Our veterinarians perform a physical exam and will talk to you at length to get a complete medical history. Please be sure to explain to the veterinarian what symptoms you noticed, past medical problems if any, both recent and current medications given, and any other relevant information. The veterinarian will test ocular reflexes, which glaucoma may decrease or eliminate altogether.
Tonometry is the definitive test for glaucoma. The veterinarian will measure the intraocular pressure with a special instrument called a tonopen. The surface of the eye is numbed with anesthetic drops, then the tonopen is gently touched to the surface of the eye several times. After three to five readings are taken, they are averaged together to get a final pressure reading.
If glaucoma is confirmed, you have the option of being referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist who is specialized in treating diseases of the eyes. The ophthalmologist will assess any damage within the eye caused by glaucoma by examining the inside of the eye to look at the lens, retina, and optic nerve. Goniometry uses a special lens to assess the area where drainage of aqueous humor occurs. An ophthalmologist can better determine the progression of the disease and assess recovery.
Ultrasonography helps to see the inside the eye to look for complications such as blood clots or tumors if the lens is luxated and blocking the view or if the cornea is too cloudy. These tests help to determine if the glaucoma is primary or secondary and the best method of treatment.
If referral is not a realistic option for you, the veterinarian will check for secondary causes by testing for tear production, checking for aqueous flare (indication of infection), and staining the eye to look for abrasions or ulceration of the cornea. Treatment with medications will begin immediately based on the outcome of these tests.