How To Deal With Glaucoma in Shiba Inus?

As a fur parent, I always want my fur baby to experience the best. Taki, my five-year-old Shiba Inu, is too sweet and adorable. She loves to play catch and tug of war. She also loves to go with me for a walk. She is so excited when I take her for a jog as well. I want her to be as healthy and as energetic as she is now for years.

I made sure my Taki completed all her required immunization and shots. Lately, I had Taki tested for eye pressure to prevent her from getting the most feared disease- glaucoma. This is an incurable eye disease prone to Shiba Inu and other dog breeds. In this article, we are going to know more about this dreaded infection. We will also learn how to prevent and how to deal with it.

Why Be Aware of Glaucoma in Shiba Inus?

Glaucoma is related to the damaging of the dog’s retina and optic nerve. This happens when the eye pressure is too much in the eye. Pressure in the eyes is maintained by the fluid circulating for perfect eyesight. Once that fluid was too much or too dry, the pressure goes up, and it will be excruciating. It causes blindness to animals and even to humans if not treated immediately.

Since glaucoma has no observable symptoms, its termed as the “silent thief of sight.” I may visit a veterinary expert regularly, and the experts cannot detect my dog has it. This is something we never wish for our pets/best friend to happen.

How to Detect Glaucoma Early?

Dogs aged 4 to 6 years old are easily attacked by glaucoma. Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for. I always have a veterinary doctor, check my Shiba Inu’s eye pressure, and if she is having one of these signs and symptoms. Once you observed something unusual, immediately consult the vet.

  • Vision Problems
    When your pet has vision problems, he/she continually bumps with things when playing or running. He/she walks unusually and uses its nose more than usual.
  • Minor or Severe Pain in the Eyes
    Once you notice your dog rubbing his paws against, he/her eyes showing discomfort, take them immediately to an expert.
  • The Pupils of the Eyes are of Different Sizes
  • Tearing
    Your dog’s eyes unusually release tears due to abnormal fluid circulation.
  • Loss of Appetite, Squinting, and Anti-Social Behavior
    This is due to the pain that your dog may be suffering. The dog may get aggressive because of the discomfort the dog is feeling. So, be gentle in handling your pet or when taking him/her to the vet.
  • Avoids Indoor and Natural Light
    Your pet’s eyes will hurt once directed to any type of light; thus, they prefer to stay in a dark area.
  • Bulging and Swollen Eye
  • Cloudy Cornea
  • Redness of the Blood Vessels on the White Area of Eyes
  • Lethargy or Abnormal Increase in Sleeping

Two Forms of Glaucoma        

  • Primary Glaucoma
    This is when the fluid in the eye becomes too much or too dry. Veterinarians claims this is hereditary. The eye pressure detected when having this condition is ranging from 25-30mmHg.
  • Secondary Glaucoma
    The eye pressure of the dog is doubled when suffering from secondary glaucoma. The eye pressure detected while bearing this is from 10-30mmHg.
Glaucoma in Shiba Inus 2

How is Glaucoma Examined?

Tonometer is a piece of advanced equipment used by Ophthalmologists to monitor the eye pressure of dogs. They do this by directly contacting it to the eyeball. Doing so makes the material read the pressure level. 

The average eye pressures I maintain for my Shiba Inu is ranging from 15-25mmHg.

What are the Treatments for Glaucoma?

Treatments depend on how severe glaucoma your dog might be suffering. It could be dealt with medication or surgery. Please continue reading to know more about the medicines they prescribe as well as the surgical procedure they perform.


Below are the medications that the experts prescribe. They are usually for long term treatment and are to be given to the dog patient three times per day.

  • prostaglandins drugs (such as Latanoprost)
  • carbonic and anhydrase inhibitors (such as Dorzolamide and Brinzolamide)
  • beta-blockers (such as Timolol)


To relieve the pain, the dog is feeling the vet may conduct a surgery, especially when the vision was lost. These procedures stop the possibility of spreading further eye diseases as well. The process may also be repeated depending on how the expert observes the eye response.

  • Ciliary Body Ablation or Chemical Epilation
    An antiviral drug, cidofovir, is injected in the eyes. The back portion of the eyes, known as the vitreous, is removed as well.
  • Gonioimplantation
    The retina, iris, and lens are being replaced by a black silicone ball, which is quite similar to the fake eye.
  • Cyclophotocoagulation
    A laser will be used to remove the eye’s ciliary body- the secretory epithelium.
  • Enucleation
    This process is to remove the eyeballs out and close the eyelids by sewing to prevent pain and eye diseases again.


Glaucoma is an acute medical emergency! I cannot even imagine my adorable Taki and any type of being in this type of situation. The experts claimed that the medications are just for temporary relief.

Surgery must be performed to a dog patient, not exceeding two years to avoid blindness. A visit to the vet is ideal for at least once in every six months. This is one of the ways on how to beat glaucoma. Have your dog’s eye pressure checked now.

Handpicked Related Posts


Why do I love Shiba Inus? Shiba Inu are bear-like dogs that are extremely adorable—with human-like mimics, amazing charisma and overflowing cuteness.