Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Hyphema in Cats

 

Hyphema, or blood in the anterior chamber of the eye, is a common condition among cats. However, hyphema is a clinical sign and not a specific disease in itself.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

The symptoms of hyphema are dependent on the extent of bleeding, whether vision has been impaired, and whether your cat has other systemic diseases.

 

The most common signs found during a physical examination are:

 

  • Blood within the anterior chamber of the eye
  • Corneal edema or corneal lesions
  • Intraocular Pressure (IOP) may be elevated

 

Causes

 

The most common causes of hyphema are:

 

  • Injury, trauma to the eye or head
  • Severe retinal detachment
  • Hypertension, hyperthyroidism, systemic deficiencies
  • Infection by parasites
  • Bleeding of the vessels, vasculitis, uveitis, uveal neoplasia, and particularly lymphoma
  • Ocular defects - retinal dysplasia, glaucoma, etc.

 

Hyphema can also be indicative of various ocular and systemic deficiencies. Therefore, diagnosis and proper treatment is very important.

 

Diagnosis

 

Hyphema is diagnosed through hematology and blood biochemistry, lab tests, and diagnostic imaging using X-rays and ultrasound tests.

 

A complete medical history is taken and a thorough physical examination is performed to include or exclude possible causes.

 

Common diagnostic tests and procedures include:

 

  • Complete blood count with platelet count
  • Serum biochemistry to measure serum levels in protein
  • Coagulopathy tests to assess blood coagulation functions
  • Blood pressure
  • Urinalysis, to exclude kidney diseases
  • Chest and abdominal X-rays
  • Ocular ultrasounds (ultrasonography) to investigate the anterior portion of the eye and include or exclude possibilities of retinal detachment, lens displacement, abnormal masses, and vitreal hemorrhage

 

 

 

Other advanced tests that may be performed include abdominal ultrasounds, X-rays of the head and eye orbit to detect traumatic injuries, and hormonal tests (assays) of the adrenal glands. To detect bone marrow cancer, a bone marrow aspirate - the liquid found within the bone marrow - may also be done.

 

Treatment

 

The objectives of hyphema treatment involve containing the inflammation and removing the underlying causes which contribute to bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.

 

The common approaches to treatment are:

 

  • Use of corticosteroids as eye drops or ointment to cure inflammation arising out of the bleeding
  • Atropine eye drops to dilate the pupil, which minimizes sticking between the lens and the iris
  • Initiation of appropriate treatment for ocular deficiencies like retinal abnormalities (i.e., dysplasia), glaucoma, etc.

 

Surgery may also be necessary for correcting traumatic injuries and lesions.

 

Your cat's activity will need to be restricted if the problem has been caused by a clotting disorder, since clots can quickly become fatal with movement of blood through the arteries. In addition, if hyphema has significantly damaged your cat's vision, the cat should not be allowed to go outside without close supervision. Regular monitoring of the fluid pressure within the eye is also very important - daily for severe diseases and in less severe cases, every two to three days until it clears up. To prevent further injury to the eye, your veterinarian can provide you with an Elizabethan collar, so that your cat cannot scratch at its eye.

 

Unless irreversible damage has been caused to the ocular structures, the prognosis is usually good in cases of eye trauma. If retinal detachment has occurred, secondary glaucoma will eventually develop, and surgical intervention may be necessary for the relief of pain.

 

 

Related Articles

Eye Inflammation (Conjunctivitis) in Cats
Conjunctivitis in Cats   Conjunctivitis refers to the inflammation...
READ MORE
Red Eye in Cats
Red eye is a condition that causes the cat's eye to turn, well, red. This inflammation...
READ MORE
Dislocated Eye Lens in Cats
Lens luxation is the total dislocation of the lens from its normal location. It occurs...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM