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Severe drying and inflammation of the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye) can often be attributed to a medical condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). Characterized by a deficiency of aqueous tear film over the surface of the eye and in the lining of the lids, the condition is also sometimes called dry eye syndrome. Although KCS is relatively uncommon in cats, there is some suspicion that females may be more predisposed to the condition than males.
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical and ophthalmological exam on your cat, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. A Schirmer tear test can be used to measure tear values and the amount of wetness on the eye; that is, the amount of tear production that is taking place in the tear ducts and the amount available for the eye. A low value, for example, would be indicative of KCS.
Your doctor may also take a sample of the aqueous fluid for culture, in order to determine how severe bacterial growth is in the eye and whether there is an infection that is underlying the KCS. To identify abrasions and/or ulcerations of the eye, meanwhile, he or she may use a fluorescein stain, whereby a non-invasive dye is placed on the eye to better see the details under a blue light.
The displacement of the eye
A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells
The study of the internal structures of the body as pertaining to ionizing radiation
Something that is found near the ear or pertains to the ear
A type of slime that is made up of certain salts, cells, or leukocytes
Something that makes the body more susceptible to disease
Less important, below, toward the bottom or back
A passage in the body with walls