Eye Problems for Cats

Eye Problems for Cats

When you are communicating with your cat through winks and notice they are rubbing their eyes, they could be suffering from allergies. Vet intervention is required because there could be a more serious problem troubling them. It is better not to underrate them rubbing their eyes for allergies because there could be other complications that may cause serious problems to their eyes. Eye care for cats is the most important healthcare because it impacts them for a lifetime once the vision is affected. Studies have found that cats are not susceptible to eye problems like dogs do, only the cases that happen are severe and chronic in cats. 

Common eye problems for cats include;

Conjunctivitis 

Conjunctivitis a.k.a “pink eye” occurs when inflammation affect mucous membrane lining between the eyelids and the eyeball. The “pink eye” disease in humans is contagious while the same condition in cats is only passed between felines.  

What causes conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis typically happens due to illness in the upper respiratory tract. It can be either bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms and signs for conjunctivitis are commonly runny eyes. The eye discharge color may be clear, grey, green, yellow, or dark-rusty red. Inside the eye might be swollen or reddened on both eyes or one. Nasal discharge or sneezing may accompany. 

How to treat conjunctivitis

Treat conjunctivitis using topical antibiotics such as ointment or drops. Treat upper tract respiratory illness if present also. There is one serious eye disorder namely FHV-1 if your cat is suffering from this virus, further treatment and control are recommended.

Other eye infections 

It is not only conjunctivitis that cats experience in an eye infection. Additional infections may be common in cats and are often a result of respiratory illness spreading into the eyes. Eye infections can be contagious or not, the underlying causes are the determinants. The common culprits of eye infections include; bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Common signs of eye infection include rubbing, swelling of the eyeballs, redness, eye discharge in different colors and texture, sneezing plus nasal discharge. 

The treatments for eye infections

Veterinarians treats the underlying causes of infection-causing eye infection. For mild infection, let your cat have plenty of rest, clear eye discharge, provide them with a balanced diet and a lot of water to drink. Severe infections will require treatment with eye drops or eye ointments and systemic antibiotics.

Irritation 

Itchy and watery eyes are generally caused by irritants in the environment cats spent most of their time in. what causes cats to have eye irritation include; strong fragrance. Cleaning chemicals, air conditioners, tobacco smoke, or dust. Anything getting in the eye of a cat is likely to irritate. Symptoms include; rubbing or squinting, redness of the eyeball, and eye discharge.

How to get rid of eye irritation

If your cat will allow you, rinse the eyes using eyewash solution. And if symptoms persist seek vet advice because it could a cause for other serious infections. If you know the irritant, get rid of it immediately from the house.

Corneal ulcers

This is potentially a serious eye condition for cats to have. Open sores on eyeballs causes the affected areas to appear cloudy. Corneal ulcers are caused by injuries to the eyeball, dry eyes, anatomic abnormalities, or untreated eye infections. Aside from cloudiness in areas affected, rubbing or/and squinting will be imminent. Also, redness, eye discharge, and eye pains are common symptoms.

How to treat corneal ulcers

If mild ulcers, the condition will disappear when the underlying causes are treated. Eye drops and ointment plus systemic antibiotics can relieve the pain. NB – ulcers that get deeper may require eye surgery. If corneal ulcers get treated early they can be cured and if untreated for long, it may lead to blindness or eye disfigurement.

Glaucoma 

 This condition is a result of pressure buildup by excessive fluids in the eye. It is an eye condition that needs urgent treatment because it may lead to permanent blindness or eye disfigurement.

What causes Glaucoma

Several things may prevent fluid draining from the eye causing buildup pressure leading to glaucoma. Eye infections, tumors, inflammation, and anatomic abnormalities are the major culprits. Some cats may have genetic predisposition to this condition. Signs & symptoms of glaucoma include; rubbing eyes and squinting, withdrawal from people, cloudy eyes, reddened eyes, swollen eyeballs, and yowling.

How to treat glaucoma

If your cat has glaucoma, it is advisable to rush them to a pet vet as soon as you can. The sooner the fluid buildup is drained it relieve the pressure and improves the chances to save the eye. If mild, treating the underlying causes may be sufficient to ill your cat’s eye. Severe cases require close monitoring to curb excessive buildup of fluid in the eye. If the worst comes to be, the eye may be removed. 

Cataracts 

Cloudy areas in the lens that block light from travelling to the back of an eye leading to partial or total lost vision. Cataracts result due to aging of a cat but diabetes mellitus and the eye’s uvea inflammation may cause cataracts. Electric shock and exposure to toxic substances or radiation are the major causes. Cataracts sometimes indicate deficiency in calcium in the cat’s body. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy or milky appearance, loss of vision which results in pumping into objects. They may also walk slowly trying to figure out if they are making steps in the right surfaces and directions. If the cause of cataract is diabetes mellitus, cats may experience loss of weight, frequent urination, and excessively thirsty.

How to treat cataracts

If a cataract is not as a result of aging, visit the vet to treat the separate causes. Surgery to restore vision may be required, although cats can adapt to living with cataracts easily even without treatment.

In summary 

If your cat has any sign of eye disorder, visit the vet immediately. Many eye conditions share similar symptoms and if the right treatment is not offered, your cat risks losing their vision.

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