Treating Glaucoma in Dogs with Methazolamide

Methazolamide is one of the more common medications used to treat the condition of glaucoma. This medication is given by prescription only and is usually very productive at stopping the effects of glaucoma. The key to making methazolamide successful is identifying the symptoms before the structures of a dog's eye become extensively damaged.

Glaucoma Explained

Under normal conditions, a dog's eye is continuously generating and releasing fluid into and out of the eye. This constant process helps to establish intraocular pressure, which is a level of pressure designed to keep the shape and form of the eyeball intact. When the pressure in a dog's eye begins to exceed a normal level, it is effectively known as glaucoma.

The Effects of Glaucoma

Glaucoma can have a tremendously detrimental effect on the normal structures of the eye. Both the retina and the optic nerve rely on intraocular pressure for their functions to be carried out successfully. When either of these structures within the eye becomes severely damaged, it almost always leads to complete blindness.

The major effect of glaucoma is the potential loss of sight. The structures of the eye are not regenerative, meaning that they cannot repair themselves or produce a replacement for themselves. While surgery is an option in some dogs, the procedure is still not a certainty for retaining sight, especially when the retina and optic nerve have been destroyed beyond compare.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

While many dog owners may not realize it, glaucoma is considered a true medical emergency. It is thought of in this manner because the pressure inside the eye has the ability to build up so quickly that the loss of sight can occur almost instantaneously. Once blindness has set in as a side effect of glaucoma, there is virtually no way to restore sight. The best way to avoid this situation is to try to recognize the symptoms when they first present themselves.

The major symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Redness or irritation of the eye
  • Painful appearance of the eye
  • Eye that does not respond to light exposure
  • Haze over the surface of the eye
  • Appearing as though a dog cannot find his way, or that his sight is compromised

If any of these signs are noticed, they should warrant immediate medical attention.

How Methazolamide Can Help

Methazolamide works by decreasing the amount of fluid production in the eye, which essentially will reduce the existing pressure in the eye. If the condition has been caught early, methazolamide can be found to be very helpful at eliminating the potential onset of blindness. Once the intraocular pressure in the eye can be controlled, the condition of glaucoma is thereby controlled.

Methazolamide is given in pill format and is provided in 25 mg and 50 mg tablets. The dosage amount will be determined based upon the severity of the existing glaucoma and how much of the medication will be needed to relieve it. In general, most dogs usually do not experience any side effects with this medication; however, most commonly, a dog may experience some stomach upset or some changes in behavior.