Have you noticed a change in your pet poodle? Are they not wanting to play or interact as usual? Is there a cloudy look to their eyes? These changes might indicate Glaucoma. Poodles, just like humans, can develop this disease. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Glaucoma occurs when an imbalance in production and drainage of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye causes a build-up of fluid that increases eye pressure to unhealthy levels. Without treatment, this disease can cause damage to the retina and optic nerve in the eye. Your beloved pet could be experiencing vision loss or pain. It’s imperative to notice warning signs for early detection and seek treatment immediately if you suspect poodle glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
In a healthy eye, the aqueous humor drains at the same rate that it is produced. This disease results from the fluid not draining properly, which causes pressure to build within the eye. This degenerative disease occurs in around 2% of dogs in North America. There are two common types of Glaucoma seen in canines, which are open-angle and closed-angle. Open-angle glaucoma is a progressive form of disease that creates blind spots and loss of vision over time. Most forms of open-angle glaucoma are painless. Those with closed-angle glaucoma are not so lucky. This form is excruciatingly painful with a sudden onset of symptoms. Your pet will experience an increase in eye pressure that will lead to redness and loss of vision.
Glaucoma is a complex disease that affects millions of people and animals worldwide. Knowing the risk factors and symptoms before a diagnosis is met with the best plausible outcome. You can live a very happy life after a diagnosis. Although this diagnosis might seem devastating for you and your puppy, trust that there is some relief. Because this is such a common disorder, the search for a cure and the best possible treatment method is ongoing. Right now, several treatment options are available to relieve symptoms and help your best friend to live a fulfilling life.
Poodles and Glaucoma
Typically poodles will go on to live a healthy, productive life. A standard poodle is known for being affectionate, great with children, high energy, and playful. That’s why a standard poodle is the perfect family pet for an active and attentive family. Inviting a standard poodle into your family is a privilege, and it’s essential to care for their health. You can take care of your poodle by learning about their medical history. Also, be proactive about their health by taking them to routine physicals with their veterinarian.
The American Kennel Club recommends that a standard poodle receive routine ophthalmologist testing because severe eye conditions are an unfortunate possibility for your beloved friend. Glaucoma is more likely to develop in your standard poodle if it is purebred. To worry about your poodle’s likelihood to develop this disease is okay, but with proper education, you can learn what causes glaucoma and start a proactive treatment plan.
What Causes Glaucoma in a Poodle
Primary glaucoma is a type of poodle glaucoma that doesn’t have a root cause. That means that there are no known environmental factors attributed to the cause of the inherited disease.
Secondary glaucoma is a type of poodle glaucoma that does have a known cause. This condition results from eye trauma, inflammation, specific prescriptions medication, advanced cases of cataracts, or diabetes.
According to the National Eye Institute, scientists are unsure of what causes primary glaucoma. However, a new study has found a relationship between an immune response and the development of pressure in the eye. This study suggests that those genetically predisposed to forming T-cell proteins during an immune response trigger this condition. Luckily genetic databases like the American Kennel Club can isolate this predisposition in certain dog breeds. Therefore, a standard poodle should be considered susceptible to this disease. Regrettably, there is no more research on preventing this immune response or whether that is contributing factor in causing poodle glaucoma.
If diagnostic testing has proven that your standard poodle has developed this condition from diabetes, it’s essential to manage that condition immediately. Talk to your veterinarian about weight loss options to determine if that will help your poodle’s diabetes diagnosis.
It is vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote overall wellbeing. Feeding your pup a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins will help strengthen its eyes. Making sure that you are giving your dog proper amounts of exercise will also help reduce intraocular pressure. It’s important not to drink too much with a diagnosis. An increase in water intake can trigger the overproduction of fluid.
How Will Glaucoma Affect a Standard Poodle
As you can expect, a sudden increase of pressure built up inside your eye will become rather painful. This is the same instance for your pet. Unfortunately, if your pup experiences this form of this disease, life could start looking very different. Your standard poodle will no longer have their playful attitude or vitality for life. They will be in severe pain without treatment. It’s imperative to begin an early course of treatment for your pup.
Since glaucoma in pets is the same as in humans, treatment is typically the same. The Mayo Clinic describes that treatment is possible through therapeutic and surgical options. The course of treatment is dependent on the level of progression of the disease. Regardless of the treatment method, it’s imperative to assess the situation quickly and take action. This disease can cause damage to your beloved pet’s eyes that you are unable to reverse. Damage from this condition is irreversible because it affects the optic nerve. The optic nerve will deteriorate slowly, creating blind spots in your vision.
Consequently, poodle glaucoma has no preventative treatment. Older dogs that have carried this inherited disease often will experience loss of vision. This is generally a slower transition, and a standard poodle will likely adjust very well to the vision loss. However, there are instances where not seeing can be very dangerous for your beloved pet. If you own a swimming pool, have a staircase, or a balcony, it’s imperative to protect your beloved pet from these areas.
Help your pup adjust to vision loss by treating them the same as you always have. A standard poodle is a very adaptable and easily trainable breed. Just because they have lost or are losing their vision does not mean they do not want to play and have fun. It means that they might need more attention because they cannot play by themselves in as many ways. You can continue to give your dog exercise and play games with them. Dogs will learn the layout of your home, yard, and walking route by heart. Allowing them to explore these areas will help build their confidence and other sense. Always make sure to continue to be vocal with your pup. Their other heightened senses will work better, and this is how they will continue to live a fulfilling life.
How to Treat Glaucoma in your Standard Poodle
If your standard poodle is in the early stages, prescription eye drops are an excellent treatment option. Your veterinarian will suggest the eye drop medications like Prostaglandins, Beta Blockers, or Alpha-androgenic agonists first. Some of these medications help reduce the fluid your poodle’s eye makes, while others help draw the fluid out of the eye, resulting in a pressure decrease. This is an effective way to reduce pain. Eye medications can work exclusively or in conjunction with each other and need to be prescribed by your veterinarian.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manuel, oral medications work at urgently relieving eye pressure. If the onset of this disease happens rapidly, the veterinarian might prescribe oral medication that causes dehydration. Dehydration reduces the amount of fluid that the body will release into the eye cavity.
The next step in treating poodle glaucoma would be laser therapy. This kind of therapy works by removing the fluid build-up in the aqueous humor. If laser treatment does not work, your veterinarian might suggest surgery. There is a surgery that works to adjust the fluid and others that would remove the eye altogether. Your veterinarian also might recommend cataract surgery if your pup is experiencing secondary glaucoma from an advanced case of cataracts.
If your standard poodle is suffering from severe pain, surgery might be the best option. Medical procedures on pets can become very expensive and take a significant toll on your wallet. If your standard poodle is purebred, it might be an excellent time to invest in pet health insurance. Make sure never to miss a routine physical and always test the eye pressure of your pup. If its eye pressure is increasingly higher than expected, there is a good sign that you will need to afford treatment options for your pet.
Life Expectancy for Poodles with Glaucoma
A standard poodle can expect to live a happy 12-15 years with you as their caring owner. A diagnosis of primary glaucoma does little to affect that number. However, the quality of life in your pup suffering from this disease might look a little different. Since this disease is progressive, vision loss and blindness are inevitable.
If your canine has secondary glaucoma stemming from another health condition like diabetes, it’s essential to become proactive in maintaining that condition, or your poodle’s life expectancy will shorten. Learn about the health condition causing this disease and make a plan to combat that disorder as well.
Increase your beloved friend’s life expectancy by being consistent with a grooming routine. It’s essential to make sure that you are a responsible pet owner. Your pup will need its coat groomed and well maintained. During these routines, make sure to complete physical exams of your puppy. Research your canine’s medical history and learn what to look for during your at-home exams.
Know the Warning Signs of Glaucoma in your Standard Poodle
Finding early warning signs of this condition in your pup is imperative to their overall care and treatment plan. Because this disease has the potential to become rather painful, your beloved pet needs your keen eye to monitor for this condition routinely.
The Merck Veterinary Manual describes the early signs of this condition in poodles can begin with sluggish or slightly dilated pupils. Dilated pupils can occur whenever your pup sees you or see a squirrel to chase. Dilation means that the pupil has become more prominent. It’s essential to decipher an emotional response from a medical condition. If your pup is sitting with you and very relaxed but has large pupils, it might be time to visit a veterinarian. When your puppy becomes overly excited chasing a squirrel, and her pupils stay dilated for an extended period afterward, that could be considered a sluggish response.
Veterinarians have listed mild congestion of the veins in the conjunctiva as another possible early sign of glaucoma in your standard poodle. The conjunctiva is the white part around the pupil. When the congestion of the veins in the conjunctiva occurs, you can expect your poodle to have red lines coursing through their eyes. Redness in the eye can be from a myriad of instances. However, if your pup’s eyes are routing bloodshot, it is time to consider diagnostic screening.
Pressure build-up from this disease can begin to enlarge the eyes of your pup. If you notice that your pet’s eyes are starting to bulge or look enlarged, it is an excellent time to call your veterinarian.
Another chief characteristic is what is called a cloudy eye. A cloudy eye develops when the cells inside the pupil bulge into the other parts of the eye. This is a result of the pressure built up from the fluid. If your dog is experiencing a cloudy eye, there is a good chance that they need diagnostic testing.
The American Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPCA) suggests giving your pup regular at-home eye exams. Face your dog in a brightly lit area so that you can get a good look into its eyes. Make sure that the white space is clear and bright. Both of your pup’s pupils should be equal in size, and there should not be any tearing or discharge. You need to gently roll down the dog’s lower lid and make sure that the lining is pink, not red or white.
How to Diagnose Glaucoma in a Standard Poodle
Diagnostic testing is the number one way to identify glaucoma in a standard poodle. Your veterinarian will use an instrument called a tonometer to measure the pressure within your poodle’s eye. A tonometer is a standard tool used during a routine physical for breeds, like a standard poodle, prone to this inherited disease. A veterinarian will give an official diagnosis once there is considerable eye pressure combined with an onset of symptoms like dilated pupil, redness, swelling, or cloudiness in the cornea. After a diagnosis, you will want to begin a course of treatment immediately. The eye pressure will only continue to increase and create these undesirable symptoms without proper care.
Help Your Standard Poodle Live A Fulfilling Life After a Glaucoma Diagnosis
So a poodle with Glaucoma has stolen your heart, and you want to give them the best possible 15 years. Fortunately, glaucoma should not affect the quality of life in your poodle. Whether your beloved pet has vision loss or is in the beginning stages of a diagnosis, know that they can still live a very happy life. Complete blindness is a very final stage that is often seen in older dogs. During end-stage glaucoma is a great time to spoil your poodle by giving them the attention and comfort they desire.
The best thing that you can do for your beloved pet is to carry on life as usual. Aside from creating boundaries in your home for precautionary areas, keeping your home in the same format helps your pup stay independent. If your poodle has not entirely lost its vision, you can help them adjust by leaving lights at night. Lights will brighten areas and allow your dog not to miss a staircase or be able to find their water bowl.
A standard poodle is a beautiful addition to your family. They are considered child-friendly and loyal companions. Whether you own a poodle or have the option of adopting the perfect pup into your home, researching medical history for inherited conditions is very important. Knowing what risk factors and symptoms to watch for in a disease like glaucoma is crucial to reducing the onset of symptoms. Remember that purebred dogs are more likely to suffer from diseases and other medical conditions. Therefore, being a responsible pet owner might look like investing in pet health insurance. This type of insurance will give you a security blanket to optimize medical procedures to reduce pain and damage.