Eye Cyst

by Diane Spera
(Chicago, IL)

QUESTION about a cyst in a Cat's Eye:

We have a 13 year old male manx and for the past couple of years he has what looks like a cyst on his left upper eye lid. It protrudes from underneath his eyelid. One vet a few years ago indicated that we shouldn't worry about it and the only discomfort for the cat was pressure on his eye. It hasn't gotten bigger, but it does tend to look irriated at times, appearing red and inflammed, and then goes back to it's fleshy color. Is this something we should look into further with a specialist or, as the vet had suggested, just leave well enough alone?

Hi, Diane,

If it appears to be causing him discomfort, then this "eye cyst" should be removed. Some questions to ask yourself to determine whether there is actual discomfort include: Does he squint? Does his whole eye get red or watery or appear bloodshot? Has this growth ever caused an ulcer or scratch on his eye?

If an ulcer develops from the eye cyst rubbing on the cornea, then this definitely needs attention. If that ever happens, or has ever happened, then it absolutely needs to come off. Chronic irritation on the cornea will lead to scarring and, over time can even cause loss of vision.

If scratching and ulcerations are not happening and it doesn't seem to annoy him, cause squinting, or other signs of irritation, then you can probably keep watching it if it indeed has not increased in size. If there appears to be any change in size or color, though, at any point, a second opinion would be advised.

Whenever there is a doubt about whether an eye problem is truly a problem, seeking the opinion of a specialist, like a veterinary opthalmologist at your local vet school or veterinary referral center, would always be a wise idea.

Thank you for writing,
Dr. Neely

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