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Diseases of the Eyes in Cats



  • Eyeball out of socket
    • Cats will usually have permanent blindness
    • Surgery: possible complications are excessively dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
  • Abscess or inflammation of the eyeball
    • Surgery to drain the abscess
    • Collect samples for bacterial culture and microscopic examination
    • Hot packing
  • Cancer of the eye
    • Usually begins in the eye and spreads
    • Operate early, removing the malignant mass, or the entire eyeball
    • If appropriate, chemotherapy or radiotherapy will be prescribed
    • Without chemotherapy or radiotherapy, survival is weeks to months if it is metastasizing malignant cancer (spreading cancer); end of life care or euthanasia may be only recourses
    • Veterinarian specializing in cancer may need to be consulted for specific care
  • Zygomatic mucocele (a pocket of mucous in the bone surrounding the eyeball)
  • Antibiotics and corticosteroids; surgery if necessary
  • Strabismus
    • Nerve disorder: the underlying cause will be treated
    • Surgery to correct muscle abnormality, or therapy to strengthen muscles


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments dependent on your pet’s underlying diagnosis. For example, if your pet has an eye infection, your veterinarian will want to examine your pet at least weekly until signs of the disease have resolved. If you see signs of any of these eye diseases returning, you will need to contact your veterinarian immediately to avoid permanent damage to the eye.

Image: Peasac via Shutterstock


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