Symptoms Of Eye Issues In Cats
Water and Glassy Looking Eyes
Allergies are a surprisingly common issue for cats and can certainly lead a cat’s eyes to become irritated and watery. Common allergies that could affect your cat’s eyes include pollen, mold and mildew dust, household cleaning products, perfumes, and some medications. Keeping your cat away from the allergen could help to clearup the issue. However, if you are unable to pinpoint what is causing your cat’s watery eyes a trip to the vet is in order. Your vet will be able to rule out more serious causes for your cat’s watery eyes and be able to recommend ways to help make your cat’s eyes feel more comfortable.
Blinking, Squinting and Pawing at Eyes
If your cat has watery eyes and is blinking excessively, squinting or pawing at their eyes a visit to your vet is required. Your cat could have a foreign body trapped and irritating the eye, or a blocked nasolacrimal duct . Although nasolacrimal obstructions aren’t as common in cats as they are in dogs they can result in tears overflowing and running out of the eye.
Red and Inflamed Eyes
Sticky, Yellow or Green Discharge
Obvious Pain or Swelling
Nasal Discharge and Sneezing
Common Symptoms Of Cat Eye Discharge
Cat eye-watering may occur on its own. Or may happen at the same time as other symptoms. The discharge can vary in frequency and consistency, and may appear as:
- Excessive wetness around the tear area
- Red and swollen eyes that are extremely sore looking
- Thin and watery or thick and mucus-like substance around the eyes
- Eye edges having crusty formations pointing to dried discharge
When Should I Worry About Cats Eye Discharge
There are a few aspects of your cats eyes that you should worry about when you see cat eye discharge or boogers:
- There is blood in your cats eye, boogers. This may not be from the discharge, but your cat may have scratched his eye.
- Your cats eyes are watering. Again, this can mean that there is eye irritation.
- Your cats eyes are red. This should be especially problematic if one of your cats eyes is red, not both.
- Even with treatment, your cats eye discharge isnt going away or letting up.
Whenever there are visible changes in your cat, you should make an appointment with your vet. This is even more vital when it has to do with your cats eyes.
Eye problems in your cat can quickly lead to other issues. Although the chances are small, it is possible that your cat could go blind, which is not something any cat owner wants to hear or deal with!
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Recognizing The Symptoms Of Eye Infection In Cats
While people often wink at each other to show affection or camaraderie, if you notice that your cat seems to be winking, blinking, or squinting at you, it could be a sign that something’s wrong with one or both of their eyes. Cat eye infections are common and can be caused by viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Feline herpes is one very common cause of eye problems in cats. If you think something’s going with your cat’s eyes, the first thing to do is bring them to a veterinary doctor in Orlando, FL, for a checkup and exam.
Not sure how to tell if your cat has an eye infection? Keep a lookout for the following signs.
Should You Clean Your Cats Eye Boogers
Yes, you should clean your cats eye boogers.
Although its a job that very few cat owners enjoy, it is essential to clean the gummed-up eye discharge around your cats eyes.
There are a few reasons why you should clean your cats eyes. Some reasons are more superficial than others:
- Your cat will look better if his eyes are clean.
- The eye boogers will not end up stuck to your bed, furniture, or clothes.
- If the boogers stay on your cats eye, they can lead to an eye infection.
Sure, it is gross to see your cat walking around with eye boogers.
While the look of your cat is always a concern because hes your best friend, the real problem is that the eye boogers can lead to an infection. The boogers can continue to trap irritants in the air that can irritate or scratch your cats eyes.
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Understand The Signs Of Cat Eye Infection
Veterinarians say the first signs of an eye infection owners notice are pretty straightforward, and aside from the cat’s third eyelid , these signs might sound a lot like humans when we get an eye infection:
- The white of your cat’s eye may show some redness.
- You may see eye discharge that’s clear, yellow, or green.
- You may see excessive blinking, or it may look like your cat is winking at you.
- Your cats third eyelidwhich actually closes sideways, instead of up and down like our eyelidsmay be covering up more of the eye than usual.
- And if their eye problem is tied to an upper respiratory infection, your cat may also be sneezing or experiencing some nasal discharge as well.
Some eye problems can go away on their own, but because many eye conditions are indicative of something more seriouslike diseases that can lead to blindness or worsediagnosis is crucial.
“Most cases are going to require intervention by a veterinarian,” says Ernie Ward, DVM, a writer, podcaster, pet nutrition advocate, and veterinarian who works with cats at animal rescue groups in North Carolina. “Eyes are emergencies. Eye can be intensely painful. I can’t overstress that.”
Heres how to know what could be causing your cats eye trouble so you can get it treated quickly and effectively.
Types Of Dog Eye Discharge
Reviewed and updated for accuracy on February 13, 2020, by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
Eye discharge is a common problem in dogs. Some types are completely normal, while others are associated with potentially serious health concerns.
In order to determine when you need to take your dog to the vet, youll need to understand the various types of dog eye discharge and what each may mean.
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How To Clean Dog Eye Boogers
If your veterinarian has determined that your dogs eye discharge is normal, ask if the following guidelines for how to clean a dogs eye boogers are appropriate.
Always start by washing your hands before touching your pets eyes, says Dr. Zay Satchu, chief veterinary officer and co-founder of BondVet, based in New York City.
For a small volume of wet or dry dog eye boogers, Satchu recommends wiping them away with a clean tissue, cotton ball, or freshly-washed hands.
If your dogs eye discharge has hardened, you should use sterile saline or eye wash with a clean cotton ball or tissue to soften and remove the build-up, offers Satchu. Plain water is not wrong but can cause irritation if it gets into the eye, so saline or eye wash is preferred.
You can also use wipes formulated for use on dogs to help clean the discharge, adds Baldwin. I also like using artificial tear gel on dried discharge to make it easier to wipe the discharge without causing discomfort to your pet.
Normal dog eye boogers may be visible after long periods of rest, most commonly in the morning. However, If you are finding the need to clean more than once or twice daily then an exam is warranted, says Satchu.
Why Does My Kitten Have Eye Boogers
Over time, some of the water evaporates. This leads to dried conglomerations of mucus and fat adjacent to the eye. These so-called eye boogers develop in all cats, dogs, and people periodically. People simply rub them away from their eyes. Since dogs and cats dont have hands, their dried mucus and fat builds up.
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Can Allergies Cause Eye Discharge In Cats
If your cats eyes start weeping, this doesnt necessarily indicate an infection. Your cat could have an allergy. Allergies can be even more difficult to manage because its not always clear what is causing the allergic reaction. Common allergens include:
- Dust Mites
- Foods, such as beef and fish
If your cats eye discharge is clear and quite watery, this is a good indicator that it could be an allergic reaction. Other symptoms include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Itching and scratching
First What Is Cat Eye Discharge
Tears are produced constantly throughout the day and normally drain at the corner of the eye without spilling over, says Beth Kimmitt, D.V.M., resident of ophthalmology at Purdue Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Indiana. If something causes irritation to the eye, more tears are produced. Irritation to the eye or blockage of the normal drainage pathway may lead to tears that spill over onto the face.
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Diagnosing Discharge In Cat Eyes
At the vet, you should expect a series of tests. During the initial exam, it is important to provide as much information as possible, so that your vet can make an accurate diagnosis.
Your vet will likely perform a complete physical exam, check your cats temperature, and may request a blood test to rule out certain diseases.
These tests will also help to determine if your cat is suffering from seasonal allergies, or if there is potentially an infection elsewhere in the body.
Additionally, your veterinarian will use a tool called an ophthalmoscope. If youve had an eye exam youll recognize the tool, as its also used in humans.
The ophthalmoscope allows the vet to see a magnified image of the eye. If a diagnosis is still unclear or inconclusive, the vet will likely administer specific eye drops and perform a test called the fluorescein eye stain test.
The vet will once again examine the eye with an ophthalmoscope and check for any injury or ulcers.
What Causes Black Stuff In My Cats Nose
Your cat can have a lot of things that might cause black stuff on or in their nose. Even little scraps of black fabric from one of their favorite toys could look like something you need to be concerned about until you get a closer look.
You should also look closely at any black stuff on your cats nose if you routinely wear black clothing or have dark-colored furniture or carpeting. Lint and dust from those dark sources can easily get trapped by the mucous in your cats nose and cause a dark-colored discharge.
Thats the mucous doing its job and protecting your cats respiratory system. But if its a regular occurrence, consider vacuuming or laundering possible sources of the lint, or even keeping your cat away from the source. Thats because black nasal discharge can sometimes be more serious, and you dont want to miss a sign of illness because of lint.
Another less concerning cause of black spots on your cats nose could be if they have a small scratch on the surface of their nose, and the scab has dried. If you have multiple cats in your home, its not uncommon to find small scratches on your cats faces. Cats are territorial and will often use their claws to get another cat to back off if hissing and fluffing their fur doesnt work.
Nose scratches are more common on cats when a new cat is first introduced but can happen at any point while two cats are living together.
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Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca: This Is Also Known As Dry Eyes Or Keratitis
Keratoconjunctivitis Siccaa really intimidating word that simply means dry eyes. It can be a secondary bacterial infection of FVH-1, but can also crop up with Conjunctivitis, allergies, or for genetic reasons.
Tears have antibacterial properties in them and protect the eyes by flushing irritants and providing lubrication. Having a dry eye condition is very uncomfortable and can cause severe issues if not treated. Luckily, its relatively easy to provide comfort to your kitty if this is the problem, but dry eyes are usually not curable. You will need to manage the symptoms to keep your feline buddy comfortable.
- Your cat may be reluctant to open their eyes
- Inflammation of the eyelids
- A dull coating or dry look to the cornea or outside of the eye
- Eye examination to determine if dry eye may be the problem
- A Schirmer tear testto measure the percentage of moisture in the eye
- A fluorescein stain test to check for any ulcers or erosion of the cornea
- Eye drops may be prescribed to stimulate the production of tears, or antibiotics if an infection is present
Why Are My Cats Eye Boogers Brown
Your cats eye boogers are brown because they have touched the air.
The gunk that comes from your cats eyes is usually white or a slightly opaque white color. Your cats eye discharge does not start as the brown color that it becomes.
Your cats eye boogers hit the air once they are released from the body.
As your cats eye boogers dry in the air, they become darker and harder. Often, they will not harden and instead feel gummy and sticky. It all depends on your cat and how long they stay.
Brown eye boogers are not any more reason for concern than white or clear eye discharge. Its simply nature doing its thing.
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How Is Epiphora Diagnosed
The first step is to determine if there is an underlying cause for the excess tear production. Some of the causes of increased tear production in cats include conjunctivitis , allergies, eye injuries, abnormal eyelashes , corneal ulcers, eye infections, anatomical abnormalities such as rolled in eyelids or rolled out eyelids , and glaucoma.
“The first step is to determine if there is an underlying cause for the excess tear production.”
Once the more serious causes for epiphora have been eliminated, it is necessary to determine if proper and adequate tear drainage is occurring. A thorough ocular examination is performed, paying special attention to the nasolacrimal ducts and nearby tissues, and looking for signs of inflammation or other abnormalities. The facial anatomy of the cat may play a role in this condition. Some breeds have flat or squished-in faces that do not allow the tear film to drain properly. In these pets, the tear film fails to enter the duct and simply rolls off the face. In other cases, the hair around the eyes physically obstructs the entrance to the nasolacrimal ducts, or debris or a foreign body forms a plug within the duct and prevents drainage of tears.
Eye Boogers From An Underlying Condition
Eye boogers can be from an underlying condition in your cat, like feline herpes.
Now, herpes is a scary word for humans, but it is not as scary when it is in cats.
Some cats are born with feline herpes. There is no curing feline herpes, but you can manage them with treatment.
One of the ways that your cat presents symptoms of feline herpes is through a large number of eye boogers and a congested upper respiratory system.
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A Little Goop Or Crust
Tears play an essential role in maintaining eye health. They provide oxygen and nourishment to the cornea and help remove debris from the eyes surface.
Tears normally drain through ducts located at the inner corner of each eye, but sometimes a little bit of goop or crust will accumulate there. This material is made out of dried tears, oil, mucus, dead cells, dust, etc., and is typically clear or a slightly reddish-brown color.
Its most evident in the morning and is often perfectly normal. The amount of eye goop a dog produces each night should stay relatively constant.
The goop or crust should be easy to remove with a warm, damp cloth. The eyes shouldnt be red, and your dog should not exhibit any signs of eye discomfort .
If at any point you notice an increase in your dogs eye goop or other worrisome symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Dog Eye Boogers: Why They Happen
- Normal dog eye discharge is usually white to grey and consists of mucus and trapped debris.
- A small amount of eye discharge in the morning is normal, but abnormal discharge needs to be evaluated.
- Discharge thats excessive or a different color may signify an underlying health issue.
- Treatment for abnormal eye discharge can be drops, antibiotics, dry eye medications, or even surgery.
- Keeping your dog clean and the hair around the eyes groomed is the best way to prevent debris.
Dog eyes function much like ours and are subject to many of the same vision issues, including dry eye, infections, and inflammation. Another condition that dogs have in common with us is eye dischargesometimes referred to as dog eye boogers.
Some eye discharge is normal, but what if your dog has a lot of eye boogers?
Our guide is designed to help you understand more about those unsightly eye boogers including what they are, what causes them, and how to clean and prevent them. As a reminder, any discussion about your dogs vision should always begin with your veterinarian.
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Home Care: Tips For Keeping Your Cats Eyes Healthy
You can help avoid eye problems in your cat by keeping up with yearly vaccinations, avoiding kitty overcrowding, and checking your cats eyes frequently for redness, cloudiness, a change in color or shape, discharge, or sensitivity to light.
To safely remove your cats eye discharge and make them more comfortable while waiting for their vet appointment, arm yourself with a bag of cotton balls and these simple tips from the ASPCA:
- Dip a cotton ball in water. Wipe away the eye discharge, always from the corner of the eye outward. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.
- Steer clear of any over-the-counter drops or washes unless your vet has prescribed them.
Because correct treatment can be so critical to the health and well-being of your cat, always talk to a veterinarian to be sure kitty is getting just the right care needed.