Pets as well as people are susceptible to ophthalmic diseases. One of the most common is cataract-a dangerous pathology that, if not treated in a timely manner, can lead to complete blindness.
Causes of the disease
The main role in the normal functioning of the visual organ is assigned to the lens — a transparent biconvex lens that focuses light. The transparent lens serves as a conductor of light and images that enter the eyes and are analyzed by the brain. Complete or partial opacity of the lens, accompanied by loss of vision, is called a cataract.
Cataracts are the scourge of older animals that are more than 8 years old. This is due to the wear and tear of the body’s natural resources and a slow metabolism.
However, other factors can also lead to cataracts:
- trauma to the lens as a result of thermal or chemical burns, contact with a foreign body in the eye, impact, scratches;
- a dangerous pathological condition of the eye;
- diabetes mellitus, endocrine diseases;
- prolonged exposure to the allergen;
- intoxication of the body (chemical, parasitic).
In addition, cataracts can be triggered by viruses, bacteria transmitted by the mother to her offspring during childbirth or in utero.
The main symptoms
The initial stage of cataracts is almost asymptomatic. Reduced vision in cats can not be noticed due to the fact that hearing and smell in animals are developed perfectly.
Pathology manifests itself even when the optical parts of the lens are damaged. The cat ceases to navigate in an unfamiliar room, moves uncertainly and bumps into furniture and objects, becomes awkward in games.
A clear sign of cataract is the appearance of a spot or film on the eye, indicating that the lens is clouded.
Which breeds are more susceptible
Cataracts can occur in any animal, but there are breeds in which it is diagnosed most often. We are talking about breeds with a brachycephalic structure of the skull, which provokes the development of destructive processes-exotics, Persians, British, Scots. In domestic cats, cataracts occur in rare cases.
Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic
To confirm or refute the diagnosis of “cataract”, in addition to visual examination of the eyes, the ophthalmologist conducts special examination methods: examination of the visual organ using side lighting, biomicroscopy.
The method of retroillumination helps to identify the exact location of lens opacity. In some cases, retinal electroretinography is prescribed.
Complex diagnostics, as a rule, does not cause difficulties for specialists.
Treatment method and prognosis
Unfortunately, cataracts are not treated. The quality of vision will inevitably decrease. However, you can prevent blindness with medication. The earlier it starts to rein, the longer the animal will remain sighted.
Treatment is aimed at combating the main disease that caused cataracts. So, if the opacity of the lens is provoked by an infection, antibiotics are prescribed. In diabetes, the blood sugar level is monitored and monitored. Injuries often require surgery.
Conservative therapy using drops of Vicein, Taufon, Vitafacol, Katalin, and Quinax is designed to stop degenerative processes in the optical system of the eyes. The effect of these drugs is to activate metabolic processes, improve tissue nutrition, and slow down the deposition of protein structures in the lens.
Treatment is carried out in courses (30 days with a subsequent break of 1 month) under the supervision of an ophthalmologist, as complications are possible. Drops are instilled twice a day, one drop in each eye.
The use of proteolytic enzymes (papain, chymotrypsin), tissue preparations, and immunomodulators can also slow down the opacity of the lens.
A mandatory element of treatment is vitamin therapy to strengthen the immune system. Cats with cataracts should get vitamins C and B2.
There are also operative methods of cataract treatment in cats — extracapsular resection, intracapsular resection, phacoemulsification. However, you need to understand that they are not carried out in all clinics and are very expensive. In addition, some of them have high risks of re-development of the disease.
What to do at home
The task of the owner is to provide the most comfortable living conditions for your pet. Like a person, a sick animal needs affection, caring attitude, attention. A cat that loses its sight will feel much more confident if it feels the support of people.
If a pet has had an operation, it will be followed by a long rehabilitation period. Recovery includes the use of antibacterial drugs, ophthalmic drops that relieve corneal puffiness and pain.
To prevent the cat from scratching its eyes and getting infected, a special collar is put on it. The condition of the operated cat is evaluated by a veterinary specialist: examinations are carried out monthly for six months.
Cat nutrition both during treatment and after surgery should be balanced in composition, enriched with vitamins.
Cataract prevention measures include preventing mechanical damage to the visual organ, regular examinations by an ophthalmologist, and timely treatment of diseases that can cause lens opacity.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.