Glaucoma in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

The most common treatments for glaucoma are eye drops and pills. There are a number of different categories of eye drops, but they are all used to either decrease the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye or improve its outward flow. People who use these drugs should be aware of their applications and possible side effects, which should be explained by a medical professional. A doctor can decide which medications are most suitable for a patient based on the case of glaucoma, medical history and current medication regimen.

Types of Medications:

Alpha adrenergic agonists reduce the production of aqueous humor and increase its output. Allergic reactions occur frequently with this class of medications. Side effects may include increased heart rate, high blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, fatigue, dry mouth and redness in or around the eye.

Medications that are included:

  • apraclonidine (Iopidine ®)
  • brimonidine (Alphagan ®)
  • epinepherine (Gluacon ® and Epifrin ®)
  • dipivefrin (Propine ®)

Beta blockers work to lower the pressure (intraocular) of the eye, by decreasing the speed that fluids run in the eye. Side effects may include a slow or irregular heartbeat, depression, impotence, drowsiness, double vision, and respiratory problems for patients with asthma or emphysema.

Medications that are included:

  • Timolol (Timoptic XE Ocumeter ® and Timoptic ®)
  • levobunolol (Betagan ®)
  • carteolol (Ocupress ®)
  • metipranolol (OptiPranolol ®)
  • betatoxol (Betoptic ®)

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are drops or pills used to reduce the production of fluid in the eye. Side effects may include skin rash, red eyes or irritation, headache, nausea or stomach upset, taste disturbance (especially with soda), weight loss, fatigue and decreased energy.

Medications that are included:

  • dorzolamide (Trusopt ®)
  • brinzolamide (Azopt ®)
  • acetazolamide (Diamox ®) - oral medication
  • methazolamide (Neptazane ®) - oral medication

Miotics (cholinergic agents) help increase the level of fluid drainage from the eye. Side effects may include red eyes, headache and blurred or cloudy vision.

Medications that are included:

  • pilocarpine (Isopto Carpine ®, Pilocar ® and Pilopine HS ® ointment)
  • echothiophate (Phospholine Iodide ®)

Prostaglandin analogues reduce pressure in the eye by increasing the flow of fluid out of the same eye. Side effects may include redness or irritation of the eyes, a change in eye color (mainly those with hazel or green eyes), increased thickness and number of eyelashes and joint pain or flu symptoms.

Medications that are included:

  • latanoprost (Xalatan ®)
  • bimatoprost (Lumigan ®)
  • travoprost (Travatan ®)

Combinations of eye drops can also be used for best results. The side effects of these medications were mentioned above.

Medications that are included:

  • dorzolamide and timolol (Cosopt ®)
  • latanoprost and timolol (Xalacom ®)
  • Brimonidine and Timolol (Combigen ™)

Before taking any medication, over the counter drugs, supplements or herbs, consult a doctor for a full evaluation. The BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medications, vitamins or herbs. A qualified doctor should make an informed decision based on each person, their current medical history and prescriptions. The drug summaries provided do not include all the important information for patient use and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The doctor who prescribes you should be asked about any questions you have.

The above information should in no way replace the advice of a qualified health professional and is not intended to constitute medical advice. For more information, contact National Glaucoma Research, a program of the BrightFocus Foundation, at 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871, or call 1-800-437-2423. .

Some of the information on this page was obtained from the National Eye Institute and the National Library of Medicine.

What is glaucoma in cats?

It is a disease that affects one or both eyes of mammals, especially people, dogs and cats. It is more common in elderly cats and occurs, among other factors, by an increase in eye pressure.

Glaucoma in cats also appears as a result of excessive intraocular fluid production. Both accelerate the degeneration of the optic nerve and the retina, therefore they can cause partial loss of vision and subsequently blindness.

Feline glaucoma can be of several types, depending on what caused it. On the one hand there are genetic or hereditary causes, which predispose certain races to suffer from this problem. On the other hand, we can talk about underlying diseases such as cataracts, neoplasms and uveitis.

Y we cannot ignore the increase in ocular pressure and subsequent glaucoma as a result of a street fight, an accident or trauma to the eyes that favor the development of the pathology.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma in cats?

It could be said that glaucoma is a silent disease, since in the early stages it does not produce any visible symptoms. The animal probably experiences a reduction in its visual abilities, but has no way of communicating it.

The signs of glaucoma in cats are usually very general, not at all specific and only the owners realize the problem when it is somewhat advanced. The warning signs may be that the animal wobbles when walking, bumps into things or cannot recognize obstacles along the way.

In addition, the clear sign of glaucoma in cats is one or both eyes with a grayish or bluish hue. There is also a pupil dilation and a problem reacting to the lights. Other signs to pay attention to are:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dizziness and headaches (you don't want to be touched on the face or head)
  • Changes in behavior, more aggressive>

Treatment and prevention of glaucoma in cats

To prevent glaucoma from being treated, it is very important to take our cat to full veterinary checks every year. Although it is not possible to intervene in hereditary factors, we can at least offer them preventive care and delay to the maximum the appearance of this pathology.

Once the veterinarian diagnoses glaucoma, its treatment will depend on the severity and cause. It is important to know that while the disease progression can be slowed, it is not possible to recover the vision that the animal has already lost.

The basic treatment consists of applying a eye drops to balance the eye drainage systemand balance the production of intraocular fluid. It can also indicate the use of analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve sensitivity and pain in the area, or topical hypotensors through drops that reduce tension.

If the condition is very advanced, it is likely that the professional recommends performing a laser surgery to drain the intraocular fluid artificially.

Y In cases in which the eye can no longer see anything and there is a high risk of infections or other diseases, surgery is most commonly indicated to remove the organ.. Some place a prosthesis (only for aesthetic purposes) and others perform a suture of the ocular cavity to prevent the entry of viruses and bacteria.

Some of the races most likely to suffer from glaucoma and other eye diseases are Persian, Himalayan and Burmese. However, it can also appear in mongrel cats or crosses. We recommend that you take your pet to the veterinarian periodically to diagnose any health problems in time.

Veiga, C. C. P. da, Bomfim, P. C., Oliveira, P. C. de, Souza, B. G. de, Lasmar, P., Oliveira, G. F. de,… Rodrigues, B. D. (2013). Ultrasonography aspect in the canine Unilateral uveitis - case report. Ultrasonographic Aspect Dave Uveite Canine - Case Report.

Yamila Papa Painter is a sports journalist (Circle of sports journalists, 2006-2008). Between 2010 and 2011 he worked as sports journalist in "Argentinos Pasión".

Since 2011 he works in the article writing on different topics: health, sports, travel, pets and cooking recipes, among them. It is also radio and television broadcaster, and a great enthusiast for natural life. It is vegetarian and active participant of a foundation in charge of planting trees in his country of origin, Argentina. In terms of languages, he is fluent in English and Portuguese, and has a basic level of Arabic.

He recently completed his training with the course of: »Introduction to Food and Health» (Stanford University, 2019)

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