Glaucoma in Cats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cats often suffer from ophthalmic diseases, one of the most common is glaucoma, which leads to complete loss of vision.


In a cat, the normal parameters of intraocular pressure are considered to be 15-25 mmHg. if they are exceeded, there is an increase in the eyeball, and atrophy of the optic nerve occurs. These destructive changes cause the animal to lose its ability to see.

Factors that provoke the development of glaucoma include the following:

  • congenital abnormalities of the structure of the drainage system of the eye;
  • ophthalmic diseases (conjunctivitis, uveitis, etc.);
  • use of corticosteroid drugs for the treatment of eye diseases;
  • eye or skull damage due to trauma;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • old age;
  • hypertension.

Many experts also claim that glaucoma can develop against the background of the use of hormonal and steroid medications.

Which breeds are more susceptible

No cat is immune from glaucoma, but scientists identify some breeds whose representatives it is registered most often: Burmese, Persians, Siamese, exotics.

The main symptoms

Glaucoma does not make itself felt for a long time. The owner can pay attention to the fact that his pet has red eyes and contact the clinic. Thanks to this, the disease can be detected at the initial stage. As the pathology develops, the cat develops clinical signs, the most obvious of which is mydriasis (dilated pupils, lack of reaction to light).

The eyes of a pet are watery, swollen, sometimes red, and the eyelids close loosely. The eyeball increases in size, and the quality of vision decreases. The animal experiences pain and discomfort in the affected eye, squints and looks depressed.

Can refuse to eat, tries to hide in a dark place, away from daylight or electric light. Previously active pet does not show activity, poorly oriented in space. Jumping on the platform is difficult for him.

If the owner tries to play with the cat with a laser pointer, the reaction from the four-legged pet will not follow.

Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic

To confirm or refute the diagnosis of glaucoma, the ophthalmologist, in addition to visual examination, conducts the following studies: gonioscopy, ophthalmoscopy. The most reliable method of diagnosis is measurement of the intraocular fundus (tonometry).

Methods of treatment, the prognosis

Glaucoma is treated with conservative and operative methods.

Drug therapy is aimed at reducing the size of the eyeball, normalizing the fundus indicators. Stabilization of the drainage system of the visual organ is achieved by using drugs such as Timolol, Mannitol, Dichlorophenamide. Constrict the pupils help mytiki Postlip, Physostigmine, Pilocarpine.

Corticosteroids and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are used as prescribed by a doctor.

A more effective method of fighting glaucoma is laser treatment. Surgical methods include partial removal of the ciliary body or drainage of the anterior chamber. If the eye is completely blind, it is removed.

In most cases, the prognosis for glaucoma is unfavorable. It is impossible to stop vision loss with medication, and operations and laser treatment are very expensive, and not every cat owner can afford it.

Prevention measures

Glaucoma prevention includes timely treatment of diabetes, prevention of injuries, and regular checkups with a veterinarian.