Eye infections and diseases are common in cats. If you own one, you might experience that a visit to a veterinarian is mostly due to an eye problem. This condition is more common among the older pets. They may suffer from several visual impairments and even go blind as they grow old. Various other clinical conditions may also lead to blindness. Here is a list of some of their eye problems you should be careful about.
This is one of the common conditions which may develop due to thickening of the iris. If you notice a black spot in your pet's eye or the color of the iris visibly changes, you must have it evaluated by your veterinarian. It is generally seen in older cats. The infected eye is mostly removed with the help of surgery.
Glaucoma occurs when there is an increase in the pressure within the eyeball. This may cause squinting, redness, tearing, and one pupil appearing larger than the other. This leads to improper functioning of the eye lens. Specific medication in early stages helps to reduce the intraocular pressure and avoid complications. But, if it is a severe case, surgery is the only treatment. The eye might bulge and the retina may be damaged if left untreated. This problem is one of the predominant cause of blindness.
In this case, the eye membrane gets inflamed and reddened which leads to a discharge from the eye. The discharge is clear if it is due to dust or allergens, but if it appears purulent, there might be a bacterial eye infection. Sometimes, the discharge may turn into crust and seal the eyelids. If both the eyes are affected, virus may be the cause. A full course of antibiotics is usually prescribed by a vet for the treatment of conjunctivitis.
This eye problem in kittens leads to a crust which seals their eyelids. The eye may also seem to bulge due to this condition. If your kitten is affected by it, you must ensure that her eyes don't get shut. Try using a toothpick to separate the eyelids; this will help the pus to drain out. Once this is done, you can clean the eyes with boric acid eyewash.
In this disorder, the pet's eye lens becomes opaque, due to which light cannot reach the retina. If ignored and left untreated, this optical disorder may lead to glaucoma. So, it is very important to detect and treat this condition in the primary stages. Lens transplant can be done through surgeries.
It is caused due to the Herpes virus. This virus is found in the optic nerve, tonsils, trigeminal ganglia, and even in the nasal terminates of the cat's body. The best way to prevent this disease is by providing your pet with a Herpes vaccination.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This is a hereditary type of eye disorder in cats, which is incurable. A cat suffering from PRA has a slow decrease in eyesight, which eventually leads to blindness. It occurs gradually and is painless. So, there is no significant change in her behavior. The infected pet easily adapts to the reduced vision and blindness.
Sudden blindness can be due to stress and hypertension. Hypertension can be a consequence of diabetes, kidney problems, hormonal disorders, etc. Its major symptoms are dilated pupils and bloody eye chambers.
Some eye infections may also be an upshot of tumors in the eyelids or other eye parts. Though blindness in some of the above cases may be unavoidable, it is always recommended to seek the guidance of a veterinary ophthalmologist, after knowing the severity of the problem.