How much does glaucoma treatment cost in dogs?

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Glaucoma is a condition where the intraocular pressure is increased. This happens when in the dog’s eye there is no proper regulation of the eye fluid known as aqueous humor. The purpose of this fluid is to bring nutrients to the eye as well as oxygen, and for that, it is constantly produced. But if for any reason there is a blockage that prevents proper drainage, then the pressure inside increases.

What can cause glaucoma in dogs?

Glaucoma can be classified as primary and secondary.

  1. Primary glaucoma: this type of pathology is considered due to genetic factors where we have a physical or functional abnormality that prevents the normal drainage of the aqueous humor. It usually has a sudden onset and it can first show itself on one eye and progress to the other. It can be related to some breed predispositions, which means it is more commonly seen in cocker spaniels, Boston Terriers, Chow Chow, Siberian Huskies, Samoyed, Beagles, Dalmatians, and Chihuahuas.
  2. Secondary glaucoma: in this case, glaucoma happens due to a primary disease that leads to increased intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is most commonly seen in dogs diagnosed with cataracts, infection of the eye, inflammation, detachment of the retina, and tumors. This means that it is very important that your vet follows up on your dog if it was diagnosed with any of the diseases that could cause glaucoma. We also suggest that if you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior regarding its sight, contact your vet asap!

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

Once you take your dog to the vet with the information that you think your dog has issues with its sight, the vet will perform an ophthalmology examination. Among other things, he will also measure the intraocular pressure, with an instrument called a tonometer. If your first opinion vet measures high pressure, he will then refer you to a specialist. The specialist will perform additional diagnostics to confirm the diagnosis from your vet.

Treatment of glaucoma in dogs

There are several surgical ways to treat glaucoma in dogs:

Enucleation

This is a procedure that is usually saved for the worst-case scenarios and where the dog has probably already lost its eyesight. The removal of the eyeball will help your dog tremendously because it will most certainly alleviate the pain and discomfort the dog feels.

This procedure could cost you between $500 per eye. 

Cyclophotocoagulation

In this procedure, the ophthalmologist uses a laser to destroy the cells that produce the aqueous humor after which an artificial drainage system may be placed as well as an artificial lens. 

This procedure costs around $1500 per eye.

Gonioimplantation

This is a procedure where a drainage system is put in to help remove the excess fluid from the dog’s eye. However, the downside of this system is that it most certainly will need to be removed in between half a year and a year, because of the scar tissue formation which causes blockage. 

This procedure could cost you between $500 and $800 per eye.