Case File

A cat with a fondness for fighting - a Case Story

by Lizzie Bennett - MA VetMB PgC GPCertSAM MRCVS

Koru is a young male cat with a bit of a fondness for fighting which landed him in difficulty one evening. Koru returned from an adventure outside with a very sore left eye. He could barely keep his eye open as it was so painful and it looked very red and cloudy. His owner contacted us as soon as they noticed the problem and we were able to book him in for an appointment straight away. It is important to act quickly with eyes as eye problems are often very painful and can affect vision or even lead to the eye needing to be removed if not treated promptly.


First, we applied some local anaesthetic drops to the sore eye to make Koru more comfortable and to help us to perform a thorough examination. Thankfully, despite his dislike of other cats, Koru is very friendly and calm with humans and was very patient whilst various examinations and tests were carried out.

There was a very small defect on the very surface of the eye with a tract extending from this into the anterior chamber (front part) of the eye. There was also blood inside the eyeball. This led us to conclude that Koru has sustained a penetrating injury to his eye which was most likely caused by a cat claw piercing through his eyeball- ouch! Thankfully, the puncture site had already sealed and bleeding had stopped but urgent treatment was required to make sure the eye could be saved after such a significant injury.

The pupil of the injured eye was very much smaller than the pupil of the healthy eye. This is called miosis and can occur when the muscle that controls pupil size goes into spasm in response to pain and inflammation of the eye. If this muscle spasm continues then scar tissue can form, causing the pupil to be permanently damaged. Drops to relieve this spasm and dilate the pupil were applied to the eye to prevent this from occurring. Koru was also given lots of pain relief- first via injection to make sure it started working quickly, then some oral medication to carry on at home. He was also given antibiotics as the cat claw could easily have planted bacteria into the eye and an infection could jeopardise his vision or cause the eye to have to be removed. Finally, he was given some drops to help encourage healing and provide some lubrication of the eye which also helps with comfort.



Koru came back to see us three days later and was already showing a massive improvement. His pupils were the same size, he could hold his eye open and a lot of the redness had reduced. There was still blood in the eye- this was effectively a bruise and would take time to disappear, just like bruises elsewhere on the body. He continued receiving medication for a week, by which time his eye was back to normal other that the blood clot and a small scar.

Over the course of the next few weeks the blood clot disappeared and the scar got smaller and Koru got his good looks back. He hasn’t learnt his lesson though; he has since been seen for a cat bite wound on his tail!