, dandelion leaves, fish and meat to add magnesium to his diet.
Astaxanthin is a plant pigment found in microalgae and shellfish. It’s one of the only antioxidants that can reach the retina. Once in the retina, astaxanthin can reduce the amount of damage that occurs to the cells of the eye. This can help prevent glaucoma and other eye problems in dogs.
7. Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and neuroprotectant, meaning it protects neurons from damage. Give your dog 1 mg per lb of body weight per day.
8. Herbs For Glaucoma In Dogs
Bilberry, rosemary, and burdock are all good for glaucoma. For example, bilberry extract (also known as the “vision herb”) contains active ingredients for eye health and proper vision. The berries are rich in antioxidants that are beneficial in ophthalmology and vascular diseases. You can make all these herbs into a tea and use them as an eyewash.
Homeopathy For Glaucoma In Dogs
There are many homeopathic remedies that can also help with your dog’s glaucoma.
- Aconitum Napellus 30c – Give during the early stages to help relieve any distress.
- Apis Mellificum 6c – Give this remedy to reduce the swelling.
- Colocynthis 6c – Give this remedy to relieve any pain.
- Phosphorus 200c – Give this remedy if the eyes are cloudy, vision seems blurry and eyes are tired.
- Belladonna 200c – Give this remedy if there’s a sudden increase in dimness of vision, eyes appear red or if there’s pain in the eyes and head. Nausea and vomiting may also be present.
How To Give Remedies To Dogs With Glaucoma
Put 3 pellets in a small, clean glass dropper bottle with spring or filtered water (don’t touch the pellets). Shake it well or slap it against the palm of your hand 15-20 times.
Use a dropper to place some of the remedy on your dog’s gums. Try not to let the dropper touch his mouth. If it does, sterilize it before putting it back in the bottle so you don’t contaminate your liquid.
Homeopathy doesn’t work by bodyweight – the actual amount isn’t important. As long as some of the remedy gets into your dog’s mouth, he’s good. Prepared homeopathic remedies will keep on your counter or in your cabinet for two or three days. Don’t refrigerate them.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Glaucoma In Dogs
It’s also possible to reduce the risk of glaucoma in dogs. This is especially important for dog breeds that are prone to developing glaucoma.
Slowing down the degenerative changes in his eyes is the best way to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
Here are some ways to do this:
- Add Antioxidants To Your Dog’s Diet
Beta-carotene, vitamins E and C, as well as lutein, astaxanthin and rutin can all reduce the amount of damage that occurs to the cells of the eye. This can help reduce the risk of your dog getting glaucoma.
- Decrease Stress To Prevent Glaucoma In Dogs
Stress makes it hard for your dog to manage the oxidative stress in his body. Recognize what stresses him out and try to remove those things from his environment as much as possible.
- Check Your Dog’s Eyes On A Regular Basis
The symptoms of glaucoma can be difficult to spot, but it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes. Speak to your holistic veterinarian about how to measure the pressure behind his eyes.
- Reduce Neck Pressure
Too much pressure on the neck can increase inter-cerebral pressure, which canincrease his risk. Switch to a harness that fits around his chest or loosen up a collar that is too tight.
Often glaucoma in dogs will cause blindness and there isn’t much you can do to reverse the damage.
Just remember, your dog is really resilient and for most dogs a loss of sight really isn’t a big deal. They’ll use their hearing and sense of smell to make up for it. Your dog’s eyes are amazing organs. Treat them well and you can protect them from damage in the future.