Glaucoma in hamster
A hamster bulging eyes:
The hamsters eye ball, or eye globe as it may sometimes be known is filled with a watery fluid (aqueous humor). The amount of fluid produced in the eye is balanced out by the amount of fluid draining away through tiny microscopic channels then flows back into the blood stream. This creates the pressure in which is needed to maintain the shape of the eye globe. (Intra ocular pressure)
A hamster with glaucoma
This keeps the pressure inside the eye constant. But if the fluid cannot escape or too much is produced the pressure inside the globe will rise. This is known as Glaucoma: Glaucoma is the name for an eye disease or disorder characterized by an abnormal increase in the pressure within the eye in which the optic nerve can also become damaged.
An eye infection may also cause the eye globe to protrude. A visit to the vet will be necessary to determine if the problem is glaucoma or an infection.
In the most severe cases of Glaucoma damage can lead to permanent blindness and loss of the eye globe itself. In the case of an eye infection antibiotic drops may help to clear the infection.
Hamsters have very protruding or bulging eyes to begin with. If Glaucoma develops the hamsters eye protrusion may become exaggerated.
The cause of glaucoma is still not fully understood. It is thought this may be an hereditary condition. This is a condition seen mostly in the Dwarf hamsters, but not unknown in other species. It is thought Diabetes could also be implicated in the cause of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a frustrating disease but not a life threatening one. There is no cure and a permanent solution does not yet exist. In the case of hamsters it is not advisable to go for any aggressive treatment. Because of the high cost involved the removal of the eye is not usually considered with such a small animal. The disease is normally left to run its course and will eventually subside. Your vet will prescribe any medication needed. Total loss of the hamsters eye is inevitable.
Hamster with bulging eyes