Eye Drops for Glaucoma in Dogs

Eye drops for glaucoma can be an effective treatment for your dog.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye condition. The eye creates a fluid called aqueous humor, and this fluid's job is travel around the eye, transporting nutrients to the various regions. It helps to maintain the eye's shape and pressure-control within the eyeball. Once the fluid has done its job, it drains away.

Glaucoma is a result of more aqueous humor being produced than is being drained away, possibly due to a blockage. This results in a buildup of pressure within the eye, to the point of being painful. Bulging eyes are a sign and result of this pressure buildup.

Types of Eye Drops for Glaucoma

The first method of treatment will be eye drops. Eye drops can stop the progression of the infection and very possibly reduce the chances of blindness. The time frame in which your dog is seen by a vet and diagnosed will greatly impact the outcome.

Latanoprost drops (brand name Xalatan, which contains the active ingredient latanoprost ophthalmic solution) can be used in humans and in dogs. Latanoprost drops reduce pressure in the eye and increase drainage. Use only as directed; over-use can result in a built-up resilience to the drops over time. Discontinue use of latanoprost if you notice infection or swelling. The drops may darken the iris of brown-eyed animals. Latanoprost can also be adsorbed into human skin, so try to avoid contact with it.

Timolol ophthalmic solution is another drop used to treat glaucoma. Timolol works to relieve pressure by acting on blood vessel receptors of the eye, causing them to constrict and thus reducing the amount of aqueous humor that is passing into the eyeball. Timolol is not FDA approved for use in veterinary medicine, but it is a common medication used in dogs and cats. Do not use if your dog is on any other medications without first consulting your vet.

Trusopt ophthalmic solution contains dorzolamide. Typical dosage is one drop in the affected eye three times a day. Symptoms of overdose include panting, loss of appetite and diarrhea.

Using Eye Drops

Most eye drops used for treatment of glaucoma in dogs are the same drops used in humans. This does not mean, however, that the dosages should be the same. Always consult your veterinarian before administering eye drops for glaucoma. Most of them you will likely need to obtain through a prescription. Do not use any of the above drops prescribed to a human on a canine patient.

All three of the aforementioned drops will likely sting when administered. This is normal, especially since the eye is already irritated and inflamed.


Glaucoma often begins in one eye and usually spreads to the other in time. Failure to treat immediately results in blindness or possibly loss of the eye. Unfortunately, glaucoma is not considered a curable disease. By the time the symptoms become noticeable enough for a dog to be taken to the vet, the infected eye often cannot be saved from blindness, and the vet can only try to ensure the infection doesn't spread to the other eye. Surgery is usually the last option if eye drops do not work.