What is Eye Displacement?
If your cat suffers an injury that results in eye displacement, you'll need to contact your veterinarian immediately. The quicker you get your cat to the doctor, the better its chances are of retaining its vision.
Eye displacement, or proptosis, is a condition that results in the protrusion of a cat's eye from its eye socket. This condition can cause the eyelid to get stuck behind the eye and puts the cat at risk of losing its sight. Trauma to the cat's face or head is commonly the reason behind the eye displacement.
Symptoms of Eye Displacement in Cats
Although the most obvious symptom of eye displacement is the protruding of the cat's eye from its socket, there are a few additional symptoms that are less pronounced.
- Inflammation in the front chamber of the eye
- Abnormalities within the pupil
- Cloudy or discolored cornea
- Other facial bone fractures
- Bleeding from the inner eye
- Eyelid spasms
Causes of Eye Displacement in Cats
The cause of eye displacement is typically some type of trauma or injury to the face or head, such as from a significant fall, being struck by a vehicle, or fighting with other animals. Rarely, eye displacement may be caused by tumors or infection.
Diagnosis of Eye Displacement in Cats
Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose your cat with eye displacement after a thorough examination. Although the protruding of the eye from its socket will be evident, only the veterinarian will be able to determine the extent of the condition.
In addition to an examination of the affected eye, the veterinarian will also perform an x-ray. This determines if there are any injuries to the facial bones or skull that will also need to be addressed.
Treatment of Eye Displacement in Cats
As soon as your cat is brought in for treatment, you can expect a lubricant to be placed on the cat's affected eye, as well as a few antibiotic drops to prevent infection. Additional treatment is determined by the severity of the eye displacement.
If your cat is in stable condition and does not have any internal injuries from the trauma it suffered, it will undergo anesthesia so that the eye can be surgically placed back in the socket. First, the veterinarian will clean out the eye socket and then unroll the eyelids. Next, he or she will gently position the eye back in the socket. Finally, the eyelid will be drawn over the eye and temporarily stitched shut. The stitches may be removed as early as seven days following the surgery, or as long as 21 days after.
When a cat's eye is severely damaged, it is often necessary to completely remove the displaced eye. During surgery, the veterinarian will take out the eye, the surrounding tissue, and the tips of the eyelids. The final step is to sew the eyelids shut. Unlike the replacement surgery, the eyelids are permanently closed and there will be no removal of the sutures at a later date.
Antibiotics and Pain Medications
Whether your cat was able to have its eye repositioned or completely removed, it will need to follow a course of antibiotics to keep infections at bay. Pain will be managed with prescription medications. It is important that you follow all of your veterinarian's directions in regard to care following surgery for eye displacement.
Recovery of Eye Displacement in Cats
Follow up appointments are needed after surgery has been completed in order to watch for and prevent possible complications. It is important to keep an eye on swelling and to inform your veterinarian if you notice any discharge from the eye that is yellow or green in color. This indicates a potential infection. Your cat will need to wear an E-collar at home so that it doesn't accidentally scratch the eye before it has had a chance to heal. Once the doctor is able to remove the stitches at your follow up appointment, he or she will be able to determine if the cat has suffered permanent blindness. Total recovery time can be anywhere between two and four weeks.
Eye Displacement Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
how much will it cost to treat my 7yr old cat, I noticed that his left eye is slightly larger than the right. I researched and found out that it could be eye displacement. He isn't showing any signs of injury or swelling and is functioning normally, the only thing hat i have noticed is that his left eye is slightly bulging.
Eye displacement or proptosis in cats is usually caused by trauma; but may also be caused by tumours, infection (abscess) or bleeding (hematoma). The treatment will be dependent on the cause of the displacement and may result in the loss of the eye in severe cases. Medical management with antibiotics would be considerable cheaper than surgery. Surgery costs may vary depending on the underlying cause, your location and whether you visit a Specialist or not; generally you would be looking at a few thousand considering aftercare etc… Speaking with Jarro’s Veterinarian would be able to give an accurate cost. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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