Cataracts in cats are one of the most frequent eye problems that come to veterinary consultations. It is important to treat them, to avoid vision problems in our furry friend. In fact, did you know that cataracts are the most common cause of feline blindness?
Do not be alarmed. Usually the solution is through a cataract operation or other alternative treatments. Let’s see in detail everything we can do to help our pussycat.
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What are cataracts and why do they occur in cats
The lens is a part of the eye that is responsible for sending and focusing the light that reaches the retina so that a clear image is formed in the brain. When the fabric of this structure breaks, the fibers become misaligned and it becomes somewhat opaque . It is then that we see that the dog’s eye has one or more spots, usually white or with a bluish hue. They are the annoying cataracts.
These can occur for various reasons and are normally classified into two types: primary or secondary. In the first case, cataracts are hereditary or congenital. That is why cataracts can occur in young dogs or even puppies. In fact, we will see that there are breeds more prone than others when it comes to developing this condition.
Secondary cataracts are caused by another medical problem , such as poorly treated inflammation, a blow, or a disease such as canine diabetes. These cataracts can occur in dogs of all classes and ages. Do you know which are the dog breeds that tend to have more cataracts? Let’s see.
Main symptoms of cataracts
The appearance of these opaque spots in the eye is the main warning sign that can make us suspect that a dog has cataracts. Nevertheless, is not the only one. Other common symptoms of cataracts in cats are:
- Excessive sensitivity to light
- Abundant tearing
- Secretions in the eye area
- Loss of vision, which will make the cat more clumsy
If you detect these signs, it is best to take him to the vet so that he can examine his vision and confirm if it is cataracts or other conditions that can be confused, such as nuclear sclerosis of the lens . The specialist may perform several tests before making a diagnosis, such as an eye ultrasound or general tests to assess the health of the kitten.
Cataract surgery and other alternative treatments
Surgery is the most effective option to remove feline cataracts and prevent their reappearance. In this operation, the lens is removed and an intraocular lens is placed in its place. The intervention usually lasts an hour for each eye and, in most cases, allows the cat to regain a good part of the vision it had.
In the event that your furry companion is inoperable for cataracts, there are other non-surgical treatments that help this condition improve. For cats with delicate health or elderly, anesthesia is a risk, so alternatives will have to be sought. One of them is carnosine drops ; The cat’s diet is also usually reinforced with vitamins A, C and E, due to their antioxidant properties that help stop the evolution of cataracts. Either way, the vet is the one who can advise you what is best in each case.
Recommended care for a cat operated on for cataracts
The normal thing, if the cataract operation in the dog has passed without complications, is that it does not have to be hospitalized. Despite this, you must bear in mind that the first weeks will be key to your recovery .
For this to be successful, it is important to go to all the periodic check-ups indicated by a professional and that your faithful friend follow all the recommended postoperative treatment. You should apply the antibiotic eye drops promptly, but also:
- Make sure that the cat has a quiet place to recover, especially in the days immediately after the operation.
- Put an Elizabethan collar on it so that the wound heals well.
- Avoid other cats approaching you, to reduce the risk of infections in the operated eyes.
- Walk with extreme precautions and avoid having too much physical activity.
Taking into account all these tips, the risks of complications during the postoperative period will be significantly reduced. So, if all goes well, in a few days you should see how the cat improves and regains the quality of life that you want so much for him.