Iris Prolapse in Cats

Feline Iris Prolapse

Iris prolapse is the protrusion or forward movement of the iris, the tissue that makes up the pupil, through a traumatized or perforated cornea. It is a common sequel to penetrating corneal wounds and/or ruptured corneal ulcers in cats. Due to the traumatic nature of most cases of iris prolapse, animals prone to fighting may be predisposed.

Iris prolapse usually has an acute onset associated with a traumatic incident. The protruding iris is often covered with a blob of mucus that appears yellow or white. The underlying iris itself is usually brown-black in color.

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Iris Prolapse in Cats

Treatment of Iris Prolapse in Cats

Iris prolapse is an ocular emergency and requires immediate medical and surgical therapy. Medical treatment includes the following:

The type of surgery recommended depends on the viability of the eye:

Home Care and Prevention

If the cornea is surgically repaired, then it is very important to administer all medications precisely as directed by your veterinarian. The treatments following this type of surgery are labor-intensive and must be done on a consistent schedule. Numerous rechecks are also required to ensure that the eye is healing well and that no complications are developing.

The postoperative care following an enucleation is simpler and may involve giving oral antibiotics and returning for a suture removal in 10 to 12 days. The cat may be required to wear an Elizabethan collar after both surgeries.

Take care when introducing new cats to households with other cats, especially if those cats have front claws. Introduce the cats slowly and under supervision. Provide a mechanism whereby the cats can escape from each other. It may take several days to several months before the other cats will accept the new cat.

Make sure your male cat is neutered so he is less likely to fight. Try to keep cats indoors or within their own yard in order to minimize catfight injuries.