Dry eye in cats, also known as keratoconjunctivitis or KCS, is not an uncommon condition in cats and usually occurs as a result of chronic feline herpesvirus illnesses. Dry Eye occurs when the proper amount of tears are not produced by the glands above the eye in the cat's third eyelid. As a result, the cornea of the eye becomes dry, inflamed, and irritated.

KCS is usually defined by the tear glands’ inability to produce water in the tears. Due to the fact that tears are a combination of mostly water with an addition of oil and mucus, if left untreated KCS will result in eyes which have a thick oily mucus layer over the eyes. In most cases, both eyes are affected.

With time, the cornea can become scratched and scarred, and blindness will eventually occur. Dry eye is also a notoriously painful condition, and cats with this illness may also suffer from depression and irritability as a result of their pain.

Symptoms of Dry Eye in Cats

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Cat owners should know what to look for in their cats when considering the possible existence of dry eye. The most obvious warning sign is a thick yellow-green discharge of mucous that forms at the corner of the eyes. Inflammation of certain parts of the eye, like the thin membrane that lines the eyelid or the cornea, could also occur.

But a cat might let his owner know all by itself. That’s because the pain and discomfort caused by dry eye will likely lead to the cat constantly pawing at the eyes in a futile attempt at some relief. That should be a telltale sign that the cat should be taken to see a veterinarian.

VIZOOVET for Cats (pdf)

Clean their eyes before meds

Before administering any lubes, meds, tear replacements or immunosuppressives it a real good idea the clean the eye of any exudate or debris.