De Pers: common eye conditions & solutions
The Persian cat is a popular pedigree cat. The often long silky coat in combination with the typical flat head, is appreciated by many people. However, that flat head can also lead to physical problems. With the flat nose, many people know that there is a possibility that the cat is breathing with difficulty. Fewer people know that this cat has an increased risk of eye problems because of the convex, slightly protruding eyes. What are the most common eye problems and how do you solve these problems?
The Persian Cat Through the Years
The Persian cat is an ancient breed. This breed certainly dates back to the time of the Egyptians. They were prized and admired cats in Egypt. Breeders have tinkered with them over the centuries. to this breed and certain characteristics are deliberately magnified. Unfortunately, this enlargement also causes physical problems. A good example of this are the eyes of this breed.
The eye of the press
The skull of the press is relatively short and convex. This means that the eyes are rather shallow in the eye sockets. This fact has the consequence that the eyes can be damaged more quickly than with other breeds. The bulging of the eyes can sometimes be so protruding that the eyelids do not completely enclose the eyes. The eyes can dry out more quickly and be damaged.
Most problems with the eyes of the press are accompanied by a lot of tears. Some cats have tear stains next to the nose which, if not cleaned regularly, can turn a different grubby beige / brown color. It may even produce a foul odor. In addition, you often see that the cat will squint when there is an eye problem. There does not have to be a serious problem at that point, but a check-up with the vet is advisable.
Most common eye conditions
The press can suffer from various eye conditions mainly caused by the flat head and the convex / bulging eyes. According to eye specialist Verbruggen, three eye conditions stand out that are more preventable and must be treated professionally, namely:
- Entropion. These are inward curling eyelids. This causes the hairs on the eyelid to rub against the cornea and can cause irritation and damage the cornea.
- Cornease Quester. A corneal quester is a chronic irritation of the cornea. This can already occur if a dirt blows into the eye or a nail hits the eye. Usually the corneal quester is more in the center of the cornea and is slightly thickened and red.
- Tear duct problems. The slightly different skull shape can cause normal structures in the skull to not be fully formed. Tears cannot be disposed of in the normal way. This produces the well-known tear streaks along the nose and can even lead to inflammation.
How to structurally and how to tackle eye problems preventively?
There are options for a structural solution, we are talking about the long term. But in the short term, you can also do something preventively to protect your press from these common eye conditions.
A long-term solution is to stop breeding that ever flattening head. If the press gets a little more nose than the current flat nose (sometimes the nose is almost in the head) and the head gets a little more normal bulge (which makes the eyes protrude less), then you can already prevent many problems. Something similar is only possible if the standard for the appearance of the press is actually adjusted by the umbrella organizations and all breeders participate in this. It takes at least five to ten years to get substantial changes in the bloodlines.
Check the eyes of your press from an early age. Close the eyelids well, the tear fluid is well drained, etc. When in doubt, it is good to consult your vet and, if necessary, give artificial tears and keep the eyes clean. If you give the cat the artificial tears from an early age and keep the eyes clean, the cat will get used to this and it will become a daily ritual and not cause stress.
Solutions for existing eye conditions
These common eye problems in the press should always be addressed in consultation with the veterinarian. Depending on the problem, the vet can send you to an eye specialist or treat it yourself. As the owner of a Persian cat you also have an active role in giving the medicines yourself during the healing process. Get well-informed by the vet or eye specialist how to act exactly.
The inward curled eyelid can be curled outward with a relatively simple operation. The follow-up treatment usually consists of anointing after the operation. The problem with this eye condition is that in many cases it is not immediately noticed. The irritation may then be ongoing and it is up to the veterinarian / ophthalmologist to determine whether the cornea has already suffered any damage and should be treated as a result.
This condition can be treated well, but often takes a lot of time. If you get there in time, an ointment with vitamin A and an anti-inflammatory can solve the problem. Sometimes it is necessary to bring the third eyelid in front of the damaged cornea. By placing the third eyelid in front of the eye for about ten days (it is then secured with a few stitches), the eye will rest and a hole or damage to the cornea will heal better.
An inflammation can also develop on the inside of the eyelid. It is then somewhat red and swollen. Usually a stronger anti-inflammatory is given. After the ten days, the hole is closed in most cases, but still very vulnerable. Although it is difficult, it is recommended that the cat jump as little as possible. Bouncing off and on somewhere can put some pressure on the eyes and the hole can open again. If the damage is not resolved in this way, surgery by an eye specialist is often the only remedy. A kind of patch is then attached to the damaged cornea. Over time, this should fuse with the normal cornea.
Tear duct problems
The vet can flush the tear ducts under a light anesthetic. If the installation is not good, a check is made to see if there is a film covering the canal. This is easy to cut away. A small silicone tube is then temporarily inserted to keep the tear duct open.
If the predisposition is wrong and nothing can be done, then it is a matter of thoroughly cleaning the cup (especially the eyes and the skin next to the nose) daily with sterilized water. In this way you prevent the moisture from choosing its own path and caked tear fluid from leading to skin problems and bad odors.
They are often expensive treatments. The treatment by the vet who places the third eyelid in front of the eye and gives some ointment or anti-inflammatory drugs will cost around ?? 200 to ?? 250. An eye specialist who performs a full-fledged operation will soon cost about € 150 in 2020. 1000.
If you have pet insurance, part of these costs will be reimbursed. It is useful to check in advance which costs are reimbursed and which are not. This way you avoid being faced with surprises.
The press has been a popular cat for many years and that is not going to change any time soon. You have to realize that in 2020 this usually involves some physical problems. Besides the flat nose, the eyes in particular are the main causes of physical problems that the press can have. However, if you are attentive to the health of your press, you can often avoid major problems.