Felis ISSN 2398-2950


Synonym(s): Tear overflow

Contributor(s): Dennis E Brooks, Paul Evans, Newman Lorna, Philip K Nicholls, David Williams


  • Cause: congenital in Persians, also caused by increased tear production, eg ocular pain, or by impaired tear drainage Micropunctum.
  • Signs: overflow of tears from the eye.
  • Diagnosis: signs.
  • Treatment: depends on cause.
  • Prognosis: depends on cause.




  • Shallow lacrimal lake etc.

Ocular irritation

Impaired tear drainage


  • Persians.


Congenital epiphora of Persians

  • Unknown etiology - probably anatomical.

Excessive tear production

  • Results from a painful or irritant stimulus.

Impaired tear drainage

  • Primary problems include absence of the lower punctal opening and micropunctum Micropunctum.
  • Secondary obstructions of the drainage system may result from symblepharon Symblepharon, foreign bodies, space occupying lesions, etc.


  • Shallow orbit and medial canthal lake together with prominent globe   →   tear overflow.

Ocular irritation

  • Ocular irritation   →   excessive tear production   →   nasolacrimal drainage system overwhelmed   →   tear overflow.

Nasolacrimal blockage

  • Blockage of the tear drainage system   →   tear overflow.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Bistner S (1994) Allergic- and immunologic-mediated diseases of the eye and adnexae. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (4), 711-734 PubMed.
  • Ogilvie G K, LaRue S M (1992) Canine and feline nasal and paranasal sinus tumours. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 22 (5), 1133-1144 PubMed.
  • Whitley R D, Moore C P (1984) Advances in feline ophthalmology. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 14 (6), 1271-1288 PubMed.
  • Bedford P (1983) Ocular disease in the cat. In Pract (2), 64-70 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Petersen-Jones S & Crispin S (2002) BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Ophthalmology. 2nd edn. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. ISBN 0 905214 54 4