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Corneal Inflammation (Nonulcerative Keratitis) in Cats



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. Cultures of cells will be conducted to determine whether there are excess white blood cells (indicating a physical response to an invasive condition) or organisms present in the bloodstream. A biopsy of the cornea may also be done, although your veterinarian will probably be able to make a diagnosis without it.



Your cat will only need to be hospitalized if it does not respond adequately to medical therapy. Outpatient care is generally sufficient. Radiation therapy may be prescribed for long-term superficial inflammation of the cornea. Radiation therapy and cryotherapy (a freezing technique that is used for removal of diseased tissue) may also be prescribed for inflammation characterized by the presence of pigment that is deposited in the cornea.


If the diagnosis is inflammation of the cornea characterized by the presence of a type of white-blood cell called an eosinophil, surgical removal of the surface of the cornea may be done for diagnostic purposes. This is usually unnecessary as it only temporarily resolves clinical signs; medical treatment is preferred.


If the condition takes the form in which part of the cornea tissue is dying, leaving a pigmented lesion and fluid build-up, surgical removal of the surface of the cornea may be curative, but recurrence is possible; eye discomfort is the primary indication for surgery.


There are medications that your veterinarian may prescribe as a part of the treatment regimen for the various forms of this condition, depending on what the final diagnosis is.




Long-term superficial inflammation of the cornea is more likely to occur at high altitudes with intense sunlight.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will want to conduct periodic eye examinations to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Your doctor will set up a follow-up schedule to see your cat at one to two week intervals, gradually lengthening the interval as long as your cat remains in remission, or the clinical signs resolve. In severe cases your cat may have continued eye discomfort, some visual defects, and in some cases, may even suffer from permanent blindness.



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