Dogs may at times get eye conditions like glaucoma. It is often attributed to an increase of pressure inside your canine friend’s eyes. If you are leaving it untreated, vision of your pet may gradually get impaired. Dorzolamide is an eye drop that is widely used among humans for reducing eye pressure. The main function of this drug is to reduce inner eye pressure levels, and prevent likely damage of retina and / or optical nerves. Can you use this drug for treating your dog’s eye problems? It is essential to know more on this.

Onset of glaucoma in dogs is mainly due to a build-up of liquids in their eyes; this zone in your pet’s eye is known as an anterior chamber. Once there is an excessive accumulation of liquids, it prevents needful oxygen from reaching your dog’s optical nerves as well as retinal areas. In some dogs, it may even lead to permanent blindness. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a key parameter that determines the wellbeing of your pet’s eyes. Maintaining it at an optimal level is essential to keep conditions such as glaucoma at bay.

Onset of glaucoma among dogs and use of dorzolamide

It is not rare for dogs to witness the onset of glaucoma owing to spike in ocular pressure. In some dogs, an eye surgery is performed to treat this imbalance. But, this is not feasible (hence may not be fully successful) with all dogs. Hence, vets may resort to administration of eye drops to reduce inner eye pressures. Dorzolamide is a commonly used off-label / extra-label drug, administered to reduce inner eye pressure levels of dogs. This medication is categorized under to a class of drugs called carbonic anhydrase inhibiting meds. It works by relaxing your pet’s iris and helps drain excessive fluids from eyes. Once extra liquids are flushed out, your pet’s inner eye pressures tend to decrease; these actions are essential to prevent a likely onset of glaucoma.

You need to remember that dorzolamide is used for treating secondary glaucoma as well as open angle type of glaucoma among dogs. Of these conditions, the open angle type of glaucoma is a direct outcome of the impairment of drainage system present in your pet’s eyes. On the other hand, secondary glaucoma is likely to occur when your pet witnesses an eye injury (often accompanied by an internal swelling) or after your pet undergoes an eye surgery.

Administration of dorzolamide onto your dog and its likely side effects

This dog medication is not an over the counter drug; it is administered to your canine friend under the supervision and guidance of a qualified vet. The typical dosage plan is once (a single dose) within a 24-hour time period. You are advised to give it to your dog along with a meal. If your dog is developing abdominal discomforts such as vomiting or nausea, mix it along with water.

Dorzolamide is likely to cause a few side effects in your pet. Most common of such discomforts are pain in your pet’s eyes, inflammation or swelling of eyes, watery discharge from eyes, etc. In some dogs, a few other types of side effects such as blurring of eyesight, being dizzy or drowsy, etc. have also been witnessed. These side effects may only last for a very short span of time. However, if your dog is witnessing these signs for long, rush to your treating vet for needful medical support.

For some dogs, this medication is administered for a fairly longer span of time. In such cases, your dog’s eye needs periodic check-ups, especially for conditions such as cataract. For dogs, dorzolamide is available widely as an ophthalmic solution. It is used directly inside your dog’s eyes. As a safety precaution, it is a good practice to wash your hands before and after using this eye drop, It is equally important not to touch or rub the dropper with your bare hands. If you are using any other drugs for your dogs, ensure to provide a gap of at least 60 minutes in between medications. You may need to allow at least 3 hours for the active ingredients of dorzolamide to start working. The results however are not quite palpable; owing to this, your vet may prescribe a few lab tests to understand the efficacy of dorzolamide. Also, it is important to remember that this drug may take a longer time to work on dogs with prior renal conditions (such as decrease in filtering efficiencies of kidneys) or hepatic problems (like inflammation / swelling of liver or cirrhosis).

Dorzolamide is unlikely to cause any serious allergies or very adverse side effects. In some remote instances, side effects such as rashes on your dog’s skin, increase in body temperature, respiratory conditions such as wheezing, panting or gasping for breath have been observed. If you notice one or more of these very adverse side effects, rush to a local (veterinary) hospital or call an emergency helpline for needful medical support.

As an overarching caution, never administer dorzolamide for dogs with prior / known allergies to sulphonamide-based drugs. Owing to the need for such precautions, always inform your vet about the drugs your dog is already taking. It is a safe practice to make a list of all such medications presently administered. As you are making this list, ensure to include all over the counter drugs, prescription meds, supplements of vitamins, proteins as well as minerals; herbal meds and dietary aids, if any.

If your dog is pregnant, it is important to tell your vet about such medical conditions. No two dogs with the same eye condition are given with the same dosage plan of dorzolamide. Your dog’s treatment depends on your pet’s age, gender, severity of the eye condition as well as presence of prior medical conditions. Some pet owners may – often, out of their keenness to bring about a quicker relief – have administered a larger dose of dorzolamide. This is a harmful practice; an overdose may lead to respiratory problems, passing out or fainting. In all such cases, call an emergency helpdesk for pets without any further delay.

In sum, dorzolamide is administered onto pets such as dogs as an off-label use. This med is used for dogs to bring down the level of inner eye pressure. If left untreated, high intraocular pressure can lead to blindness among dogs. The typical dose is once per day. This is not an over the counter drug. Hence, it is always used under the guidance and supervision of a qualified vet.

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