Microphthalmia (Small Eyes) in Kittens
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Race Foster, DVM

The eyeball is comprised of several structures including the cornea, iris, lens, chambers, and the retina. The eyeball is located within the bony socket of the head and is partially protected by the three eyelids.

Microphthalmia is a condition in which the eyeball is smaller than normal. Usually, the internal structures of the eyeball are abnormal as well. Microphthalmia can occur in newborns whose mothers received certain medications during pregnancy. This is seen, for instance, in pregnant queens who were treated for ringworm with griseofulvin.

What are the symptoms?

The eyeball will appear smaller than normal for the breed. Signs of visual impairment will also be noticed.

What are the risks?

Many cats become visually impaired or completely blind.

What is the management?

There is no treatment, and affected individuals should not be bred.

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