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Intra-Ocular Eye Pressure Testing

Measuring the intra-ocular pressure in your pet’s eye is a general veterinary procedure and is used to diagnose glaucoma. This is something that can’t be done at home as specific instruments and medications are needed to perform it safely. If you think that your pet already has or might be developing glaucoma in its eyes, you should immediately rush your pet for a veterinarian examination.

Signs of Glaucoma

  • red or bloodshot eye
  • vision loss
  • cloudy cornea
  • enlarged eye orb

Till the time the eye enlarges due to intra-ocular pressure, the dog is either permanently blind or is at the verge of being blind. This situation is extremely painful for the pets.

Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma can be caused due to various reasons. According to the cause, glaucoma can be classified as primary or secondary in case of animals.

  1. Primary Glaucoma – This is an inherited condition. It occurs in the following breeds of dogs:
    • American Cocker Spaniel
    • Basset Hound
    • Chow Chow
    • Shar Pei
    • Jack Russell Terrier
    • Shih Tzu
    • Arctic Circle breeds – Siberian Husky and Elkhound

    As compared to dogs, primary glaucoma is a bit rare in cats. Primary glaucoma generally begins in one of the eyes, but in some patients it can affects both eyes too leading to a complete loss of vision if not controlled.

  2. Secondary Glaucoma – It occurs when some other eye diseases are leading to a decreased fluid drainage from inside of the eye. Some common causes of secondary glaucoma are:
    • cancer in the eye
    • advanced cataracts
    • inflammation inside the eye (uveitis)
    • chronic retinal detachment
    • lens subluxation or luxation

    Chronic uveitis or inflammation is generally the cause of glaucoma in cats.

Procedure for Intra-Ocular Eye Pressure Testing

  • The vet first applies an optical anesthetic, usually proparacaine eye drops, onto the affected eye. The anesthetic is given a few minutes to take effect before we can proceed to the next step.
  • Now, the vet uses a specialised diagnostic tool called a Tonometer or a TonoPen in order to measure the intra-ocular pressure of the eye. This small, hand held probe touches the center of the cornea by a gentle tapping motion for a mere fraction of a second. Due to anesthesia, the tap on the eye is hardly felt. The Tonometer converts the pressure of the eye to some sort of electrical signal that the vet then turns into medical values. In order to get a median value, the vet may perform the procedure more than one time.
  • According to the condition of the eye, the vet will then prescribe medications that could be oral or topical medicines. In case you don’t know as how you should give the eye drops to your pet, then ask the vet to teach you.

Testing the intra-ocular eye pressure is important as it clearly depicts the state of your pet’s eyes. In case there is advent of glaucoma in the eyes, then with the help if this test, the vets can know as how much the eye has been affected and what strategy do they now have in hand to deal with it. Glaucoma should be stopped at an early stage and this can only be accomplished with the help of this testing procedure.

We, at Hwy 401 Warden Pet Hospital, use iCare Tonometry for taking the eye pressures which offers minimal irritation and effective diagnostic results.

Contact us now to schedule an intra-ocular eye pressure test for your pet in Scarborough.