Watery Eyes Average Cost

From 350 quotes ranging from $200 - 1,000

Average Cost

$500

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What are Watery Eyes?

Watery eyes, known as epiphora in the veterinary world, is defined as an abnormal overflow of tears. Veterinarians commonly see epiphora in brachycephalic breeds, such as Himalayans and Persians, whose congenital abnormalities cause an over exposure of the eyeball to the outside world. Watery eyes is also connected to two other congenital abnormalities including distichiasis and entropion, conditions in which the eyelids or eyelashes turn inward causing irritation to the eyeball. 

If your cat has allergies, a foreign object trapped in the eye, or a viral infection similar to the common cold, her eyes could become excessively watery for a temporary period of time. However, if your cat’s eyes have been abnormally watery since birth or for an extended period of time, the problem could be the symptom of a condition that requires veterinary attention.

Symptoms of Watery Eyes in Cats

Watery eyes in cats is fairly easy to recognize, especially in white-haired felines as the overproduction of tears causes a brown/reddish staining on the face, just below the eyes. Other symptoms of watery eyes in cats include: 

  • Red eyes
  • Squinting 
  • Scratching of the eyes
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Eye discharge 
  • Droopy skin around the eyes orbit
  • Ulceration of the cornea

Causes of Watery Eyes in Cats

Watery Eyes in cats can be caused by a number of underlying health complications, but it is commonly seen in short faced cats. Short faced, or brachycephalic cat breeds, are genetically predisposed to have short noses and bulging eyes. The outset eyes are not protected from dirt, pollen and other elements that can scratch and inflame the eye, causing the eyes to water. The condition in which portions of the eye become scratched, referring to the conjunctiva of the eye, is known as conjunctivitis. Other causes of watery eyes in cats include the following: 

  • Eyelid Tumors 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): extremely rare, but the most commonly seen eye-associated tumor in cats. White cats are the most commonly affected group. 
  • Glaucoma: eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve commonly seen in older felines. 
  • Trauma
  • Scratches (elements or other animals)
  • Facial bone fractures (hit-by-car accidents)
  • Trapped foreign elements in the eye
  • Parasites
  • Distemper
  • FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
  • FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)  
  • Tear duct blockage due to a structural deformity of the tear duct or inflammation caused by a secondary condition. 
  • Distichiasis: irregular growth of eyelashes
  • Entropion: turning inward of the eyelashes

Diagnosis of Watery Eyes in Cats

Any information regarding your cat’s medical history and behavior that you can provide the veterinarian can aid him or her in the diagnosis. To better pinpoint the cause of your cat’s watery eyes, the veterinarian may also perform:

  • A physical examination 
  • An allergy test to rule out allergies as the cause
  • A fluorescein stain test to view trauma the eye that are not easily seen. This is a non-invasive test that will not cause pain to your cat. The veterinarian simply stains the eyeball and shines a blue light into the eye for viewing purposes. 
  • The Schirmer tear test, a test using small strips to evaluate tear levels of the eye. 
  • A tonometry test, performed to evaluate the intraocular pressure or fluid within the eye. This test is commonly performed to rule out or diagnose glaucoma. 
  • Radiographs, an MRI, or a CT to check for internal abnormalities within the skull. 
  • Laboratory analysis of cultured discharged from the eye.

Treatment of Watery Eyes in Cats

Treating watery eyes in your cat will depend on the underlying cause. Treatment of watery eyes in cats may be include of the following:

  • Removal of the foreign body lodged in the eye
  • Antihistamine treatment to manage allergies 
  • Topical antibiotics for treatment of infection
  • Pain alleviating ointments to aid the healing of trauma, conjunctivitis, and congenital abnormalities

In the case of tear duct blockage, a catheter may be placed within the tear duct to open the duct and allow fluid to pass. Surgical repair of the eyelid may be necessary to treat abnormal eyelid formation such as an Entropion. 

Distichiasis can be treated by removing the hairs using a process called cryosurgery. 

Eyelid tumors will require aggressive treatment and if caught early, can be surgically removed. 

Recovery of Watery Eyes in Cats

Recovery and management of watery eyes in your cat is dependent of the severity of the condition. If your cat has been prescribed medication to alleviate pain due to a foreign object obstruction or antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms, recovery should begin within a few days. Management will mainly take place at home with occasional trips to the veterinarian. However, if you cat has undergone a surgical procedure, recovery and management will take longer, requiring more veterinarian attention. Your veterinarian will want to reevaluate your cat and check on the progress of the treatment. 

Watery Eyes Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Bella & Ed
Russian Blue
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

I rescued 2 kittens which are now about 8 months and I haven't vaccinated them should I be concerned then being around my daughters even though they are home cats never go out my 6 year old got some black dots that look like scrapes

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
It is always advisable to vaccinate cats, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats as well as give regular worming and flea & tick treatments. If you six year old has some dots on their skin you should speak with your Family Physician and then work backwards to see if the cats are the cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kiwi
American Shorthair
11 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Glassy eyes
Squinting
Sneezing
Watery eyes

Medication Used

L-lysine

My 11 month old cat has had one squinty eye since I got her 3 months ago. Now her eyes are watering really bad and her eyes look slightly glazed over. Ice also heard her sneeze 3 times. I cant take her to the vet for 2 weeks, what can I do for her until then.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
There are various possible causes for the eyes to be like this which may include allergies, irritants, foreign objects, respiratory tract infections, nasolacrimal duct issues among other issues; you could try to give Kiwi cetirizine 5mg per day to see if there is any improvement in the eyes. Other than that, I cannot really recommend anything without examining her. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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FIDO
Maine Coon
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I have a Maine Coon male cat. His name is Fido, since he acts like a dog. Plays fetch, follows and such. 9 years olds. Has been fixed. His left eye is watery.
Clear water, not sticky.
His eye is not inflamed
not swollen
no redness
the eye is clear, not cloudy,
He is not squinting he hasn't been messing or rubbing it.
I can wipe it and he doesn't pull away, so I'm going with not painful.

He is not on any medications

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
It is possible that if the watery eye is unilateral with no sign of inflammation or infection that the cause may be a blocked nasolacrimal duct; a check with your Veterinarian will confirm and they will attempt to open up the duct to allow tears to run down into the nasal cavity instead of down Fido’s face. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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SUZZY
REGULAR CAT
7 YEARS
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I HAVE A 7 YEAR OLD FEMALE CAT THAT SEEMS TO GET SEASONAL WATERY EYE IN ONE EYE. IS THERE AN OVER THE COUNTER EYE DROP THAT WILL HELP? IT DOES NOT SEEM TO BOTHER HER.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
A seasonal allergy in one eye is uncommon, normally both eyes would be affected; it is also possible that a latent viral infection is causing this runny eye each year as well. If there are no other symptoms I would just let it run its course. You could give cetirizine at a dose of 5mg per day to see if there is any improvement but otherwise a hands on examination would be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Apollo
American Shorthair
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Watery eye
Third eye showing
Sneezing

Medication Used

Vitamin c
Immuno boost natural supplement
L-lysine

Is there eye drops or something I can get OTC for my cat to help get his eye back to normal? His third eye is showing, looks a little red or inflamed, Clear watering out of his eye. I wipe it as much as I can & use a warm wash cloth 1-2 times a day. Pretty sure it's allergies, heard a few sneezes no discharge. It started when the weather changed & the temp in our house dropped b4 we put the heat on. Started about 5 days ago.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
You could try to give cetirizine at a dose of 5mg per day to see if that helps with any allergies. Flushing out the eye with sterile saline may also help; if the eye is getting dry artificial tears may also help. If there is no improvement you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine if there is another cause; unfortunately there isn’t an ‘at home’ treatment for everything. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Santa
Tabby siamese
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Watery eyes, squinting
Watery eyes,

My cat is one. His eyes are watering. He often squints and closes an eye. He has squinted and closed one eye since he was a kitten. There is no redness. No thick discharge. Just light watery substance.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1690 Recommendations
It is possible that Santa has allergies or has some issue which is causing eye trouble from a young age; if this issue occurs year round since a kitten I would suggest having your Veterinarian take a look to make sure that the nasolacrimal duct isn’t blocked and there are no other issues which may be causing these symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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