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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My cat has come home with a blood shot left eye and very

Customer Question

My cat has come home with a blood shot left eye and very lathargic.. Won't eat and I looks like he can't see from it.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm Dr. Barbara, a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years experience, and I'd like to help you today.

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Many different problems can lead to a blood shot eye, but I am concerned more with the fact that you think he can't see from the eye. Elevated blood pressure will frequently cause sudden blindness in one or both eyes from retinal detachment. This can often be reversed if treated right away.

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

However, the suddenness of his red eye and the fact that your kitty won't eat makes me wonder if he wasn't in a fight and perhaps now has a scratch on his cornea (which is usually not visible without a special stain your vet will have).

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Has your cat been fine in every way until now?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Absolutely fine until we found him hiding under the sofa this afternoon. he's normally a very sociable and tactile cat. He now won't open the blood shot eye. He still hasn't eaten (even ham) and is still lathargic. Do you think this is an injury? Or an illness? If it was an illness it would be both eyes?? Xx
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How would I know if he had elevated blood pressure?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He definitely can't see from the eye!! And the pupil in the other eye is big and round... The damaged one is small and cloudy xx
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for your response!

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Most likely this is an injury to the blood shot eye. When the pupil is constricted that means there is also an anterior uveitis. In other words there is inflammation/infection in the eye.

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

But he would still be able to see from the affected eye.

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

There is the possibility that his blood pressure is elevated also. The most common cause of this in cats is hyperthyroidism or kidney disease. How old is your cat?

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Your vet will have equipment to measure his blood pressure. Human sphygmomanometers aren't useful for cats (this is a blood pressure cuff).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He can't see from it...We've covered one of his eyes and tested him lots of times now... He definitely can't see out of it. And he keeps sort of jumping in pain every so often... At first I thought it was because he was trying to open his
eye... But now it seems to be when he moves ears/head.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He's only 5
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Thanks. Hyperthyroidism is very unusual in such a young cat, and kidney disease would have caused other symptoms that you would have noticed over the past weeks to months, so this is very likely an acute injury he has sustained.

It sounds very likely that this injury is deep in the eye (constricted pupil, loss of vision, cloudy cornea/anterior chamber of the eye). I do recommend that he see a veterinarian there now to have the best chance of restoring his vision and, at the very least, save his eye.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is there anything I can give him for pain before I get him to the vets in the morning? I know paracetamol is off limits. What about children's ibuprofen suspension? Or is that a no no too? Xx
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

Both acetaminophen and ibuprofen are toxic to cats, but aspirin can be used if dosed correctly. The dose is 10mg/kg every 2-3 days.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Don't have any aspirin! Damn! But thanks for advice. I'm not normally a worrier... (5 kids!😜) but he really looks in pain. Vets first thing! X
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome! After chatting, I really do think he is sore from a fight during which he sustained a scratch or puncture to the eye. He should be seen right away tomorrow morning by your vet to have antibiotics, pain reliever, and eye medication begun. It is also very important to keep him from rubbing the eye. Hopefully tonight he will just sleep.

Let your vet's receptionist know that he is somewhat of an emergency since his eye is severely injured.

Best of luck to you both!

Dr. Barbara

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Barbara

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