"Can I drop by to buy a bottle of eye drops from
you?" the lady phoned me on this cloudy Sunday
morning of February 3, 2013. "I think my cat's eye
is infected and my vet prescribed eye drops and
she recovers. After a while, her eye has discharge
again." She had consulted two vets and they
prescribed eye drops which was "effective" for a
"I am sorry I can't prescribe without examining
the cat," I had confirmed that I had not treated
her 7-year-old female spayed cat previously. "Your
cat's eye may be ulcerated or be infected and this
is hard to confirm without examination. Why don't
you go to your vet to get the eye drops?"
"My vet is not opened today," she replied. Many
Singapore pet owners prefer to get repeat
medication without review of the pet's condition
and this is not in the interest of the pet. The
lady brought her cat in to my surprise.
A general examination VIDEO showed that the
medial side of the right eye was swollen at the
eyelid. Pus and discharge rolled down this bump.
"There is an inrolling of the eyelid at the medial
canthus," I pointed my iphone App
"torchlight" at left eye and then at the right
eye. My regular torch-light was not so bright but
this iphone App "torchlight" never fails to shine
brightly (IMAGE OF IPHONE APP PHONE).
"I am surprised that my cat permits you to shine
such a bright light for so long," the lady said.
The cat soon growled and that was the end of the
VIDEO OF EYE EXAMINATION AND CAT WARNING ME OFF BECAUSE EXAMINATION
TAKES TOO LONG
"The diagnosis is medial entropion of the cat's
left eye", I said.
"What's the treatment," the lady in her 30s asked
"Surgery to roll out the eyelid is a permanent
solution," I sketched an illustration (ILLUSTRATION
OF ENTROPION SURGERY).
"No way. My cat is so old," the lady preferred the
"I presume this right eye tearing starts when the
cat was a kitten and for the past 7 years," I
"No," she replied "Not for the first 2 years as a
kitten. I distinctly remember as the kitten was
with me in China."
"This is a rare case of acquired entropion," I
don't expect the lady to understand technical
terms. Acquired entropion means that the eyelid
rolls inwards later in life as contrasted to
congenital entropion which is present from birth.
"This entropion is very rare in cat," I said. "I
would think that your two vets would diagnose an
eye infection and the eye drops with steroids
worked very well. It is quite common in some
breeds of dogs like the Shih Tzu and bulldogs.
The permanent solution is surgery."
If no surgery is done, the chronic conjunctivitis
will cause dry eye and the nostril discharge (see
the image) will continue. It is best to diagnose
correctly and get the entropion done early so that
the cat does not suffer from eye infection and
keeps on rubbing her eyes every day for the rest
of her life. Eye drops with steroids are not a
treatment option as they only alleviate the signs