Cat Eye Ulcer Diagnosis

Cat eye ulcers develop mostly in the form of corneal ulcers. Since the cornea is made up of different layers, a lesion or scar that involves several layers is termed as a corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers develop due to various factors that include viral or bacterial infection, eye injury and irritation. Although all pets are at risk of developing corneal ulcers, cats with large eyes and older pets are more susceptible to corneal ulcers. Corneal ulcers that involve all layers of the cornea lead to severe rupture and the loss of eye liquid. Since corneal ulcers become serious conditions that could eventually cause blindness, it's important to diagnose and treat eye infections in time.

Symptoms of Cat Eye Ulcers Include:

  • Redness and inflammation of the eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Cat paws the eye frequently
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain or discomfort

Diagnosis of Cat Eye Ulcers

The vet will conduct a physical examination of the eye and evaluate the pet's medical history. The vet will then perform a Schirmer tear test to determine tear flow. The test is quick and involves the placement of a tear strip on the bottom eyelid of the cat. This in turn causes tear production, which is collected on the tear strip. Another test used to determine the presence of corneal ulcers or lesions is known as fluoroscein stain testing. It involves the addition of a dye to the pet's eye. Once the dye is washed off, corneal ulcers present in the eye are outlined with the dye. Eye discharge is subjected to laboratory analysis. The vet will take a sample of the few cells present in the cornea and perform DNA tests to detect the presence of certain strains of bacteria or viruses.

Treatment of Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers severe in nature require surgical intervention to repair the cornea. Antibiotic medications are prescribed to control and cure the infection. Antibiotics are available as both eye drops and oral tablets. Pet owners have to learn techniques to clean the eye from discharge and infection. Although there are several commercially available eye cleansing solutions, it's necessary to use prescribed medication that's suited to individual dog needs. Since pets suffering from corneal ulcers often require surgery, it's best to use an Elizabethan collar to prevent unnecessary movement. Redness and inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medication prescribed as a course.

Preventive Measures

Since pets contract eye infections due to bacterial or viral agents, it's necessary to take preventive measures to avoid future infection. Cats in particular are sensitive to smoke dust, pollen and toxic vapors. It's thus important to avoid spraying deodorizers in the pet's surroundings. Cats suffering from chronic eye infections caused due to underlying health concerns should be treated with herbal formulas or safer drugs that can be used in the long run. If the cat has a visible foreign substance lodged in the eye, it's important to avoid removal of the object and seek vet help.

Since prompt diagnosis quickens recovery, eye infections should be noticed promptly. The use of over the counter remedies to treat eye conditions is best avoided.