Corneal dystrophy in cats: causes, symptoms and remedies

Corneal dystrophy is a disease of the eye, which in some cases can lead to blindness in the cat. Let’s find out how to recognize the onset of the disease and what are the main remedies.

As is well known, the most developed sense of the cat is the sense of smell. However, vision also has its importance, and some pathologies can compromise its functionality. Among them is corneal dystrophy, which affects the cornea and in severe cases can lead the cat to blindness. Let’s find out what the symptoms of the disease are and how to intervene.

The various forms of corneal dystrophy

The term corneal dystrophy is used to indicate a set of disorders of the cornea.

As is known, it is a membrane of the eye, which protects the pupil and the iris and plays a fundamental role in focusing images on the retina.

Corneal dystrophy in cats is not very common (it is much more common in dogs); however it is very important to learn to recognize the symptoms, as in the most serious cases or in the hypothesis in which no action is taken, it can lead the feline to blindness.

It is a degenerative and hereditary disease, to the onset of which some breeds of cats are more predisposed than others, such as the Manx.

There are three types of corneal dystrophy:

  • Epithelial, caused by an abnormal development of the membrane at the base of the epithelium. Among the dystrophies it is the most common;
  • Stromal, easily recognizable due to the opacity that characterizes the membrane;
  • Endothelial, triggered by the reduction in the number of cells within the cornea.

Symptoms of corneal dystrophy in cats

The symptoms of corneal dystrophy are different, and vary according to the pathological form that has affected the cat.

The epithelial form arises at an early age: on average this type of disease affects the cat within the first year of life, and then progresses slowly.

It can give rise to eye spasms and corneal lesions, recognizable by their white or grey color. In severe cases, the epithelial form can also cause membrane ulcers.

The stromal form, on the other hand, is characterized by the opaque appearance of the cornea, which over time affects the view. Corneal spasms can also occur in this case.

Even the endothelial corneal dystrophy affects the cat at a young age. Typical symptoms are swelling and the appearance of corneal ulcers, as well as worsening of vision over time.

How to cure

In the presence of the symptoms described, it is necessary to promptly contact your trusted veterinarian; although there is no definitive cure, it is necessary not to neglect the treatment of the pathological state, which over time can degenerate and lead the feline to blindness.

The most appropriate therapeutic treatment will vary according to the type of corneal dystrophy afflicting the cat, the symptoms that have arisen, the general state of health of the animal and the age. Although the disease cannot be stopped, with adequate care you can ensure your four-legged friend a good quality of life for many years.

It is very important to make the feline lead an adequate lifestyle, starting with nutrition; It is necessary to take care of the cleaning of the cat’s eyes and to monitor the state of corneal dystrophy.

The pathology is not usually painful, except for the hypothesis in which no ulcers appear; in this case it is necessary to treat the infection with antibiotic therapy.

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