Tumors of the feline eye are relatively uncommon, but when they occur, they can significantly affect a cat’s quality of life and may be a harbinger of disease elsewhere in the body. Feline ocular post traumatic sarcoma (FOPTS) is an aggressive form of ocular neoplasia (abnormal growth) that was first described in cats in 1983. FOPTS may be diagnosed in cats that have experienced trauma or severe intraocular infections and, while diagnosis is usually made between six and seven years after trauma/infection, latency periods may range between several months and 10 years after the presumed inciting event.
While a cause for FOPTS has not been definitively determined, a potential link between intravitreal gentamicin injections (a shot of the antibiotic gentamicin in the eye sometimes used to treat glaucoma pain) and FOPTS has been proposed. Enucleation (removal of the eye) is currently the therapy of choice due to this disease’s aggressive nature, and this procedure is considered palliative, as enucleation does not appear to provide a survival benefit in cats diagnosed with FOPTS.
Long-term vigilance regarding ocular health in cats that have experienced trauma and/or severe intraocular infections remains vital.
J Feline Med Surg. 2019 Sep;21(9):835-842. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19870389.