Eye Care

Commonly Found Eye Problems In Felines

Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment

In most of the cases local home remedies will do the job safely but if the problem doesn’t resolve within 24 hours then take your kitty to the vet. If the infection is due to bacteria or virus then antibiotics will be prescribed or if the whole issue is caused due to some allergy then anti-inflammation drops that contain hydrocortisone will be given.

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Sometimes I feel that my cat can talk to my soul by looking deeply into my eyes. At times she stares for a minute or two as if I had done some mistake and shouldn’t have done it. Cat’s eyes are mysterious and inspiringly beautiful and I really wonder what they are thinking when they look at us. It is usually said that eyes can talk and convey a lot and so is cat’s eyes. It tells a lot and most of the time we hardly understand what these philosophical creatures have in their mind.

My kitty is middle-aged and walks around the house like a wise old woman. At times I pick her to have a closer look at her eyes to know what is going on with her. As age increases eye problems are common and so examining eyes frequently can help to prevent many problems. I groom her often and on the process I always check for cloudiness, swelling, crust, dirt or tearing in the eyes.

If you own a naughty feline then here are a few eye problems that you must be aware of so here goes the list.

Conjunctivitis

This is the most common eye problem that most of the cats go through in their life and will generally resolve in a matter of few days. It is wise to take the cat to a vet under such circumstances where he will diagnose the infection.

What are the causes of conjunctivitis in cats?

It may be due to a viral or bacterial infection and that can be determined by doing an eye culture at the vet’s clinic. Allergies can also trigger such problems in cats.

So how about the treatment regarding conjunctivitis in cats?

In most of the cases local home remedies will do the job safely but if the problem doesn’t resolve within 24 hours then take your kitty to the vet. If the infection is due to bacteria or virus then antibiotics will be prescribed or if the whole issue is caused due to some allergy then anti-inflammation drops that contain hydrocortisone will be given. Remember that all the prescribed medications should be given as per instructions only then this problem will clear up.

Is there any natural remedy for conjunctivitis in cats?

Yeah there are many home remedies out there but since the problem is with the eyes it is always better to use trusted products that you can get over the counter at various stores. If the conjunctivitis problem is caused due to one of these; bacteria or herpes virus or if the cat has an ulcerated cornea then never try a home remedy instead take her to the vet.

Third eyelid protrusion

Third eyelid protrusion is also called as cherry eye and it is the abnormal elevation of the nictitating membrane or the inner eyelid. There is a smooth eyelid that is present near the cornea and inner eyelid which sometimes covers the eyes partially or completely.

What causes third eyelid protrusion?

There are many causes associated with cherry eye and they are as follows:

  • Neurological disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Side effects of tranquilizers
  • Eye tumors or cysts
  • Weakened ligaments inside the gland of the third eyelid
  • Weight loss
  • Change in the structure of the eyes
  • Birth defects
  • Inflammation
  • Diarrhea
  • Worms, virus
  • Accidents and trauma

How can this be treated?

Usually this problem is best solved by the vets rather than running behind home remedies or any other medications. If only one eye is affected then it is due to some minor cause and will be resolved soon but vets attention is a must. In certain cases both the eyes will have a cherry eye problem and that means something is not well with the health of the cat. A series of tests will be carried out to find the actual cause behind the protrusion and only then the treatment methods will be followed.

Keratitis or dry eye

Another serious problem in cats if left untreated can lead to permanent vision loss. Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea and the whole eyes will look cloudy and watery. It can become a chronic problem if the condition is not treated so taking your kitty to the vet is the best possible remedy to deal with it.

What causes keratitis?

There is no specific answer to this question as no valid proofs are available to why and how this is caused. But certain suspects are there regarding this ailment and they are feline herpes virus, eye injuries, infections or foreign objects that have entered the internal eye.

Is there any Treatment for Keratitis?

Again the treatment depends on the underlying cause and if the problem has occurred due to infections then medications can help to resolve the problem. But if the problem is something serious then radiation therapy, cyrotheraphy or even surgery can be adopted according to the need. Post treatment management of the cat is very much necessary so a vet’s guidance is always a must in such cases.

Cataracts

This is a condition where the eyes turn opaque partially or completely causing vision problems.

What are the causes of cataracts in cats?

It may be caused due to other diseases, inheritance, and inflammation in the eyes, trauma or even accidents. In cats unlike dogs cataracts are mostly caused due to birth defects or nutritional deficiencies rather than hereditary affairs. Well if you have kittens around then make sure to feed them all nutrient rich foods so that such problems may be averted initially. Ageing is also another factor that can cause cataracts and in certain cases may lead to blindness.

Treatment for cataracts in felines

The underlying cause of the cataract is found out by carrying tests like; blood routines, chemistry tests on liver, pancreas and kidneys, glucose tests, ultrasound of the eyes and physical examination.

Once the root cause is found out either drops, medications or surgery will be prescribed depending on the condition.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the serious condition where high pressure is built up in the eyes and it causes an abnormality in the fluid drainage process. This spike in pressure may cause damage to the optic nerve leading to blindness or impairment of vision.

What are the reasons that cause glaucoma in cats?

It is generally a secondary effect which arises from some other underlying problem such as slipping of the lens from its original place, inflammation of the tissues, blood clots, injuries, trauma and tumor.

Treatment for glaucoma

Treating feline glaucoma is a real challenge as most of the issues are known at a later stage and by then the ailment would have reached its peak. Vision loss is certain but it can be delayed in most of the cases by the help of drugs and draining off the excess fluid. If the root cause of glaucoma is something which cannot be cured then removing the affected eye is the only alternative. Also periodical checking of the unaffected eye is also necessary to prevent pressure build up and damage to the eyes.

Proptosis

Well this is a nerve wrecking situation where the cat’s eye moves forward and protrudes out of the socket. Seriously I have seen a cat just with the same situation when I visited the vet clinic for getting my kitty vaccinated. Oh gosh the cat was so depressed and the pet owner was upset to the core. The whole eye thing was bulging out so much that I pretty much thought it can never be treated.

What are the causes of proptosis and is there any treatment for the same?

Eye tumors, cancers, infections, accidents and trauma can cause such problems and in rare cases can lead to vision loss. But thankfully not all causes lead to vision loss and majority of the problems can be resolved by a vet’s guidance. The eye is placed back into its normal place by giving sedation to the cat and with sutures. Also antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infections and in rare cases where the eye cannot be saved a complete removal is the only way out.

Retinal disease

The eyes consist of light sensitive cells called as rods and cones when they degenerate partial or total vision loss can happen. This gradual degeneration and inability of the cells of retina to function can lead to permanent blindness.

What are the causes of retinal degeneration?

  • Genetic factors
  • Certain breeds like Abyssinians and Persians are more prone to this problem
  • Abnormal development of the retina
  • Inflammation or trauma that has affected the retina
  • Abnormal metabolism
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Cancer
  • Side effects of drugs
  • Compromised immune system
  • Infections
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Watery eyes

This is a condition where the hair around the eyes will become wet due to over production of tears.

What does this signal and is it something serious?

There is a tear film that covers the eye and this layer helps to keep the moisture level intact inside the eyes. It also offers protection from bacteria and other foreign debris along with providing nutrients required for a healthy eye. So basically if there is an over production of tears then it is a sign that the cat’s eye is facing some kind of threat either from bacterial invasion or something else. Don’t worry as this problem will resolve up on its own. But still I would recommend a visit to the vet to be on the safer side.

Now that was a huge list of ailments and poor cats have to undergo these eye problems if not healthy and probably due to other external factors. God bless all of them and owners should do their best by taking preventive measures.

Prevention is always the best remedy

Feline eye problems can be averted if they are fed nutrient rich foods rather than giving canned food alone. Remember they are animals at the end of the day and aren’t born to eat processed foods. So try to be natural and don’t pester them with all those store bought food stuffs.

Also having a vet’s guidance is also very important as he can understand and discover most of the problems while they stem up. If you find that your cat isn’t behaving the same way as it did before then take it as a warning sign. If your cat is walking close to the ground, colliding with the objects on the way then take to a vet right away. Such issues shouldn’t be left unnoticed as it can lead to permanent vision loss. Cats gradually adapt to vision problems and due to that pet owners may fail to notice such issues. So the only way out is by periodic eye examinations.

Can I try home remedies for cat eye problems?

Eyes are sensitive parts of the body and it is always necessary to handle them with care. One mistake can lead to a permanent loss so beware before you experiment anything and everything. Small issues like watery discharges or eye irritation can be treated using home remedies. But if your cat is suffering from glaucoma or something like that then it is better to consult a vet before administering any drugs that are available over the counters or home made.

Usual home remedies like warm towel wipes, hot and cool packs are safe as they are done externally. Also certain homeopathic treatments do a great job in treating eye conditions like reducing eye inflammation and chronic infections. Also for cats suffering from allergies that affects the eyes and nasal passage you can try alternative remedies like Nettle Eyebright Gold for cats. I use this product while seasonal allergies are at its peak to prevent watery discharges and irritation from my cat’s eyes. This product helps to boost the immune response and also gives a soothing effect to the cat’s eyes.

Tips to handle cats with eye problems

  • Use warm water and soft towels to wipe of the discharges periodically. This will help to prevent irritation and give a soothing effect to the eyes.
  • Isolate your infected cat from other cats as eye problems can be contagious as they also accompany other secondary infections along with them.
  • Do not try any herbs or homemade remedies internally into the cat’s eyes as it may not worsen the whole problem.
  • Discard all used clothes and towels which were used to wipe the cat’s eyes.
  • Maintain clean hygiene surroundings for your cat so that they can recover soon.
  • When suffering from eye problems remember to make them stay hydrated and provide nutrient rich foods so that their immune system can function properly.
  • Provide them with all the medications prescribed by the vet on time without any delay.
  • Again always grab your kitty face to take a closer look at its eyes for any possible issues.

Dogs are pets and so are cats but that doesn’t mean that you can give the same meds for both. If your cat has a problem then only use those which are intended to cure cat problems.

Conclusion: Eyes are the windows through which every living soul peeps out into the world. We as humans are superior creatures who can speak out worries and share problems. Think about cats they only know to show attitude but when it comes to health issues they tend to stay alone far from the noise. Now this is where a pet owner can play his or her real job of taking care of the kitty by bringing it back to normal.


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Originally posted 2016-04-09 00:00:49.

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