The cornea, as we know, is the transparent part of the eye, which forms the cover over the pupil and iris. It is also the part of the eye that admits light right inside of the eyes, thus making vision possible. Further, a corneal ulcer happens when much deeper layers of the cornea get lost. In addition, these ulcers are classified as either deep or superficial. If the cat is squinting its eyes, there is a possibility that corneal ulcer in cats is what’s affecting it.
Corneal Ulcer in Cats: What is this feline corneal disease?
Corneal ulcer in cats are actually somewhat a common happenstance in cats. Nonetheless, if it goes without any check-up or medication, it might lead to much discomfort, as well as the total loss of vision.
If it was not for the cornea, it might be a dark world for the cats. One of the most significant functions of it is supporting the vision by allowing the light to pass through it in the eye so that the cat may enjoy the beauty of the world as much as people do. The cornea is what protects the inner parts of the eyes against harmful elements like bacteria and some other foreign entities, including the chemicals by the meek asset of being the outer layer of the eye. Moreover, the corneal ulcer happen when the outermost layer of the cornea gets broken.
Bear in mind, the cornea is made up of four layers. Though the epithelium us the outermost layer and protects the inner layers from pervasion by harmful entities and water, the second layer is actually the basement membrane that separates the epithelium from the third layer or the stroma. The endothelium is the innermost layer. Classified in different groups, the types of the corneal ulcer in cats is actually determined by the affected layer of the cornea.
- Descemetoceles go much deeper in the endothelium that is also known as the descemet’s membrane, which sometimes lead to the perforation of the eyes.
- Deep ulcers go past the epithelium into the third layer.
- Superficial ulcers affect just the epithelium.
Causes of Cat Corneal Ulcer
The presence of corneal ulcer in cats might be as a result of whatever countless causes there is. Though the level of risk to the eye might be as damaging as to any other, it might be as a result of such a minor thing as an eyelash ingrown. However, in most instances, the causes are way more serious. These may include the following:
- Paralysis of the facial nerve
- Dry eyes
- Injuries sustained during a play or fight
- Dirt underneath the eyelid
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Infections due to virus and bacteria
Bear in mind, if the cat is young, it is an easy target for the FHV or feline herpesvirus. This particular virus might affect the cat for the rest of its life via recurrence. Nonetheless, it doesn’t happen in each case.
Symptoms of Cat Corneal Ulcer
The corneal ulcer in cats are somewhat painful of a condition. Therefore, it is not that hard to notice when they run down on the cats. If your own cat shows the symptoms below, it is the time to see your vet:
- General signs of problems with the vision of the cat
- Pawing and rubbing at the affected eye
- Clouded cornea
- Reddening of the eye because of inflammation
- Discharge from the affected eye
- Sensitivity and squinting to bright light
Prognosis of Cat Corneal Ulcer
If you suspect that your cat has corneal ulcers, the best thing to do is to have it examined first. Commonly, the vet may conduct an observation of the eye affected by the condition, with the help of the fluorescein dye. The existence of the condition may be confirmed through a greenish color on the affected part of the eyes. Furthermore, the discoloration is due to the binding of the fluorescein into the ulcerous tissue.
Bear in mind that the descemet’s membrane doesn’t absorb the dye. In the case of the descemetoceles, there may be a bulge. If you use a fluorescein dye, the condition may reveal the existence of via a green boundary and a dark circle.
In order to determine whether the condition is due to a facial nerve paralysis, the function of the facial nerve will be analysed. A Schrimer’s test is essential in the case of eye dryness. This involves the insertion of paper strips in the eyes, in order to determine whether the amount of tears produced are sufficient in keeping the eyes wet.
Treatments for Cat Corneal Ulcer
The treatment for corneal ulcer in cats may depend on the underlying cause. In the event that the condition are deep or growing, a surgery may be necessary and activity may be restricted. Further, the vet might also put a collar on the neck of the cat to keep it from clawing its own eyes. In the event that a tumor or erosion are superficial, a surgical procedure might not be recommendable.
Moreover, if the ulcer is deep, the vet might take a cotton swab or get rid of the loose layers of the cornea. Any laceration on the cornea needs prompt treatment and repair. Additionally, an incision sometimes, is made into the cornea for the hopes of repairing it.