the glaucoma in cats is an eye pathology that generally affects felines. Bigger, red colored eyes with regular tears are signs of this degenerative eye disease that can lead to progressive loss of sight. More precisely, cat’s eye produces excessively watery secretions which causes an increase in intraocular pressure damaging the optic nerve as well as the retina.
Thus, if there is any doubt concerning the behavior of the animal, its eyes should be consulted immediately by a veterinarian so that he can consult the telltale signs. Generally speaking, feline glaucoma affects older cats, although it can appear as soon as the feline is born. In this article, we will take stock of the causes, symptoms and treatment of this eye disease.
Causes of glaucoma in cats
the glaucoma in cats is a severe eye disease that can lead to blindness or complete loss of vision. This pathology has different origins.
It can be the result of a generic modification during gestation. For this, the disease is present from the first months of the feline. The symptom is very simple: the eye of the animal has a small defect. However, this type of glaucoma remains very rare in cats.
When this eye disease is transmitted from the parents of the animal, it is called an inherited disease called primary glaucoma. Usually appeared a few years after birth, that is to say, at 4 or 5 years, it first affects the only eye of the animal and then it affects the other eye a few months later. Even if it is quite rare in cats, there are certain breeds which are particularly concerned by this pathology, in particular the Burmese, the Persians or the Siamese.
Secondary glaucoma is referred to when this ocular pathology has developed as a result of another eye disease. That is why it is considered to be the most common form of glaucoma in cats. The most common eye diseases causing this form of disease are:
- Anterior uveitis: it is an irritation inside the eyeball;
- Cataract: the lens of the eye called the lens swells and turns dark black;
- Dislocation of the lens: the lens moves inside the eyeball;
- Hyphema: the cat’s eye begins to bleed.
Symptoms of glaucoma and diagnosis
In the presence of this disease, the eye system of the cat loses its normal function. The animal can thus present many signs which are often alert to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- A precipitated lump the size of the eyeball;
- Redness of the eye;
- Dilation and asymmetry of the pupils;
- Closed eyelids;
- Frequent tearfulness;
- Degradation of the optic nerve;
- A gradual loss of sight which became apparent thanks to a disorderly gait.
To diagnose glaucoma in cats, the veterinarian is the only healthcare professional who can do it. For this, he will perform a measurement of the intraocular pressure (IOP) via a special device called the tonometer. Completely painless, this measure requires complete immobility to have a sure value. This is why the session can be stressful for the cat. This diagnosis makes it possible to assess the severity of the pathology in order to limit any visual damage.
Treatment of glaucoma
The goal of treatment for glaucoma is to make pain disappear while stabilizing intraocular pressure to prevent blindness. For this, the veterinarian sets up a care protocol to treat him effectively. To lower the pressure, the administration of eye drops and corticosteroids in the form of an injection is the most used treatment. Often, this type of treatment with special eye drops is not effective even after several months of administration. When the result is unsatisfactory, then surgery is needed to reduce the pressure inside the eye. This is the enucleation which involves removing the diseased eye and implanting a prosthesis.
In addition, glaucoma can be treated in another way: the use of laser. If its appearance dates recently, laser surgery remains a good option to considerably reduce aqueous humor and therefore lower the pressure. It is a rather expensive intervention which requires a good insurance to be able to benefit from it.
So that a pet like a cat does not get this serious eye disease, it is important to provide it with a healthy environment as well as proper care. Starting with a balanced diet that keeps him physically and mentally strong. In addition, to avoid the onset of glaucoma, you must avoid at all costs letting your cat roam anywhere. After a walk, it is advisable to do a careful eye check. In the event of a lesser eye disease, treatment must be carried out immediately to prevent the development of certain pathologies. With each change in behavior or a transformation in the way the animal moves, its owner must show increased vigilance towards his animal. This can be the start of eye disease. For this, he must regularly monitor the eyes as well as the sight of the cat. Do not forget also the periodic check-up to the veterinarian.
If the prevention of glaucoma in cats remains difficult, it is possible to anticipate in case of less health concern. Indeed, the subscription to an animal health mutual can be an undeniable solution not to spend too much money on the care of the animal. With regular veterinary follow-up and a good knowledge of feline pathologies, your cat has a good chance of preserving his health, and you of preventing the risks and diseases likely to affect him. Stay connected on our blog which deals with animal health in order to inform you in due time of the various ailments and appropriate care.