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Cats are very prone to eye infections and eye disorders. This is especially the case for senior cats. If your cat develops an eye problem, refrain from diagnosing the condition yourself and take him to see the veterinarian. Eye disorders range from mild and not very serious to serious enough to cause blindness. Here we take a brief look at some of the most common eye complaints that cats suffer.
Iris melanoma can develop when the iris begins to thicken in your cat’s eye. If you notice that the color of the iris looks different or if the cat’s eye has a black spot in it, then your cat needs to be looked at by the vet right away. Iris melanoma is most common in older felines. In most cases the eye will need to be removed.
A cat can develop glaucoma in the same way that a person can. If you notice that your cat’s eye is red or that he is squinting or tearing up a lot, then glaucoma could be the cause. Another sign of glaucoma is if one pupil is bigger looking than the other.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that arises when the pressure in the eyeball increases. What then happens is that the eye lens ceases to function in the way it is supposed to. The intraocular pressure can be lessened by the use of medication if the problem is diagnosed in its earliest stages. In this way, complications can also be avoided.
If glaucoma is not diagnosed until it reaches a later stage, then surgery may be required. If the health problem is left to its own devices, then it will continue to worsen. The retina can become damaged and the eye can end up bulging. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in felines.
Cataracts in cats can lead to the start of glaucoma if left untreated. In this instance, the cat’s eye lens will become opaque. This happens because light is no longer able to travel to the retina. This optical condition should never be ignored as it will only worsen with the passage of time. The veterinarian may opt to do a lens transplant if the condition is no longer in the primary stages.
Conjunctivitis is an optical problem whereby the membrane of the eye becomes inflamed and red. Discharge is often a symptom. If the discharge from the eye is clear, then the culprit is likely to be an allergen in the environment such as dust. However, if the discharge contains pus, then the cat most likely is suffering from a bacterial infection. In some cats the discharge could become crusty around the eyes and seal the eyelids closed.
Bacterial infections of this sort generally affect only one eye. If both eyes become infected then a virus is more than likely to blame. A case of conjunctivitis requires a trip to the vet who will prescribe a full course of antibiotics for your pet. This eye infection can affect both kittens and adult cats. When it affects kittens it is known as neonatal conjunctivitis.