Timolol for Dogs

Timolol is a relatively widely used drug that helps to treat the eye condition called glaucoma. While it was developed for use in humans and has not been officially approved for use in dogs by the FDA, it can nonetheless be legally prescribed by veterinarians under watchful care. If your pet suffers from vision problems or potential loss of vision as a result of his glaucoma, consult with your veterinarian about the potential to treat his condition with the drug called timolol.

Timolol Overview

Timolol is a beta-blocker type of drug. These drugs are used oftentimes to lower blood pressure, but they can also be used to reduce pressure of other types as well. Glaucoma is caused by excessive pressure of the eyeball and is a result of the eye not being able to properly drain water and other fluids through the tear ducts and other means.

Timolol works by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eye, thereby lowering the pressure and reducing the effects of glaucoma. Because of the fact that timolol is a topical drug that is absorbed into the eye, it has the potential to cause a few other effects that can be unplanned. The reason for this is that it is impossible to control the spread of the drug after it has been topically absorbed.

Using Timolol for Your Pet

There are generally two types of timolol that you can purchase and use for your pet's glaucoma. One is available in a suspended solution that can be given as eyedrops. The other is a gel that must be physically applied to the eye or the area around the eye. Most pet owners prefer to use the first of these two, although both are effective at reducing the symptoms and effects of glaucoma.

In most cases, you'll provide your pet with a single drop of timolol in the effected eye twice per day. The exact method of applying the eye drop in the most effective manner will depend upon your pet's:

  • size
  • weight
  • personality

A veterinarian can help you to determine the most effective way of doing this.

Timolol Side Effects and Other Concerns

Because of the effects that timolol can have on the cardiovascular and circulatory systems, and because also of the fact that it can be difficult to control the spread of the drug throughout your pet's body, it's important that you work closely with a veterinarian to monitor your pet's overall health while you're treating his glaucoma.

Timolol is generally not associated with any serious side effects. However, it may cause adverse reactions in pets with health conditions, such as:

  • pulmonary diseases
  • bronchitis
  • asthma

It's therefore crucial that you inform your vet of any and all medicines that your pet is currently taking and diseases that your pet is suffering from before you begin a treatment program for his glaucoma that involves timolol.