Here we can see, “What Is Cat Uveitis and How Is It Treated?”
What Is Uveitis in Cats?
Inflammation of the uvea (also known as the uveal tract) in cats causes uveitis. The uvea is a portion of the eye that comprises the iris, ciliary body, and choroid.
- Iris. The colored region of your cat’s eye directly surrounding the pupil is known as the iris. The iris’ job is to regulate the size of the pupil, which serves to govern how much light is permitted to reach the retina (eye lining that translates light signals to the brain).
- Ciliary Body. The ciliary body links the two other portions of the uvea in the eye’s middle layer (the iris and the choroid). Its muscles change the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens to help the eye focus. The ciliary body secretes aqueous humor, a fluid that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the lens and cornea (clear, outermost cover of the eye).
- Choroid. The choroid is a vascular layer of the eye containing melanin cells and full of capillaries (natural skin pigment). These cells absorb light, reduce reflection, and protect blood vessels from damage caused by the light (too much light). The melanin cells of the choroid also deliver oxygen and blood to the outer retina.
Symptoms of Uveitis in Cats
Eye diseases in cats are notoriously deceptive. This is because cats are skilled at hiding their ailments, and when they aren’t feeling well or in pain, they may hide even more. Uveitis is no exception.
Cat uveitis can overgrow and be unnoticed for an extended period, or it might develop slowly and go untreated for a long time.
Because uveitis can result in blindness, the only symptom you may notice is your cat’s unexpected disappearance, as this condition would undoubtedly startle them and lead them to flee.
If you detect physical indicators, one or both of your cat’s eyes may be affected. The most common symptom is a distinct “red-eye.” Your cat might squint, seem light-sensitive, and have a runny eye. This is because uveitis is a painful condition.
It’s possible that your cat’s iris color has changed or is cloudy. Pupil size and your cat’s eyesight may be altered, though this is more difficult to observe. If uveitis is accompanied by glaucoma (a buildup of pressure that affects the optic nerve), your cat’s eye may become more prominent or protrude.
Your cat may act poorly and develop other clinical indicators if a widespread infection or virus is implicated in uveitis, depending on the specific condition.
Cat Uveitis Causes
The causes of cat uveitis can be divided into two categories:
- Ocular, or having to do with the eye
- Systemic causes
Ocular Causes of Uveitis in Cats
The following are examples of ocular causes:
- Corneal ulcers are tears that form on the eye’s surface or within the cornea (the eye’s outermost layer).
- Trauma to the eye
- Cataracts (clouding of the eye lens)
Systemic Causes of Uveitis in Cats
Cat uveitis has a wide range of systemic causes. They include both viral and non-infectious systemic causes. In addition, some instances of uveitis are caused by an immunological response.
- High blood pressure
- Eating fatty foods
Causes of infection:
- Feline infectious peritonitis, also known as FIP (viral)
- Feline immunodeficiency virus, also known as FIV (viral)
- Histoplasmosis (fungal)
- Blastomycosis (fungal)
- Cryptococcosis (fungal)
- Coccidioidomycosis (fungal)
- Candidiasis (fungal)
- Toxoplasmosis (parasitic)
- Cuterebra larval migration (parasitic)
Causes mediated by the immune system:
- Drug reactions
- Vaccine reactions
- Other types of systemic diseases
Unfortunately, immune-mediated disease is challenging to comprehend, and it might be challenging to link to a specific cause. Medications that alter the immune system’s function are commonly used to treat clinical symptoms.
If no systemic cause (such as infection) impacts the immune system, a reason for uveitis is frequently never identified. Idiopathic uveitis is the name for this type of uveitis.
How Do Veterinarians Diagnosis Cat Uveitis?
Suppose your cat has had any other physical symptoms at home (such as weight loss, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea) and information regarding your cat’s home environment and exposure to other animals. In that case, your veterinarian will want to know.
Your veterinarian will perform an eye examination and a comprehensive physical check. Specific eye examinations to check the cornea’s surface for any abrasions, measure eye pressure, and your veterinarian will almost certainly recommend measuring tear production.
Basic blood tests and testing to rule out any infections that may have caused the uveitis may be required. Among the difficulties that may be performed are:
- a full blood count
- Biochemistry panel
- Feline leukemia test
- FIV test
- Toxoplasmosis test
Treatment for Cats with Uveitis
Uveitis is treated with both targeted and generalist therapies, depending on the unique causes of the disease.
For example, medications for the high blood pressure may be prescribed as part of a specific treatment plan. Treatment for infectious diseases that are not curable, such as FIV, focuses on lowering your cat’s symptoms and assisting them through flare-ups.
To relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation, your veterinarian may prescribe topical eye drugs and systemic treatments. These are some examples:
- Prednisolone acetate
- Topical NSAIDs
Surgery will almost certainly be required in the event of eye tumors.
Cat Uveitis Recovery and Treatment
A veterinary visit for a comprehensive examination, diagnostic tests, and medication therapy can resolve many cases of feline uveitis. Your cat will have a follow-up appointment with the veterinarian to examine healing and the condition’s resolution.
Other cats aren’t so lucky and will need months of care. Fungal infections in cats are notoriously difficult to treat because the underlying fungal cause can be tough to eradicate.
Recheck visits for uveitis in cats are necessary, as they are for other eye disorders, to assess the success of treatment and track your cat’s healing process.
You’ll also need to watch your cat at home to ensure their symptoms don’t return since untreated uveitis can lead to blindness or the loss of an eye.
Is it possible to treat uveitis in cats?
Addressing the underlying cause of uveitis and treating any ocular complications is the best strategy to prevent vision loss. Although uveitis is a complex disease to treat, it can be managed with the help of your veterinarian and veterinary ophthalmologist.
Is uveitis a common occurrence in cats?
In cats, uveitis is a frequent and painful eye illness that can lead to blindness. In cats, uveitis is a common and painful eye illness that can lead to blindness.
What causes uveitis in cats?
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Toxoplasma gondii, Bartonella henselae, fungal infections (frequently region-dependent), neoplasia, and trauma are all common causes of feline uveitis.
Is it possible for uveitis to swap eyes?
Uveitis can permanently damage the eyes, resulting in irreversible visual loss. Uveitis can also be caused by another disease or condition that, if not addressed, might result in significant sickness.
Is Anisocoria reversible in cats?
The likelihood of complete recovery is dependent on the cause of the anisocoria. It’s pretty improbable that your cat’s blindness will be reversed if it develops due to the underlying condition. Your cat may need long-term medication to control the underlying problem in some circumstances.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or comments.