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Debris on cat's eye.

Species: Cat
Breed: mix/shorthair
Age: 2-5 years
Good afternoon! My cat seems to be having eye issues. 6 months ago I took her to the vet for a white spot on the lower inside surface of her right eye (right side when you're looking at her). The vet said it looked like an abrasion, not a cataract, and gave me antibiotic drops (neomycin). The spot is still there and now she also has a similar spot on the lower inside of the surface of her left eye. She also has a thin layer of brownish funky stuff on the inside corner of both of her eyes (worse on her left one) that isn't her third eyelid. She has no discharge, swelling, or redness, and though her right eye seemed to bother her every once in awhile 6 months ago (squinting for 10 - 15 minutes at a time every few days), now, neither eye seems to be giving her any pain.
She was the daughter of a stray and I did see online that strays can tend to get cataracts. She can see fine to catch toys out of mid air, but she has trouble seeing treats if they're on our dark kitchen carpet. I have pics from 6 months ago and both eyes are getting worse, so I guess my question is do you have a guess as to what's wrong and am I right in thinking I should take her maybe to a veterinary opthamologist rather than my regular vet? Thank you!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for the excellent pictures you have sent. Stitch is a beautiful cat! She reminds me of my cat Paisley.

Here is the picture from 6 months ago:

mild keratitis

And here are the pictures from now. I've zoomed in on the eye for one of these:

feline keratitis

herpes or eosinophilic keratitis in a cat

Now, I can't give you a diagnosis over the internet but I can give you my thoughts and you can have some good questions to ask your vet.

The first photo, from the summer time kind of does look like there is some type of a scar or abrasion. I likely would have made the same conclusion. However, the more recent photos do not look like an abrasion.

My guess is that this is either eosinophilic keratitis or herpes keratitis. Quite often we don't know the cause for this but it can be because of a herpes virus. Don't worry, it's not contagious to people at all.

The only way to get a diagnosis for this is to have your vet apply a topical anesthetic and scrape a few cells from the eye. It sounds gross, but cats tolerate it well.

We usually use a steroid drop to treat this. But some cat will need anti-viral drops in the eye.

It really should be treated even if it is not seeming to be bothersome because it can get much worse.

Unfortunately for many cats this can be a lifelong condition but it is usually controlled well with medication.

I'd recommend you see your vet soon and ask about the possibility of keratitis.

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Well that's a relief! It would be great if this is something we can treat with just drops, even if I always have to give them to her :-) She and I have a great relationship and she was really good for me when I gave her the antibiotic drops,. I can even do without a second person holding her! Thank you so much for the tips, I will take her to my vet this week!
-Tracy


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.