Keep a look out for problems with your cat’s eyes

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The condition should be monitored as it can have serious consequences if left untreated.

Aurelia was a beautiful two year old female red tabby Maine Coon with the most amazing, distinctive gold eyes.

She was taken to the practice because her owner had noticed that her left eye was crying all the time, and she was often seen rubbing it and holding it shut. Drops given to her initially seemed to temporarily relieve the problem. However, the symptoms had returned.

Further investigation revealed that Aurelia had entropion in her lower left eyelid that needed to be surgically corrected as it caused friction and irritation to the other eye structures.

Entropion is a curling of the eyelids and can affect the upper or lower eyelid, and in some cases both, and it can affect one or both eyes. It causes discomfort from the eyelid lashes rubbing against the cornea. In some cases, corneal inflammation, ulceration, perforation, and scarring can occur if the entropion is not corrected surgically.

Eyes are delicate, precious organs, and all problems should always be taken seriously to prevent long-term vision loss.

Cats have three eyelids: the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid and a third eyelid in the inner corner of the eye.

Eye problems can manifest themselves in many ways. Injuries, infections, changes in pressure, eyelid problems and even disease processes in another part of the body, for example diabetes or an acute infection elsewhere.

To avoid loss of vision, they should always be taken seriously and treated quickly. If you notice a change in your cat’s eyes, contact your veterinarian. If your cat appears to be in pain, contact your veterinarian right away.

Some signs of eye problems are: excessive crying or discharge from the eyes, which may be watery, yellow, green, crusty; any redness or swelling; Inflammation of the inner lining of the eyelids of the conjunctiva; Opacity on the front of the eye (cornea); Blinking and discomfort; keep the eye partially or completely closed; the third eyelid pointing and raised; any lumps in or around the eye; Cuts or tears on the eyelids; apparent loss of vision; Blood detected in the eye; Bulging of the eye; Changes in the shape of the eyes or pupils.

Eye problems can be caused by a number of things: Eye infections from bacteria or viruses that cause conjunctival inflammation and eye discharge. Fights and accidents are the most common causes of eye injuries in cats, and wounds on the surface of the eye can lead to corneal ulceration.

Corneal ulcers need treatment to heal and can result in loss of an eye if neglected.

When the retina detaches, the thin layer of tissue in the retina becomes detached from the fundus and leads to loss of vision. Retinal detachment is often due to high blood pressure, and this is common in cats with hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease.

It is important to regularly check the health of the cat’s eyes to make sure that eye problems or other health issues are being resolved quickly.

The beautiful Aurelia was referred to an ophthalmologist for surgically correcting her entropion. Her surgery was successful and she is now receiving regular checkups to make sure her eyes stay healthy.

• Alison Laurie-Chalmers is a Senior Consultant at Crown Vets in Inverness.

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