Glaucoma In Cats: What Should You Know About It?


Glaucoma is an eye condition, wherein the high pressure happens in the eyes, with a certain failure in the normal fluid drainage from the eyes. Moreover, glaucoma in cats is a chronic kind of condition with the pressure against the optic nerve, which may eventually cause a permanent damage into the optic nerves, thus resulting to blindness. If you want to learn more about this feline condition, feel free to give this article a read.

Glaucoma in Cats: What is this feline condition?

Cats that experience vision loss might not show any instant symptoms. In case the vision worsens gradually, it’s more probable that the cat might be able to keep on doing its normal activities. This is what makes it hard for the cat owners to see that anything’s wrong, up until the condition has already become austere. In the event that a cat starts to show some symptoms of vision loss, a quick vet consultation is suggested. If the symptoms suddenly develop, this must already be considered as an emergency, which needs an immediate medical attention.

Glaucoma in cats is a condition, which happens when the eye’s aqueous humor fluid fails in draining sufficiently. This results in remarkably high intraocular compression. The glaucoma in cats is the same with the human condition. The compression may cause the retina, as well as the optic nerve that leads from the eye through the brain to depreciate. This particular nerve damage may result in vision maladies and may lead to the destruction of the membranes in the cornea, lens displacement, and swelling of the eyeballs. Further, the condition is an awfully painful illness and, when left without treatment, may cause fractional or even total blindness.

Types of Cat Glaucoma

The primary glaucoma is actually a rare hereditary illness, which is more typically found in Siamese and Burmese cats, rather than in some other breeds. It’s also the result of a particular anatomical irregularity in a healthy eye. Further, the primary glaucoma nearly always disturbs both of the cat’s eyes.

On the other hand, the secondary glaucoma is a way more common illness and might happen in one or even both eyes. Eye injury, disease, or uveitis are the main causes of the secondary glaucoma. Uveitis is an austere inflammation of the eyes due to a blockage of the ducts’ drainage, commonly from a scar tissue and some other debris. It’s commonly present in cats that has serious conditions, including FIV, FIP, FeLV, or a certain parasite known as the toxoplasmosis. In some instances, the secondary glaucoma happens even without a well-known cause. The illness is more mutual in the older cats.

Causes of Cat Glaucoma

The primary glaucoma is due to an indecorous development of the eye drainage. Moreover, the secondary glaucoma might be due to several illnesses, including:

  • Injury to the eyes
  • Eye tumors
  • Intraocular bleeding
  • Inflammation of eye tissues
  • Lens dislocation
  • Severe eye infections
  • Uveitis

Symptoms of Cat Glaucoma

Contingent on the cause of the glaucoma in cats, the symptoms might progress gradually over time or may appear so suddenly. The disorder might affect one or even both eyes. The symptoms may include following:

  • Depression
  • Behavior changes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vision loss
  • Dilated pupils that fail to respond to light
  • Watery discharge
  • Rapid blinking
  • Rubbing of eyes
  • Squinting
  • Eyeball swelling or bulging
  • Redness of blood vessels in the eye
  • Cloudy eyes

Prognosis of Cat Glaucoma

You may need to give a complete medical history of the cat, the onset of the symptoms, to the extent that you’ve been able to tell, and likely incidents, which may have caused this condition, just like injuries to the eyes. Throughout the physical exam, the vet may test the pressure in the cat’s eyes with the use of a tonometer placed on the eye’s surface. In case the disease started suddenly, the vet may refer the cat to a vet ophthalmologist for a thorough examination of both of the cat’s eyes, including an assessment of the percolation angles by the gonioscopy –gaging the front of the eyes. Moreover, the pressure in the eye might measure as high as 45 – 65 mmHg,, thus making it a painful condition.

Treatment for Cat Glaucoma

When the cat has glaucoma, the vet must immediately take some steps in reducing the pressure in the eyes to save the cat’s vision. Regrettably, by the time the symptoms rise weighty vision damage has already occurred often. As soon as vision loss has happened, it cannot be upturned. When just one eye is affected, treatment may also focus on protecting the healthy eye. Depending on the complexity of the case, a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist may be necessary.

Prescription Medication

If the condition is not austere enough to need surgery, it may often be cured with prescription eye drops. Pain medication may be prescribed, as well as dorzolamide and/or timolol for a reduction of intraocular pressure, and steroids for inflammation.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical procedure might involve the draining of the fluid, in order to reduce pressure. A process known as cyclocryotherapy might also be used in altering the fluid-producing cells in the eyes. This might stop or even slow the progression of the glaucoma and may work best for initial treatment.


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