The glaucomas represent a group of diseases characterized by increased pressure within the eye. The high pressure eventually destroys the retina and optic disk (the spot where the optic nerve enters the eye). In horses, glaucomas are probably underdiagnosed because testing of the pressure within the eye has only recently become a part of ordinary equine examinations. Among horses, glaucoma appears most frequently in older animals, in the Appaloosa breed, or together with equine recurrent uveitis (see Eye Disorders of Horses: Equine Recurrent Uveitis (Periodic Ophthalmia, Moon Blindness)).
There are various instruments a veterinarian can use to evaluate and manage glaucoma. The choice of medical or surgical (including laser) treatment or, most frequently, a combination of both, depends on the type of glaucoma present. Most glaucomas require longterm management (see Eye Disorders of Dogs: Glaucoma in Dogs).
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Kirk N. Gelatt, VMD; David G. Baker, DVM, MS, PhD, DACLAM; Steven R. Hollingsworth, DVM, DACVO