Just like humans, cats are also susceptible to eye disorders that lead to pain and discomfort. The seriousness of such eye diseases varies from minor to traumatic eye injuries. Common eye diseases include glaucoma, cataracts, eyelid masses, corneal inflammation, pink eyes, and corneal damage.
There are a variety of possible causes for these eye disorders. However, the common causes are exposure to chemical irritants, ingrown eyelashes, viral and bacterial infections, and the feline herpes virus.
When a cat gets a serious eye disease, it becomes mandatory to seek immediate help from a veterinarian. A veterinary opthalmologist performs cat eye surgery to treat an eye disease after diagnosing it.
If you are interested in learning about common cat eye surgeries, this blog is for you. Let’s discuss some of the common types of cat eye surgeries.
Common Cat Eye Surgeries
The type of surgery that a veterinarian will conduct depends upon the nature of eye issue. But the most common cat-eye surgeries are the following.
1. Cataract Removal
Cataract removal is the procedure used to remove cataracts from a cat’s eyes. The cataract causes cloudiness within the lens of the cat’s eyes. It affects vision as the lens cannot focus light on the retina. Older cats are more prone to cataracts.
A veterinary ophthalmologist performs cataract removal surgery to treat this issue. In this surgery, a veterinarian removes the cataract and replaces it with an artificial lens. After this cat eye procedure, a veterinarian suggests applying topical eye medication to the affected cat’s eye.
2. Entropion Surgery
Entropion refers to the condition in which cat eyelids roll inward. It may affect cats’ upper or lower eyelids, resulting in painful irritation to the cornea. Spastic entropion is its most common type, which develops due to the ulcer. It is more common in brachycephalic breeds because they have shallow eye sockets.
During entropion surgery, a veterinary ophthalmologist removes hair and skin near the eyelids by incision. This causes the eyelids to drop back into their normal position. Continuous lubrication is necessary after surgery to prevent this condition from developing again.
3. Cherry Eye Surgery
Cherry eye surgery is a cat eye surgery that involves the replacement of the third eyelid gland. It is necessary to prevent any permanent damage to the cat’s eyes. Cherry eye is the condition in which the third eyelid protrudes. The third eyelid acts as the protective layer that lubricates the cornea.
When the third eyelid prolapses, it becomes painful for cats, and delicate tissues become open to infections. In severe conditions, veterinarians perform cherry eye surgery to suture the prolapsed eyelid back to its normal position.
4. Ectropion Surgery
Ectropion refers to the rolling outward of the cat’s eyelids. So it results in the exposure of sensitive tissues. It is much rarer in cats and primarily affects the lower eyelids. The disease more frequently affects the Persian and Himalayan breeds.
In mild cases, a veterinary ophthalmologist prescribes topical lubricants and ointments containing antibiotics. But in severe conditions, veterinarians prefer to perform ectropion surgery to shorten the lower eye. Thus, it prevents drooping of the eyelids.
5. Eyelid Tumor Removal
Eyelid tumors are less common in cats compared to dogs. The tumors may rub against the eyes and cause infection or permanent damage to the cat’s eyes. It is often cancerous and requires immediate treatment to avoid any complications. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of eyelid tumor.
A veterinary ophthalmologist performs eyelid tumor removal surgery to treat this cat’s eye disease. During the treatment, a veterinarian removes all the tumor traces, then restructures and stitches the eyelids. Chemotherapy also becomes necessary, If cancer spreads to other body parts.
Enucleation is the permanent surgical removal of the cat’s eye. It may sound harsh, but sometimes it’s the best possible treatment. For example, a veterinary ophthalmologist needs to remove an eye due to an eye ulcer, glaucoma, or trauma. Enucleation proves a permanent solution for such eye disorders.
The two types of enucleations are the following.
Transconjunctival: It involves the removal of the eye orbit while leaving most of the conjunctiva.
Transpalpebral: It involves removing the entire eye, including the conjunctiva. This surgery is preferred when cancerous cells are present.
After surgery, veterinarians suggest keeping cats indoors.
Cats suffer from different eye diseases, ranging from mild to acute. Various factors may cause cat eye diseases. Severe issues lead to surgical treatment of cat eyes. Scheduling regular vet checkups may reduce the risk of developing common cat eye diseases.
If you want to learn more about cat eye surgery, you may visit Vet and Tech. They provide information about various surgical procedures, including eye surgeries. You can also stay up to date on advanced surgical procedures and the latest discoveries in the veterinary field.
Is cat eye surgery safe?
Most cat eye surgeries have a high success rate. But all surgeries carry some inherent risks. For example, older cats or those suffering from other medical conditions are more prone to complications. So, they need more care during surgical treatments.
When does my cat need eye surgery?
Many causes lead to cat eye surgery. But it is important to note that surgical treatment is the last option. In mild cases, a veterinary ophthalmologist prescribes ointments and lubricants to treat eye diseases. But in severe cases, eye surgeries become inevitable.
Which eye diseases cause enucleation?
Enucleation is the removal of the entire eye. Unfortunately, some eye diseases leave veterinary ophthalmologists with no options except to remove the eye. Such issues include eye ulcers, glaucoma, or trauma to the eyes.