Cherry eyes, also known as prolapsed nictitans glands, are a common eye condition in cats. The condition occurs when the cat’s third eyelid is pushed out of its normal place and begins to protrude from the corner of their eye. This protrusion can cause irritation and discomfort for your cat, as well as an unsightly appearance.
Symptoms of Feline Cherry Eyes
Common symptoms of cherry eyes include:
- Redness and swelling in the corner of their eyes
- Watery eyes
- A “bulging” appearance in the corner of their eyes
- Eye discharge
- Squinting or pawing at the affected eye
- General irritation
Causes of Feline Cherry Eyes
The exact cause of cherry eyes is not known, but it’s believed to be related to either the anatomy of the eye or their immune system. In some cases, an injury or infection in the area can lead to cherry eyes. It’s also possible that genetics may play a role in some cats.
Diagnosing Feline Cherry Eyes
If you suspect your cat may be suffering from cherry eyes, it’s important to get veterinary advice as soon as possible. Diagnosing the condition can involve a physical examination along with tests like an eye ultrasound or X-rays.
Stages of Feline Cherry Eyes
There are three stages of cherry eyes.
In the first stage, the third eyelid will be somewhat swollen and slightly protrude from the corner of their eye.
In the second stage, swelling increases and may begin to cover their pupil.
In the third and final stage, the entire third eyelid is visible and covers both parts of their eye.
Treatment for Feline Cherry Eyes
The primary treatment for cherry eyes is surgery. During the procedure, a veterinarian will remove the affected gland and reposition it in its normal place. The repositioning should help reduce irritation and improve the appearance of your cat’s eye.
In some cases, steroids or antibiotics can also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and infection before surgery. Supportive care like warm compresses and eye drops can also be beneficial.
It’s important to get veterinary attention as soon as possible if you think your cat may be suffering from cherry eyes. With the proper treatment, your cat should make a full recovery and return to normal activity levels in no time.
Preventing Feline Cherry Eyes
The best way to prevent cherry eyes is to give your cat good eye care. Good eye care includes regular check-ups from a veterinarian and treating any eye infections promptly. It’s important to make sure your cat’s environment is free from irritants and allergens that may trigger the condition.