Although it is common for cats to display eye discharge, it also can be a sign of an infection or a more serious condition. Certain signs can reveal what is ailing your cat, such as the color of the discharge, how it develops and the amount leaving the eye. Though ocular discharge may be a sign of irritation or inflammation, it is important for a veterinarian to check out the cat's eye to rule out any other serious ailments such as corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis.
Ocular discharge in cats is a way for felines to clean out their eyes. Typically, a green discharge may mean the cat is suffering from a health condition. The discharge also can be different colors, including clear, bloody or yellow. The color, amount of discharge and whether the cat has a sudden onset of the discharge can mean the difference between a mild irritation to a more serious disease. If there is a high amount of discharge, the cat could be suffering from a disease. Other signs could accompany the discharge if there is a more serious ailment present, such as an inflammation of the eye's membrane or inner eyelid, or an overall swelling of the eye.
Green discharge might be the result of several conditions. The eye can be infected due to injuries, problems with tear ducts or invasion of foreign materials or bacteria. Glaucoma and corneal ulcers also could cause the discharge, as well as conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis occurs when the sclera and conjunctiva of the eye become inflamed. One of the signs of conjunctivitis is green discharge that can be either watery or mucous-like.
After taking your cat to get checked, the veterinarian may perform a series of tests to rule out more serious conditions and diagnose what is causing the cat to have green discharge from its eye. A complete eye examination likely will occur. This will include inspecting the cat's cornea, different eye chambers, eyelids and conjunctiva. Other procedures may include a tear test, an examination of the pressure in the cat's eye and a physical examination. The veterinarian may take a culture of the discharge to see if the cat's eye is infected by bacteria or another foreign substance, as well as conduct a complete blood count to see if there are any other problems that could be the root of the green discharge.
Depending on the cause of the eye discharge, antibiotics may be used to relieve the condition. Other treatments include ointments, eye drops, injections, pain medicine and aspirin. More serious diseases may require more progressive treatment.
Until a diagnosis is made, owners should clean any excess discharge with a warm, wet cloth, but do so gently. Owners should try to keep their cats from disturbing or rubbing their eyes, possibly causing more damage or irritation. Do not use medicine intended for humans to treat your cat's eyes.