When I first heard about CBD and its potential benefits for dogs, especially those with glaucoma, my ears definitely perked up (pun intended!). Vision problems can be extremely overwhelming, and, like us, our dogs can experience fear of their surroundings when they can’t see everything that’s going on. If there’s a way for us to reduce their risk of developing ocular problems, that could make a world of difference for our dogs as they enter their golden years.
What is Glaucoma in Dogs?
Glaucoma is a severe and sometimes painful eye problem that many dogs face. It happens when there’s too much pressure inside the eye, which is usually caused by a buildup of fluid. This condition is known as increased intraocular pressure (IOP). If glaucoma isn’t found and treated early, it can cause permanent blindness in dogs.
This eye condition starts when the aqueous humor, a clear fluid that keeps the inside of the eye healthy, doesn’t drain out properly. When this fluid can’t drain, it starts to build up in the eye, causing the pressure to go up. This high pressure can hurt the retina (the part of the eye that captures what we see) and the optic nerve (the nerve that sends images to the brain).
If these parts of the eye get damaged, it can lead to serious vision problems or even blindness.
Signs of Glaucoma in Dogs
Signs of glaucoma in dogs include redness, cloudiness, excessive tearing, visible discomfort, and, in advanced cases, an enlarged or visibly bulging eye. Early detection and intervention are crucial, as prolonged elevated pressure in the eye can permanently affect your dog’s vision.
Traditional Treatment Options for Glaucoma
When it comes to treating glaucoma in dogs, traditional options range from less invasive methods to more serious interventions, based on how severe the condition is and how much it has progressed. For starters, vets often prescribe eye drops or ointments that help lower the pressure inside the dog’s eye. These are similar to the kind of treatments humans use and need to be put in the dog’s eyes regularly.
If the glaucoma is more advanced or if the initial treatments don’t work well enough, the vet might suggest more aggressive strategies. This can include laser treatment, which helps improve fluid drainage from the eye, or other surgical procedures aimed at reducing the pressure in the eye. In severe cases, where the pain is intense and there’s no chance of restoring vision, the vet might even recommend removing the affected eye to relieve the dog’s discomfort.
Dog Breeds Prone to Glaucoma
Certain dog breeds are more prone to developing glaucoma than others. Here are some of the breeds that are at a higher risk for this eye condition:
- Basset Hound
- Boston Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Cocker Spaniel
- Great Dane
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Norwegian Elkhound
- Poodle (especially Miniature and Toy Poodles)
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
- Siberian Husky
These breeds are genetically predisposed to glaucoma, often due to their specific physical characteristics, such as the shape and size of the eye. Dog owners with these breeds should be particularly vigilant for symptoms of glaucoma and ensure regular eye exams are done by their vet to stay on top of the issue. Early detection and treatment are crucial in managing this condition effectively.
So, What’s CBD Again?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, it doesn’t have psychoactive effects (so no, your dog won’t get “high”). What it DOES have are potential therapeutic effects, which is causing quite the buzz in the pet wellness world.
How Full Spectrum CBD Oil Can Help Dogs with Glaucoma
Research has suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation can increase eye pressure, CBD might offer some relief. Some studies also indicate that CBD can help protect nerve cells, which is super important when fighting glaucoma.
Start Low and Go Slow
If you’re thinking of giving CBD a whirl, remember: every dog is unique. It’s a good idea to start with a low dose and monitor your pup’s reaction. And of course, a chat with your vet should always be step #1. They can guide you based on your individual dog’s needs.
If your vet doesn’t know anything about CBD oil, it’s more likely your vet leans toward the traditional side of the spectrum. Holistic and integrative vets are more likely to understand how to integrate CBD into your dog’s routine since they often have extra training in this field.
Not All CBD is Created Equal
There’s a sea of CBD products out there, so do your homework! Look for products with no additives or preservatives, made from organically grown hemp, like those available at CBD Dog Health. Checking for third-party lab tests is also a good call to ensure quality and potency.
How to Prevent Glaucoma in Dogs
Glaucoma in dogs can often start due to their genes or health issues that can’t be avoided, but as a pet owner, you can do things to lower the risk or slow down the disease. Regular eye check-ups with a vet are really important, especially for dog breeds that are more likely to get glaucoma. These check-ups help find small changes in eye pressure or other early signs of the disease before you can actually see any problems.
Maintain Your Dog’s Overall Health
Keeping your dog healthy overall—with good food, enough exercise, and regular vet visits—can also help keep their eyes healthy.
Protect Your Dog’s Eyes
It’s important to protect your dog’s eyes from injuries, whether they’re playing rough or around things that could hurt their eyes. This can help prevent another type of glaucoma that happens after an eye injury.
Watch Both Eyes Closely
If your dog gets glaucoma in one eye, you need to watch the other eye closely and do what your vet suggests to try to stop or slow down the disease.
Is CBD the Silver Bullet for Glaucoma in Dogs?
The jury’s still out. While many pet owners swear by CBD for a variety of ailments, more research is needed, especially when it comes to glaucoma. But, as with any potential treatment, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making an informed decision.