Puppy with Primary Glaucoma

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Liz Kirkham 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #4192

    Liz Kirkham

    Hi, my name is Liz and my husband and I just got a cute little half husky half German Shepherd puppy to go on trail runs and adventures with us. Right after three months, her right eye clouded up, and after a week and a half she lost the sight and we learned it was primary glaucoma which means she’ll probably be blind in the other one before she’s three. This is really earth shattering for us, because we got her to go trail running and on adventures with us. However, we’re attached to her and she’s our sweet girl. We’re trying our best to keep her even as medical bills keep mounting up. We’re just looking for advice on how much to expect her to be able to do if she does go fully blind (obviously trail running is out) and also advice on managing the second eye as long as we can. Will it always go blind no matter what?

    Thanks for having this site!


  • #4193


    Hi, Liz,

    I think if you have a happy, active puppy, she will adjust if she does go blind (probably more quickly than you realize). I struggled with glaucoma in my newfie mix for 3 years. We had to take the first eye six months after diagnosis, and then he was going blind in the other 2 1/2 years after that. We made the decision to euthanize him ONLY because he had many other health issues at the time and had trouble walking. We felt it was the most humane thing to do. He was an older dog. I think if a dog loses sight when it is younger, it has many things in its favor. It has energy, joy, and a zest for life. A dog’s primary sense by far is its sense of smell. I’m sure you know this already, but my point is that it doesn’t rely on sight the way we do. Dogs adjust incredibly fast, and you might even be surprised to find that you can go on trail with her. She might need a leash, but anything is possible. I know someone who has a blind horse that can navigate a full obstacle course with her on top of him. Animals (and people!) can achieve amazing things. To answer your question if a dog will always go blind no matter what, no, I haven’t read anything that states with 100% certainty that glaucoma will cause blindness. However, it is highly likely. I was able to hold off the blindness with my boy by giving an aggressive regimen of eye drops and pills, including supplements such as Ocu-Glo. There is also a new type of laser surgery that veterinary ophthalmologists are starting to use. It targets certain vessels that bring liquid into the eye. This, in turn, reduces eye pressure. It’s usually an overnight stay or outpatient, and there is minimal recovery time. It has been shown to be successful in reducing pressure. It worked for about 6 months for my guy. It can be repeated, as well. All of this costs money, though. I spent thousands on him to try to retain his eyesight. Because your dog is so young, it is likely that you won’t be able to prevent the blindness from occurring at some point in her life. But this is probably going to be more traumatic for you than her. If she is otherwise very healthy and a happy pup, you will probably be shocked at how quickly she will take it in stride. Let me know if you have any specific medical questions, and best of luck with everything. She will be fine. 🙂


  • #4194

    Liz Kirkham

    Hi Caren,

    Thanks so much for your response. Yes, it’s been very traumatic. We were just settling in to having a one-eyes dog when the eye specialist THEN checked for primary glaucoma and told us.

    I just find so little information about primary glaucoma out there outside of “it usually leads to blindness and “after the first eye gets it the other one gets it X% of the time after a few months”… the vet told us anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. 🙁 that’s a big difference. The lack of certainty is the hardest part.

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