Anisocoria in Cats

Anisocoria in cats is characterized by unequal pupil sizes, particularly if one pupil is constricted while the other pupil is dilated. The cause for the condition can be due to nervous system problems, infections, cancer, inflammation and eye trauma. To learn more about Anisocoria in cats, read on.

Causes of Anisocoria

While the cause can vary, most causes of the condition are due to the following:

  • Trauma to the head
  • Optic nerve damage
  • Disorders of the oculomotor nerve
  • Disease in the portion of the brain known as the cerebellum
  • Disorders of the optic tract
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Abnormalities of the iris muscles
  • Cancer of the eye
  • Medications that affect the pupils
  • Spastic pupil syndrome

Life-Threatening or Severe Symptoms Associated with Anisocoria

Anisocoria can be associated with many diseases that have the potential to be life-threatening. It is extremely important to watch for the signs of a deadly or severe problem in your cat. Common life-threatening symptoms may include the following:

  • Changes in pupil size
  • Changes in eye position
  • Vision changes
  • Change in the shape of the eyelid opening
  • Change in the position of the eyelid opening
  • Eye color change
  • Change in clarity of eye
  • Eye pain
  • Inflammation of the eye

If you notice any of these potentially deadly symptoms, do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Diagnostic Tests For Anisocoria

Anisocoria can be diagnosed several ways, which may include the following:

  • Eye examinations
  • Complete physical examination
  • Thorough blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Biochemical testing
  • X-rays in the chest
  • Ultrasound of the eye and surrounding tissues
  • Tonometry that measures intraocular pressure in the eye
  • Spinal fluid tap
  • ERG testing to evaluate retinal function
  • CT scan or MRI
  • Visual evoked potential to examine the optic nerve and brain

Treatment for Anisocoria

Because the treatment of the condition will directly depend on the cause, a veterinarian will likely recommend many treatment options while diagnostic testing results for Anisocoria are pending.

For conditions such as hypoplasia or iris atrophy, it is possible that no treatment will be needed. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications might be given for disorders that are characterized by inflammation or bacterial infections.

Home Care for Anisocoria

If your cat has Anisocoria, you will need to make sure he receives the proper care at home as well as at the veterinarian office. For at-home care, you will want to always administer the prescribed drugs at the proper times directed by the veterinarian. If you do not notice any improvement in your cat's condition or if he develops any other complications or signs, contact your veterinarian promptly.

What Is the Pupil, and Why Is It Important?

The pupil is the circular opening located in the middle of the eye. It allows light to pass through, and expands and contracts when light is present or absent. The pupil is an essential part of the function of the eye in cats, and disorders of the pupils should always be taken seriously.

Anisocoria can be caused by many possible disorders, and treatments will vary. Whatever the cause of Anisocoria in your cat is, it is essential that your cat receives prompt medical attention. If left untreated, many conditions that may cause Anisocoria can lead to vision loss or blindness.