Ocular (Eye) Pain and Squinting in Cats - Page 4

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Ocular (Eye) Pain and Squinting in Cats

By: Dr. Noelle McNabb

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Do not delay in bringing the pet to a veterinarian for examination as many causes of a painful eye are vision threatening and require immediate medical attention. Many causes of acute (sudden) eye pain are considered medical emergencies and in certain circumstances require surgical intervention to preserve vision. For surgical therapy to be the most successful, time is of the essence. If vision cannot be saved, prompt presentation of the pet for medical attention increases the likelihood that the ball or globe may be preserved.

  • Do not allow the pet to rub or traumatize sore or painful eyes. A protective collar called an Elizabethan collar may be necessary to prevent self-trauma and may be obtained from your veterinarian or pet supply store.

  • Do not administer home remedies or human over-the-counter medicines designed to reduce eye redness or irritation, because these products may exacerbate the signs of eye pain.

  • Topical antibiotics may be used to treat some corneal or conjunctival injuries and infectious processes, but the underlying cause must be also treated.

  • Deep corneal ulcers and perforations must be stabilized surgically.

  • Lacerations of the eyelids, cornea and sclera also require surgical repair.

  • Conformational or congenital eyelid deformities usually require surgical correction.

  • Corneal and conjunctival foreign bodies are removed with forceps or surgery.

  • Displaced or proptosed globes may be surgically repositioned, or may require removal (enucleated) if excessive injuries to the eye are sustained.

  • Anterior uveitis may be treated with topical anti-inflammatory medications, systemic medications, or both.

  • Glaucoma may be treated with medications, surgery, or both.

  • Lens luxations are treated with specific ophthalmic medications or surgery, or both.

  • Orbital infections may be treated with antibiotics and/or surgery

    Optimal therapy of any acute or chronic ophthalmic disease resulting in signs of eye pain depends on determining the correct diagnosis. There are a myriad of potential causes of ocular pain and squinting, and before any treatment can be recommended, it is essential to identify the underlying reason. Nonspecific therapy is not a substitute for definite treatment of the principal disease responsible for the pet's condition. Initial therapy must be aimed at the primary cause of the eye pain.

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