Watery Eyes In Cats – Causes and Treatments
Does your cat have an eye injury or watery eyes? Eyes are the first indicator of your feline's health. Get real tips for what to do about this common eye problem in cats.
Watery eyes are also known as epiphora in the veterinary world. Basically, it’s defined as an abnormal overflow of tears. That glaze on your cat’s eyes plays a major role in keeping them healthy.
Watery eyes are commonly seen in brachycephalic breeds, such as Himalayans and Persians. The connection between watery eyes and this breed is seen due to overexposure of the eyeball.
Furthermore, watery eyes is connected to two other congenital abnormalities, including entropion and distichiasis – these conditions are known for eyelids and eyelashes being turn inward. As a result of it, irritation to the eyeball is very often.
In addition, if your cat has allergies, or even a foreign object trapped in the eye, or maybe a viral infection similar to the common cold, feline’s eyes can become very watery for a temporary period of time. But, if your feline’s eyes have been extremely watery since birth or for a longer period of time, the chances are that the problem could be the symptom of a condition that calls for veterinary attention.
Symptoms Of Watery Eyes
This condition in felines is one of those conditions that are extremely easy to notice, especially in white-haired felines. Due to overproduction of tears, white-haired felines usually have a brown/reddish staining on the face, just right below the eyes. Other symptoms may include:
- Scratching of the eyes
- Red eyes
- Eye discharge
- Droopy skin around the eyes orbit
- Ulceration of the cornea
Causes Of Watery Eyes
A number of different causes can lead to this condition. Usually, it is a sign of underlying health issues. This condition is usually seen in short-faced cats. As stated before, brachycephalic cat breeds or short-faced cats are predisposed to have short noses and bulging eyes.
Eyes that are so outside in the open are not protected from elements that can inflame eyes, including dirt or pollen.
The condition in which eyes become extremely scratched is known as conjunctivitis. Other causes of watery eyes in cats may include:
- Eyelid Tumors
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): extremely rare, but the most commonly seen eye-associated tumor in cats. White cats are the most commonly affected group.
- Glaucoma: eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve commonly seen in older felines.
- Scratches (elements or other animals)
- Tear duct blockage due to a structural deformity of the tear duct or inflammation caused by a secondary condition.
- Distichiasis: irregular growth of eyelashes
- Entropion: turning inward of the eyelashes
- FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
- FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
Good to know: There is no a way to avoid this watery eyes in short-faced cats.
Diagnosis Of Watery Eyes In Cats
The most important thing is to know your cat’s medical history and behaviors in certain situations and under certain circumstances. You will need to inform your veterinarian of any information that can be related anyhow to your feline’s health. In order to better pinpoint the cause of your cat’s watery eyes, the veterinarian may also perform:
- A physical examination – this is a common practice when your veterinarian wants to check for any outside marks for an underlying problem.
- An allergy test -this is a standard test to rule out allergies. This test is mandatory if you are not sure if your cat is allergic to something.
- A fluorescein stain test – this is a non-invasive test that will not harm your feline. The main purpose of this test is to view if there is any trauma in the eye that can’t be easily seen. It includes orange dye (fluorescein) and a blue light to detect foreign bodies in the eye.
- The Schirmer tear test – this test requires using small strips to evaluate tear levels of the eye.
- A tonometry test – this test in performed to evaluate the intraocular pressure or fluid within the eye. This test is usually performed to diagnose or rule out glaucoma.
- MRI – MRI or radiographs, or a CT is used to check for internal abnormalities within the skull.
- Laboratory analysis – this approach is primarily used to diagnose discharged from the eye.
In a nutshell, your veterinarian will firstly perform a thorough physical exam on your cat. Secondly, he will take into consideration your felines background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have triggered this condition.
In addition, your veterinarian might even check for lesions in the nose or even sinus area.
Treatment Of Watery Eyes In Cats
The right treatment for this condition may vary depending on the cause. A vet examination is necessary to diagnose the cause and give proper treatment.
One thing is for sure when it comes to the treatment of this condition. The earlier the treatment is given the better. Your feline may be going through significant pain and discomfort and eventually and eye infection can lead to permanent damage to the eye. Furthermore, it can lead to even blindness.
Basically, treating watery eyes in your feline is strictly connected with the underlying cause. Therefore, treatment of the watery eyes can include one of the following:
- Removal of the foreign body embed in the eye
- Antihistamine treatment to handle allergies
- Topical antibiotics for treatment of any infection
- Medications to heal trauma, conjunctivitis, or any abnormalities
In case your feline is diagnosed with distichiasis she will be treated by removing the hairs using s process called cryosurgery. On the other hand, if your cat is diagnosed with eyelid tumor she will be treated with aggressive treatment. If she is diagnosed with this condition extremely early surgical actions may be performed.
Recovery Of Watery Eyes In Cats
Recovery is a long process which requires commitment and patience. Basically, recovery depends on the severity of the condition. For example, if your feline had a foreign object in her eye and she needs to alleviate pin, recovery should begin within a few days.
In most cases, recovery will take place at home with a few trips to the veterinarian. Again, that depends on the severity of the condition.
On the other hand, if your feline just has undergone a surgical procedure, recovery and management will simply take longer. In this case, more veterinarian attention is needed.
Regardless of what kind of treatment was given to your cat and what kind of recovery is needed, a veterinarian must be included during the process in order to reevaluate your cat and check on the progress if the given treatment.
Prevention Of Watery Eyes In Cats
There is no ‘one cure fits them all’ when it comes to watery eyes in cats. With so many different causes of eye inflammation that actually lead to watery eyes, it’s difficult to have one cure for every underlying problem. Simply said, there is no single prevention that works for every situation.
The best thing that you can do in a form of prevention is to check your cat’s eyes on a daily level for any obvious signs of irritation, including tearing or redness.
Also, if you have any questions or worries about your feline’s eyes that best thing that you can do is to call or, even better, visit your veterinarian. Furthermore, you should know that some infections may last longer than others. Therefore, viral infections can clean up after a week or two, while opposite to them bacterial infections may require an antibiotic in eye drop or ointment form to heal.
Next, vaccinations are available to help your cat avoid common viruses that can cause watery eyes. The best time to vacinate your cat is to do while hse is still a kitten, as they are prompt to have often eye infections.
Cat Watery Eyes – Key Takeaways
Just like in humans, cat’s eyes are the fastest indicator that there might be a problem underlying and troubling your feline’s health. There is a number of different reasons, smaller and severe ones, that may lead to cat’s inflamed eyes.
Some conditions are easy to fix, while others are extremely serious. However, the most common reasons for watery eyes, include conjunctivitis, a serious condition of glaucoma, and a set of different allergies. Cats are prone to getting allergies. This is usually the first reason for watery eyes that may lead to itchy and watery eyes.
Cats are sensitive to eye irritants. That’s the main reason why they have a third eyelid to help protect their eyes from common debris. However, bear in mind that not everything that may cause harm to your cat’s eyes is preventable. But, the good side of it is that there is a treatment for every condition.
The swift takeaway is: if your cat recently had an eye injury, you should take her to the vet right away. In addition, stay on planned veterinarian visits always. After all your veterinarian is the only one that can notice even the slightest change in your feline’s health.
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