My Dog is 16 and has glaucoma – Not sure what to do

Jake - Glaucoma in dogsJake is 16 has had dry eye for years & does not see well to begin with. About a month ago he got glaucoma in his better eye have been putting 3 types of drops in everyday. But it isn’t getting better pressure is still high.

Dr says we can put an injection in the eye to basically kill the eye. Had anyone done this. Or we can have the eye removed & see if he is a candidate for cataract surgery in the other eye at the same time. I am just sick over this.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what we should do. Jake is in very good health but I am not sure I want to put a 16 year old dog through eye removal surgery

83 thoughts on “My Dog is 16 and has glaucoma – Not sure what to do

  1. Hi,I am in the same predicament my 14 yr old shih tzu needs to have his eye removed,his eye became ulcerated in May and since then we have battled to save the eye,he endured a third eyelid op,he’s endured the pain of the ulcer,plus the fact that he is already nearly blind ,I love him dearly but is it fair to him?

    1. It’s just so terrible especially if you think the dog is in pain. I waited another week & called my vet. I told them I didn’t think Jake was in pain. They told me he could adjust to the pain. I said I wanted to just get one more pressure reading & when we did the pressure was down from 40 to 13. So right now I am going to stick with all of the drops & re-check in a month. He is blind & can’t hear either but he is doing well otherwise. I just feel like I know my dog & am so happy I held off for an extra week. You have to do what you feel is best for your dog. Good luck & keep me posted.

      1. Update on Jake we had his eye removed, & had a prosthesis put in this past Wed. It was very sad & i cried alot but it looks worse than it was, he was a little out of it the first day & not loving that collar. I brought him back to the vet on Sat to have them clean the eye up and he really looks alot better except for the bad shave job. After the 2nd day he stopped pacing and panting which he did every nite. Except for all of the drops we need to make sure we put in his eyee I think it was a good decision. Thanks for all of the advice we really appreciate it.

        1. Your story has helped me with my 7 yr old cocker Sasha with glaucoma who after fighting it for several months finally lost her sight. And trying to decide on eye removal because of pain.

          1. My almost seven-year old pit mix was just diagnosed with glaucoma a few weeks ago. She is permanently blind in that eye and it is very likely she will lose sight in the other eye too (she had lens luxation first). I am so devastated because she is so young and I just don’t know what to do. I wish you well during this tough journey with your dog.

          2. Our ShiPoo 10 years old developed Glaucoma in both eyes last year. Even with the drops his left eye died so we had it removed. Before the eye removal he seemed extremely unhappy. With the eye being removed his demeanor changed to a happier puppy. Best thing we could have done for him. Now a year later his other eye has gone bad and he is completely blind. He is again not the same dog. We are deciding if we are going to remove the other eye as well. We just want him to be happy and healthy without pain.

      2. This is exactly where my 12 1/2 year old cocker spaniel is right now. He has lived in this same house all his life but gets lost now. He can’t smell very good either. He can’t see but still lives his food. He has started going to the bathroom inside so that bothers me. I will carry him outside but he comes right back in. I’m devastated, it’s so hard for me.

        1. I am going through this now with my little guy, but he is 15. We have an appointment for an evaluation for surgery in a week. I am supposed to live out if the country for the next six months and feel some pressure to have him euthanized before I leave or else not attend my daughter’s wedding. A disturbing dilemma.

          1. My border collie is blind and we adopted her at 4 months old. She was born with severe glaucoma. Dogs on the younger side especially do great they adapt very quickly. You will just have to do a lot of verbal training. Most dogs learn from our body language but a blind one learns from our voice. I wouldn’t trade one day with out my pup she is amazing!! They adapt very well.. a lot better than us.!! Lol. There’s a lot of help training info out there for blind dogs. Good luck.

      3. My dog has glaucoma I have her on a few drops of CBD. My doctor friend told me to get Biomax pure focus. I am waiting for it to come in the mail.

    2. I can totally relate to your frustration. I had to put my my 15 yr. old Kirby down yesterday. The glaucoma started with a vengeance in his right eye, I was giving him approx. 6 meds. a day ~ 8 and 12 hours apart. Kirby had been blind for seven years and had a heart murmur that was progressing which he was on meds. for.
      The medication didn’t work for Kirby eyes and he was slowly going down hill, i was also given the option of removing both of his eyes as his left eye wss starting to be affected. Kirby was my best friend and I was his. He was on allergy shots and acupuncture for his back, he was a dachshund. I promised I wouldn’t let him be in pain and I had no control over this. We ended up putting him down yesterday. He was a true Warrior and an inspiration. My suggestion is to do what is right for your pet. The same as you would a family member. This is not easy and very frustrating because theu can’t tell ypu how much pain they are in but ask a human with glaucoma. Best of luck to you all. ?

      1. My little dachund is 16 they want to remove her eye they put a needle in her eye pressure check on the 9th. Now she is peeing her self a lot.

        1. She may be in pain and peeing is just a fear response to that pain. When the eye pressure builds up it causes a lot of pain so if the vet is suggesting to remove the eye then it’s probably at a point where there is nothing more that can be done. The eye needs to be removed.

      2. I just found out my 14 year old Maltese may have glaucoma. He won’t let me touch his face so I can’t do drops. I read where they eventually go blind anyway. I’m devasted. How long can he go without doing anything?

        1. It’s a shame he won’t let you touch his face as the drops are what will keep the pressure down. The drops don’t last forever though so either way, you are right about him eventually going blind. If he won’t let you put the drops in, the road to blindness is going to be a lot quicker. Plus he will be in pain because as the pressure builds in the eye, so does the pain. I know it’s hard. I went through the same thing myself and devastated is the right word. But it was a funny thing, because when she got the eye out and I went to pick her up, she came bounding out of the vet’s office all happy and I knew then that everything would be okay. I wondered why I was ever worried. Eventually she lost sight in the other eye as well and even then, when she was completely blind, it was okay. She coped beautifully. I was still able to take her for walks and in fact, she would still pull my down the street even though she couldn’t see a thing. She could still play, she could still find her dog bowl, she could still get in and out through the dog door. It was all okay.

          1. I had exactly the same experience when my Boston Terrier had his eye removed due to glaucoma. The vet assured me that he would be much happier after the surgery, and she was right. My 8 year old Boston Terrier came prancing out of the recovery room, post surgery, happy and full of energy again! Although he needs drops to maintain the pressure in his other eye, at 10 years if age having one eye hasn’t slowed him down a bit. I was so worried before the surgery, and tried everything to save the affected eye. Seeing him happy, and pain free post surgery, now I wish I’d consented to the surgery sooner.

        2. Hi I am going through same thing with my baby he has a ulcer .. almost completely blind I am devastated…I can’t stop crying not knowing what to do…. antibiotics seems to be helping no way drops any part of dog is the sweetest chiuanna..never barks rescued him 14 years ago from pure hell..he is my do I know what to do..he is so not happy… Keeping him pain meds for rest.,..I am torn I don’t want him to suffer but I am fighting with myself about the what if I gave him more time…he’s sad
          .do I let him go out of love or pray but he suffer while praying answered…..I am devastated…..

      3. Hello Sue,
        Saw this site and I am truly sorry for your loss….
        I AM WHERE YOU WERE ONCE and probably you are still healing.
        My DARLING CHIHUAHUA age 16y, glaucoma, murmur & fluid. Medicated, yes.
        However, as of late the pain in the eyes/2 too much for him to bear, especially after 7pm. I was DEVASTATED to hear his wee cries and whinces.
        I put him down today,1/20th/18. I swear I will never get over his loss.
        I WAS* with him in the vets room for the sedation, took LESS than 10 seconds !!! to sedate. That I am THANKFUL FOR!! . I held him tight as did the nurse and he was a TROOPER. He knew I was there. I would NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. I WAS THERE TO SEE HIM PASS OVER THE RAINBOW that pets go to. 16y of MEMORIES!!!!!!!!!!. Where does time go ? I WILL THINK OF HIM EVERY DAY, GOING FORWARD. He WAS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME. GOD BLESS HIM.
        MY BEST SUE.

        1. I am sorry to hear of your loss, Sherry. We’ve been treating Gus for glaucoma for 1 year, 2 mos. now…managing, but it’s hard on both of us. I don’t know what I’d do without his specialist eye vet, who has been compassionate, wise, and done the very best for Gus and me all this time. Right now, we’re enjoying a pain-free period. Gus had chemical ablation in his unsighted eye a few weeks ago. We go for a check up tomorrow, and we’ll know more about how the eye is responding. I am just so happy he’s not in pain from his eyes. Now, his hip arthritis…that’s another story, another treatment. At 16 yo, I’m so happy I rescued him and have been able to give him a good, long life. I know your pup will always be with you in spirit, as will Gus when it’s his time.

          Thank you for sharing your story and for reading mine.

      4. Hello Sue,
        I am in the same situation with my shih tzu and am torn apart. I don’t want to put him down it feels like I am killing him but all the drops he is on, heart murmur and starting to go blind in second eye. I don’t think he will survive the surgery. He is 15 but I don’t want him in pain. 🙁

  2. Hi Ladies
    I have a 9 yr old Dachshund…..he has diabetes….the diabetes caused glaucoma in both eyes…glaucoma is VERY painful….causes headache’s and if they eye is touched it feels like it’s going to explode….poor Bailey seemed to bump his swollen eyes on everything and he would vomit from the pain…we talked to our vet and had both eyes removed….he was home the same evening….after about 3 day’s he was back to his old self…. playing…running…..throwing his toy’s and tearing his new one’s with bells(so he could find them) totally apart. Feb will be a year he had the surgery and he acts just like a puppy again. I have 15 yr old shihtzu and if it happened to her I’d do it again…..please don’t make blindness a death sentence…..they adapt a who lot faster than we do. “)

    1. Since my dog will probably need both eyes removed soon and I’m trying to become reconciled to it (while I save money for the surgery), it helps me so much to read about another blind dog that improved so much after enucleation. My nine-year-old dog has lost her previous zest for life–sleeps too much–won’t play with her toys and wants me near her constantly. I dread the surgery (more for the anesthesia than anything else since she has a compromised immune system), but want her to be happy. Thanks for sharing your story. Regards, Jaye

      1. If your vet is a specialist – opthomologist (SP) discuss the eye injections in place of the surgery.

      2. I have been reading all these story’s and it’s so helpful for me my Bella a Patterdale cross Jack had her eye removed 2 years ago but sadly it has started affecting her other eye I didn’t now this and for the pass 3 months she has been blind I’m absolutely gutted the pressure is o er 60 so she is having the other eye out this week i have been crying constantlybut she is in good heath and knows her way around the house already the vet has said she will be so happy after … Im going to ha e a blind dog.but I don’t care. Xx

        1. I have just been told my almost 15 yo Maltese has glaucoma in her right eye. It was an incidental finding. I took Chablis to the vet for her monthly shot for her back pain, and told the vet she had become restless the past 2 days and seemed to maybe be in pain. I assumed from her back. I also noted a little squinting at times the past day or 2. The vet wanted to test for glaucoma although her eye looked normal while we were there. The test came back positive with a pressure of 25. She said we caught it very early and were put on drops Dorzolamide-Timolol 3 times a day. We are to recheck next Friday. So far she has not lost her vision completely. She does have cataracts in that eye and has a grade 2 heart murmur. I decided to make an appointment with opthamologist to find out treatment options. Has anyone had any other procedures done to lower ocular pressure. I’m hoping to slow the progression. The thought of general anesthesia scares me even for eye removal with her heart murmur. Any advice is welcomed. Thank you in advance.

      3. My Abby has had both her eyes removed. It was the best thing I ever did for her. Her first eye was removed at 3 years old as the retinal detached and she just had the other one removed. She had glaucoma and the lens moved and the eye was ulcerated. The glaucoma was being controlled with the drops but the other issues were causing pain so I opted for the surgery. She was blind anyway.

      1. Over the time I have managed this website I have seen a number of different price tags for the eye removal surgery – ranging from $300 all the way up to $3000. Really, you shouldn’t be paying more than $1000.

        1. Hi my name is Karen our dog (who we failed fostering) had to have her eye completely removed (she was our foster and I took her to an ophthalmologist and she agreed it had to be removed after two weeks of treating with 3 different eye drops in both eyes (only one had /has glaucoma) it really was useless and painful. She said we could get our vet to do the removal. If she shook her head and that eye was bulging so bad her eyelid didn’t go over and she hit it she cried. She was a seizure/neglect. She gets around quite fine and is happy , playful and enjoying life. The first day or two is rough She has a cataract in her remaining eye which we will be having removed and she has a loose lens. There is only a 50 % chance the retina won’t detach . Don’t move furniture and such around in your house . At 8 her hearing and her sense of smell is great. The squinting is important to look out for. This surgery has to be done by the ophthalmologist and she said it would be about $3000. I wish everyone luck ,it is harder when they are seniors or have other serious medical conditions, but as others have said , you have to do what’s best for your baby.

  3. Dana, I am so sorry to hear your news. It is very difficult to think of having our dogs eyes removed. My lil 4 year old Papillion has had eye pressure issues her entire life. She had her first eye removed July 2 of this year. It broke my heart but recovery from the surgery was actually only about 3 days of noticeable discomfort as one would expect from any surgery then she was about her business with the exception of a high desire for extended time in her crate. We continued to treat her remaining eye hoping to save it, with 3 different drops as well. Ironically her pressure in that eye finally went down to the low 20s lowest in her life! But when the pressure went down…she went blind! She is now totally blind. We continue to treat the eye but have finally decided to have it removed as well because the drops are bothering her now. She will have it removed on Tuesday. It is heart breaking to make such a permanent choice. There is no going back from it. That is why I think it is so painful to make the decision. Only you can decide from the options given to you for your dog, but I think the eye removal is harder for us than it is for them in the big picture. My issue was not that she won’t have eyes, I have known her whole life she would have to have them removed, it’s the permanency, of what feels like a choice for another that can not participate in the decision, or provide feedback. My friend had an Iggy who was a similar age to your dog, he had to have both eyes removed and he did super! She said he felt like a new man after he recovered! It was the right decision for her older guy! Her guy was done the week before my girl had her first removal, it was so helpful to follow her experience. Her name is Shannon. She is on the blind dog support group. Good luck to you and your fur buddy. Go with your heart instead of your head. That helped me, my heart knew but my head fought it.

    1. My question is, how long after the surgery did these older dogs live? was the cost of surgery expensive? do you think the quality of life was worth it rather than putting them down? I am trying to make a realistic decision for my dog Lucky. His half brother is coming up close behind him with eye issues too. I don’t know what to do. I would appreciate some feedback.

      1. Dogs that are blind will live just as long as a sighted dog unless of course there is some other underlying issue like diabetes for instance. And their quality of life is just as good as a sighted dog.

        he surgery can vary depending on the vet. Specialists will just about always be more expensive than regular vets. Most regular vets can perform the operation and the price can range from $300 up to $2000. I paid $700 for one eye removal. You can shop around but just be aware that you want a vet who has performed the operation numerous times so make sure you ask them that.

      2. I have a 9 year old chocolate lab with glocolum in one eye and he has heart worm also he has stopped taking his medics and won’t eat I don’t have the eye surgery money is he in pain help

      3. Our pug is 10 and had glaucoma in one eye, he was already blind, we had the eye removed. There is a 50% chance he will get glaucoma in the other eye in 2 years. The surgery was 1100 plus about 100 a month on eye meds plus all the follow up visits/tests. If in 2years he has to have the other removed it will be a difficult choice. We are not wealthy. All this is done using a credit card. I have two small children. Ugh, I guess I will try not to worry about it right now.

  4. We just had an eye removed from our Yorkie, Fred. He was blind from Dry eye, it drained continuously and is contagious. There were signs it was spreading to his other eye and possibly other dogs. After surgery he showed no signs of pain, was just a little groggy that evening. The only difficult part was the Elizabethan collar and we found one at the pet store that you blow up and it’s soft like a pillow. He developed a little infection and antibiotics cleared that up. The messy part with stitches, etc. lasted about two weeks and now he is SO much perkier. We don’t regret it – dry eye is painful.
    Would I do this with a 16 yr old dog? Only if he is in pain. Fred is only six. I’ve never heard of the injection into the eye. For us having it removed with immediate results was very satisfactory. I’m sorry you are facing having to make this decision.

  5. Hi Dana…my 4 year old Lab was diagnosed with glaucoma a year a go, and we did try the injection and it worked for a few months, unfortunatley she got a freak infection in that eye with caused secondary glaucoma..We could have opted to do the injection again but I chose to get the eye removed. I really believe its worth giving the injection a try considering your dogs age, because it in less invasive then getting the eye removed and recovery time is shorter. I hope this has helped a little and good luck to your sweet

  6. My 11-year-old Maltese, Binkie, developed secondary glaucoma to myriad other eye issues, and is scheduled for enucleation in the morning. This all happened a week ago. She’s been on a ton of meds & OTC treatments, but has not responded to them, and the veterinary ophthalmologist said she won’t respond to any others. Both of Binkie’s eyes are being removed.

    I’ve had three blind dogs in the past, and believe me, they adapt quite well to their condition! My first blind dog, Darcy, a Cocker Spaniel, was blind when she found me, and I had her for seven years. She never had eye problems whatsoever. Two other dogs, Callie and Holly, both went blind with age, and again, adapted wonderfully. Binkie’s different, though; her blindness developed in a matter of days, not years, so she hasn’t had the same adjustment period the others did.

    So far, Binkie’s already learning to be an awesome blind dog! She follows me/my voice, does almost everything she did pre-blindness, and seems, overall, to be OK. This doesn’t mean there aren’t differences, of course. She’s sleeping more than usual, but that could be from pain, I don’t know. She’s had “accidents” in the house, which is to be expected. She’s still learning the “geography” of the house, so she’s bumping into stuff, and hugs the hallway wall to get around.

    All that said, I predict a long, healthy and happy life for Binkie following her surgery. She has everything she needs to adapt to being blind, and aside from some minor accommodations in the house to make it easier to navigate, not much is going to change for her.

    This is in no way meant to minimize making such an important, “no-turning-back” decision for your dog. I just don’t see the sense in keeping her eyes when they will only continue to cause her pain and discomfort. Everyone has to make the decision they feel is the most appropriate and beneficial for their pet. I factored her age, overall health and quality of life into making this decision, and feel that for her, it’s the best one of some other difficult choices.

    I wish the very best for you and your little one, whatever you decide to do.

  7. My 11-year-old Maltese, Binkie, developed secondary glaucoma to myriad other eye issues, and is scheduled for enucleation in the morning. This all happened a week ago. She’s been on a ton of meds & OTC treatments, but has not responded to them, and the veterinary ophthalmologist said she won’t respond to any others. Both of Binkie’s eyes are being removed.

    I’ve had three blind dogs in the past, and believe me, they adapt quite well to their condition! My first blind dog, Darcy, a Cocker Spaniel, was blind when she found me, and I had her for seven years. She never had eye problems whatsoever. Two other dogs, Callie and Holly, both went blind with age, and again, adapted wonderfully. Binkie’s different, though; her blindness developed in a matter of days, not years, so she hasn’t had the same adjustment period the others did.

    So far, Binkie’s already learning to be an awesome blind dog! She follows me/my voice, does almost everything she did pre-blindness, and seems, overall, to be OK. This doesn’t mean there aren’t differences, of course. She’s sleeping more than usual, but that could be from pain, I don’t know. She’s had “accidents” in the house, which is to be expected. She’s still learning the “geography” of the house, so she’s bumping into stuff, and hugs the hallway wall to get around.

    All that said, I predict a long, healthy and happy life for Binkie following her surgery. She has everything she needs to adapt to being blind, and aside from some minor accommodations in the house to make it easier to navigate, not much is going to change for her.

    This is in no way meant to minimize making such an important, “no-turning-back” decision for your dog. I just don’t see the sense in keeping her eyes when they will only continue to cause her pain and discomfort. Everyone has to make the decision they feel is the most appropriate and beneficial for their pet. I factored her age, overall health and quality of life into making this decision, and feel that for her, it’s the best one of some other difficult choices.

    I wish the very best for you and your little one, whatever you decide to do.

    1. I am facing huge decision in the morning and decided to try to see if anyone else had experienced what i’m going through. My 11 and a half year old Shih Tzu, Molly has glaucoma in both eyes. She has had the injection in her left eye 3 times and tomorrow we will either have to have it removed or have her put to sleep. Her right eye has an ulcer which the opthamalogist specialist supposedly operated on and it was healing fine but suddenly developed glaucoma too. So now we are treating the right eye with 3 different drops a day and the injected left eye with one. The left eye is still bulging and the vet said it should shrink and shrivel up if the injection worked. Our last option with the left eye is to have it removed. I would be fine with that if she had any vision in her right eye. I just can’t imagine her adjusting to no sight at all. She and her little maltese/shih tzu sibling run out the doggie door to see and bark at everything in the neighborhood. When we go camping they run and explore together. What will it be like for her to not be able to run around with Dory?? I can’t quit crying…her appointment is tomorrow and I’m heart broken. She’s the sweetest dog ever.. she gave me a Molly hug today. I’ve already spent over $1100 since she was first diagnosed last month and I’m on a fixed income and have put all these bills on a credit card. But she’s my best friend in the world.

      1. I’ve noticed that with a number of people on this site that the injection is really only a temporary thing and eventually the eye has to be removed anyway.

        But even if she ends up being blind in both eyes, you’ll be surprised at how well she will cope without her sight. These blind dogs are pretty amazing. Just keep reading the stories on this site. You will see that they do cope and they do cope really well. Blind dogs can still run and play. My dog (when she was alive) would easily get in and out of the dog door. She had no problems finding her way around the house and yard and I was still able to take her for walks. In fact, she would take me for a walk and would stride ahead of me.

        Just give her a chance and see what she can do.

  8. I hope Molly is doing ok. A blind dog does not have to be euthanized. They can live full, happy lives. She can still sit on your lap and be cuddled. She can still enjoy treats and the smells outdoors. We have been through hell with our dog’s eye issues but I would rather have my little boy blind than not have him at all. He can still give kisses and still wants to chew his toys and listen to music. He would still want to live with me, even though he can’t see.

  9. I’m reading these stories with tears in my eyes! Dogs are amazing and adapt to anything no doubt, but it’s heartbreaking for us humans. My Shih Tzu went to the vet on Thursday and the vet noticed his one eye was fully dilated. He thought it could be a detached retina, did the shining a light in his eye thing, etc. I’ve seen no signs it bothers him, eye size appears normal, etc. Obviously though it’s dilated for a reason. I don’t know what to do. Does this sound like anyone else’s story? Should I find another vet? A specialist? My vet now is actually a world renowned small dog specialist and he wasn’t concerned about the eye and didn’t mention That I should do anything. (I’m sure he would have.) Then again it’s not normal. Honestly though his eye has always been like that as far as I can remember (appearance wise). Sad I know that I didn’t check their dilation! But I just know when I look at his face and eyes they have always looked like that. And my vet had no notes about it and he’s had a check up every year. (My dog, not the vet. Lol) You guys/gals here are the experts. What should I do next? My dog is my world. We’ve been through so much together and before he came along I wanted to end my own life. He saved me and now I just want to repay the favor and do what is best for him. He acts fine, plays fine, looks fine except for the dilated eye that I’m obsessing over. If it’s a problem why didn’t my vet say so or suggest something? Am I wasting time and money going to another vet? I trust my vet and he’s always done me and my animals right.

    1. I am a member of Blind Dog Support. I have a Minature Schnauzer that was diagnosed with glaucoma just 2 weeks ago and is blind. She is reacting to the pressure drops and her pressure is dropping and my opthomogist believes that her body is actually killing her eyes so hopefully we don’t have to do the injections. She is 13 and he doesn’t want to do the surgery to remove the eyes.

      Here is why I am responding to your message. My dog’s eyes also were dilated and I thought it was from the eye drops my vet put her on for an infection. This was in May. After taking her off the drops they went back to more normal but it was obvious she had some vision issues. My vet said I should take her to an opthomologist which we did but it was too late. She had lost her vision. He told me I didn’t wait too late if I had known what to look for. Still felt guilty that I missed something. I think you should get your vet or a new vet to refer you to a dog opthomologist. They are amazing and know their stuff. Good luck with your little baby. I too have done my share of crying over this. She is adapting but we had to cover certain things as she is still learning her way around.

  10. I just had my 14 year old dogs last eye removed. It broke my heart to do it but I could not put him down. I could only think if it became a quality of life issue later then so be it but he is old and in declining health but I couldn’t bear to loose him. So it’s a week later and he is doing great, all things considered. It takes a lot of our time to take care of him but he’s better off now than before the surgery. Yes he bumps into things but he was just going around in circles before the surgery and now he’s cruzing around carefully. We keep him contained to the room were in and mostly just the kitchen so he’s learing his surroundings . I’m so happy now I didn’t put him down but at the time I thiught I was doing the wrong thing.

    1. Thank you for this post. My Lola is 14. She is already blind in both eyes. But, the right one must come out. Her pressure right now is at 86, which is extremely high. I keep questioning my decision to have the eye removed. I feel that no matter how much time she has left I need to give her the most comfort I can. I just can’t put her down because of an eye. We are waiting in her pre-op lab work and then hopefully going through with the surgery. Thank you so much again.

      1. Hi Rebecca, I hope everything works out with Lola. I felt the same way about my Jake. He doesn’t have any other health issues & I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting him down. . He does walk
        Into the walls sometimes but we keep him confined when we aren’t home & usually try to keep watch when we are home. Occasionally he is missing & we find him stuck in a corner but otherwise he is good. I think we made the correct decision. Good Luck

  11. I wanted to give an update on Jake. It’s been two years now & He is 18 years old. He is completely blind & deaf but his other eye is doing well. He has a few drops put in each day but he still eats & seems happy, doesn’t really have any other issues. We am so glad that we decided to remove his eye. He seems to have a much better quality of life & I am so happy he is still with us.

  12. My 18 year old Lhasa Aphasa is blind in both eyes and is also deaf. She is so precious to me and actually saved my life 19 years ago when I lost my only daughter. Having her to take care of made me start caring again. She is the most loving and the sweetest dog I have ever had. Her blindness and deafness doesn’t seem to bother her. She loves to go outdoors and I have a time trying to catch her when it’s time to go back inside. She bumps into things, but she just turns around and goes on. She is still a joy to me and I can’t imagine life without her. I am so grateful for each day I have with her.

  13. I have a 14 1/2 yr. old shiba inu and both of his eyes seem a bit ‘cloudy’ but he still can see, just not sure if it’s complete vision or just shadows. His right eye was tearing and he was blinking it a lot. He would allow me to hold warm compresses on it and he didn’t seem like it caused him any pain at all. He is a problem child when it comes to the vet and when I took him he even tried to bite the flashlight…LOL. That being said, the vet checked from a distance, gave me some antibiotics and some ointment to put in there. It improved a bit but still gets some tearing. He lets me rub it after applying the ointment so I don’t think it’s causing pain. Do you think meds or drops can help this since it appears he has no other symptoms but the tearing and the occasional rub with his paw. The blinking has stopped and he was negative for diabetes. Any suggestions?

  14. My dog Zoe was diagnosed with diabetes in February this year- around the same time we realized that her eyes were going grey- glaucoma. She is 11 years old and had not been spaded -which we were told was contributory to her medical problems- tumors along the mammory glands- being one. So, she’s been spaded, tumors removed-but I am struggling with the diabetes and getting her diet right. Up to 2 weeks ago she still had some vision as she would chase frogs in the garden during the late evening. Ive realized that since Monday she’s been bumping into doors and walls and is disoriented and timid- my zoe-zoe is in a world of darkness. I am encouraged by the postings here… but so so sad for my little zoe.

  15. My 12 year old Wheaten was just diagnosed with retinal degeneration and will at some point lose her vision. Having lost my husband last year this caused me to break down in tears. She is my child. We have the best specialists at the Animal Medical Center in NYC a world renowned 8 floor hospital. They assure me she will live out her days with. Normal life as she is otherwise healthy. They have recommended a vision support vitamin called Ocu-Glo which you can buy online. She may have had this condition for sometime… Even being a medical professional I thought her change in eye color was simply aging. The point I want to make here is the condition is painless and they will adjust beautifully. NEVER give up on them and always hold hope. I would never put down a dog for blindness. They simply want you to love them, cuddle them and be the wonderful caregiver you have always been. Just love them and what you receive back in their love will live in your heart forever. She got me thru my husbands death as I have no children. There is nothing I would not do to keep her safe until God wants her back. Be strong for them and continue their normal routines. And believe… In the absence of pain all they want is to have your love and be with you in their safe environment. Ask your vet if the supplement may be helpful.

  16. Everyone here seems to have quite a bit of experience and I’m hoping for opinions ( though I suspect I already know what I’ll hear.) I have a dog who found me about 8 months ago. He is somewhere between 10 and 12, a cocker spaniel, Jack. Jack is deaf and has cataracts in both eyes. In his right eye he also has glaucoma and a corneal ulcer. I’ve been treating the triple threat eye with eye drops daily pretty much since I got him. The sweeping has reduced but it still bulges. The corneal ulcer was likely caused by the ectopic cilia he has, I just learned today. He is blind in the triple threat eye and vision in his left is very diminished, nearly gone. The vet today wants to remove the cilia next week, follow up with a serum to heal the ulcer, treat him with glaucoma medication ongoing Etc etc. I can’t help but keep coming back to the fact that the eye has lost use for vision and is swollen which must be causing pain. Is all of the treatment and procedure worth it versus just removing the eye?? I don’t understand why the vet is so reluctant to remove it! Am I missing something?

    1. If he is blind then there is no point keeping that eye. It would be okay if he wasn’t in pain but if he is in pain (and he would be with glaucoma) then really the eye should be removed.

      Maybe ask the vet why he is so reluctant to remove the eye. He might have a valid reason. If not, just let him know that you are ready to have the eye removed. Otherwise you can go looking for a second opinion.

  17. We are in the same situation with a blind 14 yr old Boston Terrier who also has glaucoma and eye ulcers. Our animal eye specialist is reluctant to remove her eyes because of her advanced age. However, our regular vet said he would do the eye removal surgery as long as all her pre- surgery blood work comes back good. We are managing now with the drops and trying to decide if we want to go against the specialist recommendation and go forward with the surgery with her regular vet. The eye specialist is just concerned that the surgery and recovery would be to hard on a dog of her age. Tough decision but, we are leaning towards the surgery because the eye pressures are getting so hard to keep under control and she seems to have one ulcer after another. We just want her to be pain free. Your dog being somewhat older may be the vets reason for not wanting to do the surgery. Hope you can find some answers.

    1. Hi Cindy,

      I felt the same way but I did have a wonderful eye specialist in FL. Jake was 15 when he had his eye removed & he is still alive today he is 18 1/2 now. I think his recovery was harder on us than on him. We do have to put drops in every day but I do believe that removing his eye was the best option at the time. His only issue seem to be that he is blind and deaf so we feel that we made the right choice. I have since moved to NY and do bring him to have his pressure tested in the other eye by my new vet here and all seems to be good. Good Luck!!

  18. Thanks for the input! I just returned from the vet, we were supposed to do the ectopic cilia surgery this morning but my gut still had me questioning why we don’t just take the eye out. I woke up thinking it’s like doing a hip replacement on an amputated leg… Just doesn’t make a ton of sense and presents more risk than not. So, at the appointment, I learned that here in Jordan, where we live for now, not a single vet has the instruments to even measure the pressure from glaucoma! So, he is obviously in pain ( or is used to the pain, I have no idea how long his eye was this bad before rescuing him) so having a measure now isn’t as important to me as it would be afterward one on the glaucoma medication she suggests keeping him on for maintenance, like, forever. Anyway… We did his pre-op bloodwork, all great. The last vet who was hesitant to remove the eye had sited fears regarding anesthesia… He was ecstatic at how Jack recovered after we put out down for teeth scaling as a trial ” he’s recovered like a normal dog!!” he exclaimed – I choose to blame language barriers for all things wrong with that 😉 – so anyhow, I decided, in my mind at today’s appt to remove the eye, especially after realizing this vet seems to be making recommendations to me based on her personal opinions and an obvious sense of judgement about choosing an “easier” route, (lower maintenance for me long term) which has nothing to do with my side of the decision making process. For me it’s about what makes sense for him. So… All that said, the doctor who would do the surgery to take the eye out is a different doctor and he of course is out of town for 2 weeks. Atleast I know now what I want to do. Thanks again everyone for listening, and sharing!!

  19. Small helocal please….

    My dog has glaucoma he had his 1 eye out about a year ago and now it’s in the other eye. I’m also in the process of rebuilding my house (derelict) I think it would be nicer to put him down as he bumps into everything as stuff is always moving.

    What do we think I should do

  20. Hi Kirsty

    I have an older 13 year old Minature Schnauzer who went blind about a month ago. She is still adapting and we are trying to help her. She too runs into things but I certainly would not consider putting her down just because she bumps into things. I realize you are remodeling but just try to make her use to her surroundings again. I have been told and read that they do adapt, you just have to be patient. Please reconsider.

  21. I have an 11 yr old shih tzu, he was born partially blind and has been fully blind since he was 4. He has glaucoma & cataracts and now needs both eyes removed. He is very well adapted to the blindness but I’m unsure about the cost due to his age. As far as I know he is otherwise fairly healthy for his age. His eyes are in such bad shape my only options are to have the surgery or put him down.

  22. I have an elderly disabled friend who has a dog that is 16 and in great health just an eye injured badly and the vet wants to put her down, my friend has paid 320$ to get this diagnioses and no help just a cone on her eye and drops. The vet wants 800$ to take her eye out…she doesn’t have that money and is in such an hysterical way I thought Id reach out to this community and wee if anyone knows a site or a person who helps people in need with their pets? Theresa did not realize the high costs of maintaining a older dog when she adopted her 16 years ago! Katie the dog has become her best friend and she has no children, and no husband. she has no family members living nearby and her retired older sister sends her what she can but it isn’t much however she is thankful! Ive seen Theresa go without food for Katie to get her food and meds! i help out as much as I can but that also is not enough for this surgery. Thank you in advance if anyone can help.

  23. I have a 5 year old shih Tzu who suddenly had an ulcer in her left eye. They performed surgery twice on the (left) eye trying to save it. On the day that the second surgery was performed, her right eye appeared funny. I called the vet and immediately got her in. The vet said that she now had an ulcer on her right eye. Both were very deep. They had to wait to do any surgery so they gave me drops which I put in as instructed along with some pain meds and antibiotics. The day after she was diagnosed, she had excessive drainage from her right eye. I called the vet and was told that her eye had ruptured and needed to be removed. This all happened so fast…I can’t believe it. I am told that she now has glaucoma in her only eye (left) which was the one that surgery was done on twice. I am putting drops in the eye every 8 hours with antibiotics, etc. They are worried that it too is going to rupture. My worry is that she is in pain. I know that she has lost most of her vision but can still see shadows. If she is in pain, I would elect to take it out as I have read such positive comments regarding blind dogs. My vet bills are now through the roof….I currently owe over $2,000 as it was $1,300 for the removal of the one eye. I am not by any means a wealthy person. My dog was also on apoquel for 2 years for allergies. I hope this didn’t dry her eyes out causing the ulcers. I cried for 5 days for my little girl. She is such a sweet dog and I can’t tell if she is in pain.

    1. I know how your feel, lost one eye is terrible enough, i also have 3 shih tzu, 1 of them did the eye surgery 2 weeks ago, i completely lost my world, he lost his 1 eye because of me, so keeps strong, youre not alone, im in pain too

  24. I have a 5 year old chihuahua poodle mix that was diagnosed with glaucoma several months ago. Luckily I was able to catch it early and it only affects her right eye (her left eye is still normal). I can definitely see that her right eye is cloudy and it bothers her a lot. Its a lot better when I treat the right eye with the prescribed drops.

    Over the past few months, the amount of drops that I’ve been prescribed to use on her, started with 1 and is now currently 4 different drops (twice a day). Currently she’s on Dorzolomide Timolol, Neopolydex, Latanoprost, and Demacarium Bromide. I feel that 1 or 2 types of drops is not bad, but definitely 4 is getting to the point where I’m questioning if its really necessary for her. Its not about the cost of the medicine, but using 4 different types of drops daily for the rest of her life doesn’t convince me that its going to help her.

    Should I go look for a second opinion? Her right eye is currently doing better than expected with the current treatment, but 4 drops may lead to 5, then 6, and then i’m not sure when it stops. Has anyone every gotten to this point where they’ve been prescribed so much medication to use on your dog? I’m wondering if there’s other alternatives besides removing the eye or injections or heavy dosage of medications.

    I love my dog and I’d like for her to continue enjoying life, but taking 4 drops daily doesn’t seem to describe a happy life. Please let me know if anyone has been in this situation before and I would like to know what decision was taken.

    1. Hi Peter, I’m in the same situation as you right now. My ten year old Shihtzu Daisy developed glaucoma in her right eye (it seems like it came on overnight). I brought her to my vet and he diagnosed Glaucoma, put her on one drop immediately, and thought that the eye may need to be removed by the end of the week. I was devastated and decided to see a veterinary opthamologist. The next day, I drove three hours from my home to see the specialist. She prescribed two additional drops, pain/anti-inflammatory med, and eye lubrication ointment. Daisy needed to have blood work to ensure her little body could take the pain med. I started the medication routine immediately and have been doing this for four weeks now (and I had another appointment with the specialist a week after the initial). Daisy is no longer taking the pain med, and her pressure levels in both her good and bad eye are low. I have had pressure tests done almost every 3-4 days and everything looks good. I see the specialist again on May 9th. Daisy gets three drops each morning, two more when I get home from work, and four drops (one in her good eye) before I go to bed plus 3-4 times a day I apply the lubricating ointment. I hope I’m doing everything right, but I am concerned about the amount of medication and will it help long term. Please let me know how your dog is doing. Thanks

  25. I have a 7 year old Schnauzer, just found out today that he needs both eyes removed. He was diagnosed with diabetes four months ago. The specialist gave me 3 different types of drops to give 3-4 times a day and said they recommend both eyes removed. I love my babies brown eyes and I am devastated at thought of them being removed. This is a horrible decision to make

  26. I have 9yrs old shih tzu (this dec), he has eyes problem since early of this year, iritated, red, itchy, then i give medicine for 2 days, it got better, but it got res again on saturday, and i give med only 2 days per week as i live in another town for another 5 days, i put collar and i think it is humid , making the infection got worse, this happened for almost 3 months, last month i finally took him to vet and get a proper med and ready to treat him the whole 2 weeks but then i postponed for a week. When i came, its really too late, his eyes fully red, swollen and got a lot of dirt that cannot be removed, i try to clean them but it got worse, bleeding,fester and he is in pain. I took him to the vet and they decided to remove the eye because its broke already. Its been 2 week since the surgery but the seroma keeps coming , the surgery wound is hard to dry and he feel itchy , im so helpless and feel quilty so much. He still has 2 sibling and im really worry about 3 of them. I just want to share that take your dog to realiable vet, dont try yourself and dont postpone, now all the guilt is killing me . And im worry about the surgeon wound why its not dry as it already 2 weeks, im in indonesia and here the technology is really need to be supported more

  27. I’m so worried now. My 9 year old whippet is due to have an injection in her eye in three days time to cure her glaucoma. My vet told me that this would cure it and never mentioned that it would only be temporary. After reading this on here now I’m concererned that it might come back again. She has been through so much in the last two weeks with having severe pancreatitis and now in a lot of pain with this glaucoma. Can anyone reassure me about the injection? Will it make all her pain in the eye go away?
    Thank you.

    1. As far as I know, there is no cure for glaucoma in dogs. I think the injection that you are referring to is called an Intravitreal Gentamicin Injection. Does that sound like what the vet is using? If so, this won’t cure the glaucoma. Intravitreal Gentamicin is an antiobiotic that is injected into the eye with the ultimate goal of killing cells that produce fluid in the eye. It is an alternative to enucleation (ie. removal of the eye). Talk to your vet again to see if this is the type of injection that is being given and if yes, research it online to see if this is the right thing for your dog.

      1. My ophthalmologist said it’s called ciliary body ablation. He never said it’s temporary relief, just that it might not “kill” the eye but strong likelihood that it will…

  28. My 11-13? Year old Jack Russell has been diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes, one is worse than the other and that one is already blind. She was already lined up to have a second surgery to amputate one or two digits of her front paw ( same side where she is already blind). She had a tumor removed there two years ago and now part of the law has to be amputated, as well…if only one weight baring digit is removed, that tumor may grow back. So, the Vet thinks she should have the digit amputation and one eye removed during the same operation, though the other eye will require drops and will most likely go blind , as well. She is a nervous dog on walks and agressive to other dogs when on a leash, but an angel indoors. Otherwise, she is healthy, but sleeps a lot, and even with drops and anti inflammatory pills, she seems to me to be hurting. Is it cruel to put her through one enucleation and paw weight baring digit amputation when she may need other eye and other weight baring digit removed down the line?? I just can’t put her down when she isn’t close to the end..yet, I feel cruel making her live being half blind and lame and still needing invasive eye exams, daily drops until other eye needs to be removed and rebandaging of her paw for at least a month ( she is a difficult patient). Even with the drops is she still in pain? What should I do?

    1. Just take each day at a time Nancy. The more you look into the future, the tougher it all seems to be. When my dog was going through this, I asked the vet what he would do if his dog was going through the same thing. I recommend you do the same. Make sure he/she gives you a real honest answer, not just something that he thinks you want to hear. That really helped me with the decision making process. Just ask him the same questions you just wrote and see what he says.

      1. Thanks, so much for your response and wise advice…I asked my daughter, who is a better tech at this clinic to present my dogs case to the senior get who will be performing surgery on the 10th. I hope you have a good new year.

        1. I read your story and comments with great interest, Nancy and Paula. I’ve just walked a rocky road with my Gus, who is 16 yo and about a year out from his first glaucoma attack.

          He sees an eye specialist vet for glaucoma and his regular vet for his hip arthritis, which recently became worse. The best advice his regular vet gave me is “live each day in the present.” At first, that sounded too casual and easy for him to say, but then I considered what was happening. I was living in fear that I’d make the wrong decision for Gus and me, anticipating the grief of eventually losing Gus, and asking myself..what would Gus want, what does Gus think about his quality of life?

          In the end, I’m trying to take it one day at a time. No one can really make these decisions but me and you, and we are doing the very best for our dear companions, with all the love our hearts can hold.

          I hope you and me, and all we hold dear, will have more good days than hard days, taking one at a time.


  29. Hi I have a 16 year old terrier with a very bad case of glucoma. Her eye pressure is very high but the problem is that she is not fit for surgery due to a hart condition. She did not respond well to a simple sedation.
    We are at a loss and our vet is not sure what to do next apart from painkiller and anti-inflamatories.
    other than that the dog is in great form, eating well, going for walk…..
    Has anyone a suggestion

  30. I have an 11 year old boston terrier who has nearly died a few times. His eye is completely buldging, we’ve done the drops and it still bleeds. His eye needs to be removed and he can’t handle the cone. He’s had a seizure, his breathing isn’t good, he walks crooked and has other aches and pains. HIs back is completely curved and already lives off pain meds. I think I need to put him down because the last time I took him in for a teeth cleaning they wouldn’t put him under. He has brain damage as well and gets confused. He still eats and poops and is happy sometimes but his pain is unbearable. I don’t know what to do…. we just lost his older 15.5 year old friend a month ago. I think he wants to go.

  31. My diabetic blind Husky has a problem with his eye and originally suggested that an eye operation would help to remove the eye. However another vet suggested euthanising him due to the strain on his organs and the toughness of the operation. Really don’t know what to do

  32. My beautiful husky was a rescue so I am not sure of her exact age but over 10. She was diagnosed with glaucoma in her left eye last year and we did all the expensive treatments and drops and check ups every 3-4 weeks but she still lost her eye. She died last week because glaucoma got her other eye. I wish there was more research on glaucoma in dogs, it doesn’t kill people, why did it kill my dog?

  33. Learned yesterday that my loved Monroe, a 15.5 year old Maltese has glaucoma in her right eye. This morning seems no Improvement and ,while very quiet , can tell she is in pain. Giving her two types of drops antibiotics and pressure relief, but eye still off. It was so sudden – fine one night and completely off in the next morning. Will try more specialists for an appointment but been given appointments months away for her when I called yesterday. Feels so hopeless. Otherwise she’s in great health for her age. Just her eye Any advice on getting her specialist treatment sooner. And does It bring them back to get it addressed even if taking the eye out. This dog means so much to me. as she’s been down so many roads by my side. I live in NYC and was surprised how hard to get her an appointment for specialty treatment.

    1. My 14-year-old Chihuahua mix just got diagnosed. The vet and I are concerned about removing her eye because she has a heart murmur and her age under anesthesia. I feel so awful seeing her in so much pain, sleeping all the time, it hurts her to put the 3 different eye drops in. I don’t know what to do because I want to remove the eye seeing as she was healthy before this and I’m positive she’ll rebound with only 1 eye. I’m just terrified of having to put her down or having her pass away during the surgery. I just don’t want to lose my best friend and partner in crime. I can’t decide what’s best but seeing these comments gave me hope everything may work out and maybe the surgery will be a success. I just want to do everything I can to get rid of her pain and ease her suffering from this.

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My Boston is 11 and has glaucoma. We have been using eye drops and his numbers have been relatively good. Unfortunately, he has lost most of his vision. The vet Optomologist thinks that his loss of...