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Hi Patti, my 14-year-old mixed terrier had cataract and now the cataract has caused eye inflammation and glaucoma which vet want me to give my dog steroid eye drops as lifelong treatment (as the eye inflammation will always recur). There are lots of side effects of steroid eye drops, and I feel reluctant to give her the drops over long period. The vet is the only one who specialize in dog's eye in my country (I'm from Malaysia) I am desperately seeking advices right now. Could you give me some suggestions? Thanks a lot.

Hi Voon,

Serious side effects are rare with steroid eye drops.
Glaucoma can lead to and cause cataracts. You didn't say which form of glaucoma your dog has, most cases of canine glaucoma are first treated with some combination of both topical and oral medications designed to decrease pressure within the eye. You might talk to your vet about the possibility of using "carbonic anhydrase inhibitors" as well as other medications which would relieve pain and allow fluid in the eye to drain, if the steroid eye drops are the only medication you were given. If the cornea is not ulcerated, topical steroids are sometimes used for inflammation, but they usually are not the only medication to treat Glaucoma.

There are different kinds of steroid eye medications, you didn't say which you were given. Usually topical steroids don't have the serious side effects that oral steroids can have. If the steroid medication is a concern, you should talk it over with your vet, not an Internet helpline. I suggest treating your dog with the medication that was provided, you shouldn't put off treatment when possible side (swelling, burning, stinging, irritation or redness) effects are associated with longterm usage, and even then it's not a given that your dog will develop problems. However, there may be an alternative medication for the steroid drops that could be used, it's something else to talk to your vet about. Be aware that just about any medication will have potential side effects. I also suggest discussing the other medications I've mentioned, because they are the more standard treatment for Glaucoma in dogs.

If Glaucoma does take your dog's vision, remember that pets with limited or no vision remain just as happy.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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