|Purred: Sat May 31, '08 9:06pm PST |
|Noone has yet mentioned Epiphora.
Epiphora is an abnormal overflow of tears down the face that results from either obstruction of tear drainage through the nasolacrimal (tear duct) system or overproduction of tears that overwhelms the normal drainage system. The overproduction of tears is most often a reflex, activated to expel irritating material from the surface of the eye or when significant irritation develops inside the eye. Although uncommon, epiphora may also result from overactive lacrimal (tear) glands and be unassociated with any source of irritation.
Normal cats may occasionally have minor tear overflow or minor eye discharge. However, excessive, chronic or recurrent bouts of epiphora suggest a problem may be present.
While tears are typically colorless, they can dry to a dark red-brown-black crust, especially in the cat. Chronic tearing can also result in a brown to rust-colored staining of the hair around the eyes and face of animals. This is believed to be due to porphyrins or other pigment-like substances present in the tears.
Tears that spill over onto the face can also be irritating to the skin of the face. Moisture and bacterial build-up in that area aggravates this irritation.
What to Watch For/Signs That You Need Your Veterinarian
Watery discharge from one or both eyes
Possible tear staining on face below the eye, near the nose
Accumulation of dried discharge on the edges of the eyelids
Ulceration and irritation of the skin below the eye, near the nose
Rubbing of the eyes or face
Redness of the conjunctiva
Dramatic color change or cloudiness to the surface or within the eye
Possible pain with increased blinking or squinting
Possible swelling of the eyelids or face around the eyelids
Possible reduction or loss of sight
Possible change in size of the pupil or eyeball
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