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Cat Eye Care Basics

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Cat Eye Care Basics

Establishing an Eye Care Routine Your pet may not always be able to keep her eyes and the areas around her eyes clean. If she rubs them against carpeting or furniture, or rubs them with her paws (which have nails), she can cause scratches to her eye or allow even more debris to enter. Since eye infections can result when bacteria build up in the accumulated discharge around the eye, providing regular eye care is important for your cat's health. She'll think she's getting special attention, especially if you give her plenty of praise and love while checking and cleaning her, and she'll definitely be more content if her eyes are free of any discharge.

Always examine your pet's eyes in strong lighting. When her eyes are healthy, they are moist and clear. If there is redness or swelling, or if she squints or you see a discharge of mucus, these may be indications of an eye infection. Monitor her eyes closely and do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you suspect something is wrong.

Keeping eyes free of hair If your pet's hair has grown long enough to get into her eyes, it is important that you trim it. Irritation and even tiny scratches to the cornea can result from contact with hair, and they can be very painful and are a serious health threat to your cat, with the potential of causing permanent loss of vision. Use only blunt-nosed scissors when trimming your pet's hair, so if she moves suddenly you won't harm her. Trim her hair in a line that's parallel to the edge of the eyelid.

Removing Eye Discharge and Debris It is important to remove dirt and dust from around your cat's external eye area, so these pollutants can't work their way into your cat's eyes, causing discomfort and risk of infection. Some cats with chronic viral infections may periodically develop eye discharge. External cleaning helps wipe away lingering discharge, which can get trapped in your cat's hair and harbor bacteria. And, frequent external cleanings are essential to the prevention of unsightly tear stains. Tear staining is a problem in certain cat breeds, including Persians, and becomes very unsightly if not treated. Tear stains result when normal tears spill out at the corners of the eyes and settle on the surrounding hair, causing discoloration. Eye Clens® Eye Wash and Pads can be used in and around the eye to remove accumulated debris.

Protecting the Eye A sterile, protective eye ointment can be used before bathing, dipping, grooming, tear stain removal, for "dry eye" and more. If your cat may have an infection, have her examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Depending on the cause, your veterinarian may recommend using an ointment with an antibiotic, such as Terramycin Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment.


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