Ask the expert… Sep-Oct 2007


Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.
Q : I have an eight-month-old male Persian white cat who is very active, eats well but has got eye discharge. Please advise.
– PV Rhea
Dr. K. G. Umesh : There are several causes for eye discharge in a young kitten, may be primary (e.g. infectious) or secondary to an underlying eye or systemic diseases (e.g. glaucoma, uveitis, immune-mediated disease etc). Infections (flu like) are common in pure breed kittens. Likewise, irritation from foreign body or dust may also cause eye discharge. Occasionally, a clear discharge may be a normal feature in breeds like Persians due to abnormal or blocked nasolacrimal ducts, which drain the fluid (tears) from eye surface to nose. On the other hand, a thick, cloudy discharge may well indicate bacterial or viral infection. Some diseases are mild and self-limiting, while some require further eye examination or tests. Therefore, any cat with persistent eye discharge should be examined by a vet as soon as possible to identify underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Please make sure that he is getting complete and balanced food and his vaccination is up to date.