Can you tell whether a cat has crossed eyes just by looking at it?
Although some people are born with a condition called “crossed eyes,” the condition may also emerge later in life. Convergent strabismus in cats is rather common, and most cats that are born with it adapt well to their condition and live happy, healthy lives. Adult cats with crossed eyes may have a more significant medical condition.
When the eyes don’t line up properly, it’s called strabismus.
Although some people are born with a condition called “crossed eyes,” the condition may also emerge later in life. Convergent strabismus in cats is rather common, and most cats that are born with it adapt well to their condition and live happy, healthy lives. Adult cats with crossed eyes may have a more significant medical condition. Get your pet checked out by the vet if you see any of these symptoms.
A issue with the inner ear might be to blame for a cat’s wobbly gait if it’s affecting its equilibrium. Abrupt shifts in eye position may also be brought on by illness or trauma.
Eyes may move laterally and vertically because of the action of tiny muscles. Abnormal eye movement happens when one of these muscles is overworked or overstretched, or when the nerves that regulate these muscles are injured. This condition is known as strabismus.
This condition affects the eyes, either individually or both together. The medical term for a case in which one eye turns inward toward the nose is esotropia. When a cat’s eyes are turned in opposite directions, it gives the appearance of being cross-eyed.
An individual with this condition has what is called convergent strabismus. Cats of some breeds, like Siamese cats, seem genetically susceptible to a certain disorder.
Crossed Eyes in Cats: Possible Signs
When symptoms appear suddenly, it might be a sign of something more severe going on. If you observe any of these signs in your cat, don’t delay in taking him to the clinic.
- Both or just one eye looking in a strange way
- Disorganized eye blinking
- The Symptom of Nystagmus (involuntary rapid eye movement)
- Paralysis of one eye
- Disparity in pupil size
- Head tilting
- With a slant of the body
- Walking is difficult
- Loss of appetite
What Can Cause Cats’ Eyes to Cross?
Most incidences of convergent strabismus in cats are congenital and pose no health risks to the animal. These problems are evident early in life. When crossed eyes appear in adulthood, it’s usually a symptom of something more serious going on within. There are many known factors, including:
- Disposition at birth (commonly seen in Siamese, Persian and Himalayan cat breeds)
- Diseases of the vestibular system (disease of the inner ear)
- Bleeding in the Eyes
- Malformation of the facial features, limbs, or brain during birth
- Virus that causes leukaemia in cats
- Injury to the nervous system
- Caused by fluid buildup in the brain, or hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
- Brain and nerve system tumours
- Tumor development, either benign or malignant
How to Tell If a Cat Has Crossed Eyes
Immediately take your cat to the clinic if you see that it has developed crossed eyes. When diagnosing your cat’s condition, the doctor will require access to its whole medical history. We shall next conduct a thorough neurological and ophthalmological evaluation.
This method may assist determine if the issue is with the eyes, muscles, nerves, or brain. Reflexes, normal motion, and hearing problems are all possible areas to investigate during a neurological examination. Schirmer tear test, pupillary light reflex test, tonometry (eye pressure test), and corneal fluorescein staining are only few of the tests that make up an ophthalmologic assessment.
There will be a full blood count and biochemical profile performed when blood is drawn. This will reveal the cat’s general health and aid in the detection of cancer (the presence of cancer).
The blood samples should also be examined for feline leukaemia virus. In addition to revealing bacterial illnesses, urinalysis may also provide insight into how the body is functioning. Skull X-rays may be required to definitively diagnose cancers.
In order to acquire a clearer picture of the eyes and the brain, doctors may often prescribe a CT scan or MRI. Pre-anesthetic testing may help vets determine whether a cat is healthy enough for surgery.
When Cats Have Crossed Eyes, Here’s How to Fix It
If the problem is not inherited, then it has to be fixed. Convergent strabismus may have benign origins can be caused by something far more dangerous, such as a tumour.
Rectification Through Operation
Injury to the eye muscles might result in irregular lengths or strengths, and in such cases, ophthalmic surgeons may be able to undertake corrective surgery. This method has been shown to be effective in correcting misalignment of the eyes. To perform this treatment, general anaesthesia will be used. Assuming no negative impact on quality of life, this is often ignored.
Assuming removal of the tumour is feasible, it will be done so if it is determined that a tumour is the root cause of the eye problems. Surgery alone may not be enough if the tumour is malignant; radiation treatment and chemotherapy are often used together for the best possible outcome. Eye removal for cancer might be essential to stop the spread of the disease (spreading).
It is common practise to provide antibiotics to patients immediately after surgery in order to curb the risk of infection. When the vestibular system is affected by germs, antibiotics may be required as well. An average prescription should last between two and four weeks.
Eye muscles may be strengthened with physical therapy after surgery or before it is performed if the cat is not a good surgical candidate. The treatment may include regular sessions of eye exercises with your cat. Not every cat will play nice!