Do your cat’s eyes appear cloudy? Does he or she squint or have a problem with excessive tearing? It’s possible that Kitty may have glaucoma, a condition in which high pressure occurs in the eye due to a failure of normal fluid drainage. Left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
High pressure in the eye occurs when the normal outflow of eye fluid is impaired. This can come as a result of the improper development of the eye’s filtration angles, or secondary to other eye diseases such as:
- a slipping of the lens in the eye
- inflammation of eye tissues
- eye tumors
- blood collection (as from injury) in the front of the eye
Two main types of feline glaucoma exist. Symptoms for sudden onset primary disease include:
- blinking within the eye
- the eyeball receding to the back of the head
- dilated pupil – or pupil not responding to light
- vision loss
- cloudy-looking eyes
- inflamed blood vessels in the whites of the eyes
If the disease has progressed, symptoms include enlargement of the eyeball and advanced degeneration within the eye.
Symptoms for glaucoma due to a secondary eye infection(s), include
- inflammatory debris visible in front of the eye
- possible constriction of the pupil
- possible sticking of the iris to either the cornea or lens
- high pressure within the eye
- loss of appetite
- lessened desire to play or interact
Secondary feline glaucoma is more common than primary glaucoma. Often both eyes are affected, but not always. In cases where only one eye is affected, a vet will take steps to protect the healthy eye from developing a diseased condition.
Once your cat has been diagnosed, he or she will need to take medication to lower pressure. Kitty may also need surgery to drain fluid from the eye. If the glaucoma has been present over a long period of time, the eye may need to be removed.
More than 50 percent of cats with primary glaucoma will develop complications in their unaffected eye within 8 months. That’s why it’s critical for you to bring your feline pal in to Austin Pet and Bird as soon as you can. Our caring, compassionate vets will run all necessary tests to determine the full extent of Kitty’s eye problems and offer advice to help you and your cat live with any possible vision loss. Contact us today!