March 2008 Issue

Diagnosis: Cataracts

Luckily, this potentially blinding eye condition can be treated with surgery. Here's what you should know.

Catsí eyes, like those of humans and many other animals, are complex arrangements of delicate structural components that operate harmoniously in a normal, healthy animal to enable keen vision. Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong with one or more of these components as a result of disease, aging, traumatic injury or genetically acquired defects. Cataracts can seriously impair a catís vision and even cause blindness. Compared to the frequency of its occurrence in humans and dogs, this ocular disorder is rarely seen in cats, says Thomas Kern, DVM, associate professor of ophthalmology at Cornell Universityís College of Veterinary Medicine. Nevertheless, all cat owners should know the physical and behavioral signs of this disorder and the special needs of a visually impaired feline.

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