Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Cataracts in Cats

Feline cataracts are cloudy or damaged portions of your pet's eyes that inhibit the passing of light into various parts of the eye. Anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful in addressing the symptoms of cataracts, but these medicines are not useful in every situation and don't address the underlying cause of your cat's condition. Read on for additional information on how and when cataract treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs is possible.

Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts typically occur later in your cat's life, though they may develop at any point. There are two primary causes of cataracts in feline cases. The first is genetic, wherein cats have a genetic predisposition to the condition that they may pass along to their offspring. These types of cataracts generally seem to appear on your cat's eyes spontaneously and without other symptoms, or may develop particularly early in your cat's lifetime.

The second cause of cataracts in cats is inflammation of the eye. The condition that causes this inflammation is uveitis, and prolonged damage of this kind can lead to feline cataract development.

Treating Cataracts

The two forms of cataracts have very different treatment methods. Cataracts that come about for reasons of inheritance or spontaneously will not respond to anti-inflammatory drugs. These cataracts may be surgically removed. This is not always an option, however, and surgically excising the cataract is no guarantee against future cataracts or other eye damage.

Cataracts that come about as a result of inflammation are not treatable with surgical methods, because the eye itself may be at risk already due to the inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs are useful in addressing the symptoms of these cataracts.

Using Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to Address Feline Cataracts

If your cat has cataracts, or if you suspect that he has cataracts in development based on his symptoms, have him examined by a veterinarian. A physical examination, eye exam and blood test may be necessary to adequately determine whether the cataracts are caused by inflammation and uveitis. If this is the case, talk with your vet about the potential of addressing your pet's condition with anti-inflammatory drugs.

There are a wide variety of anti-inflammatory drugs that can be used to treat the symptoms of cataracts. These generally fall into the categories of steroid and non-steroid medicines. The exact treatment that is best for your cat depends upon a number of factors, including his other health conditions and medications, known allergies, overall health and the severity of his cataracts. Your veterinarian can help to provide recommendations and prescriptions for appropriate medicines.

It is important to follow the full prescription run of any medicine that your vet recommends. If your pet's condition appears to improve or his symptoms clear up during the course of the treatment, do not discontinue the drug. Treating your pet's cataracts with anti-inflammatory drugs does not eliminate the cataract itself, and the inflammation and damage may return when you discontinue the treatment program.