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Cloudy Eye in Cats

By: Dr. Noelle McNabb

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It is essential that a specific cause be identified in order to initiate appropriate therapy. In general, opacities of the eye that develop suddenly, reduce vision, and/or cause pain (rubbing eye, squinting) are inherently more serious and necessitate immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis In-depth

The following diagnostic tests are essential in helping to diagnose and treat your pet's ocular disease:

  • Complete medical history and physical examination

  • Complete ophthalmic examination including slit-lamp biomicroscopy (magnified examination of the eyelids, cornea, front chamber of the eye and lens) and indirect ophthalmoscopy (magnified examination of the vitreous body and retina)

  • Schirmer tear test to determine if tear production is normal, elevated or reduced

  • Fluorescein and rose bengal staining of the cornea to detect surface defects, ulcers and erosions

  • Tonometry (measurement of the pressure within the eye) to evaluate for the presence of glaucoma

  • Complete blood count (CBC) and serum tests to evaluate the cause and identify any related problems

  • Tests for feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis virus, and toxoplasmosis        

    Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended based on results of initial tests or due to a lack of response to prior treatments. These tests may include:

  • Corneal cytology (complete cell analysis) of cell samples collected from infected or inflamed corneas to determine the presence of infectious organisms and type of inflammatory reaction.

  • Corneal culture of cells collected from corneal ulcers to identify the specific type of bacteria or fungi present and which antibiotics they are most susceptible to.

  • Tests for feline herpesvirus infection if certain corneal diseases are present.

  • Paracentesis (collection of a fluid sample from the anterior chamber or vitreous body obtained with a small needle) is an alternative for attaining a diagnosis of undefined uveitis (or cancer) utilizing cytology and serology.

  • Serology (testing of antigen-antibody reactions in-vitro) when systemic fungal (cryptococcosis, blastomycosis) infections are suspected.

  • Electroretinography (evaluates the electrical responses of the retina to light stimulation) to ensure that the retina is functioning normally.

  • Ultrasound examination of the eye (imaging technique in which deep structures of the eye are visualized) when the eye is too opaque for normal examination procedures.

    Treatment In-depth

    Therapy is dependent upon the underlying cause (diagnosis).

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