Eye infections are one type of conjunctivitis in felines. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the tissue lining the eyelids and attaching to the eyeball near the cornea. The conjunctiva in felines can end up being irritated due to allergies caused by pollens, lawns, etc., or from infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. If the white portion of the eye (sclera) is also inflamed, this condition is occasionally referred to as ‘pink eye.’ Conjunctivitis is the most common ailment impacting the eye of the cat.
Conjunctivitis (Eye Infections) in Cats
What are the symptoms of eye infections and conjunctivitis?
The symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats differ depending on the cause. Typically, both allergies and infections cause a severe redness or ‘meaty’ appearance of the conjunctiva. This is triggered by edema or fluid accumulation and an increase in the size and variety of blood vessels within the tissue. Either allergies or infections cause the eye to discharge or ‘weep.’.
The consistency of the discharge frequently helps identify its cause. Usually eye infections in felines caused by bacteria, fungi, and so on, produce a thick yellow or greenish eye discharge. The eyelids may actually stick. This results from the build-up of leukocyte or ‘pus’ excreted into the area in an effort to eliminate off the infection. Allergies, on the other hand, generally cause a clear or watery discharge. No matter the cause, a cat with conjunctivitis will often squint and/or keep the third eyelid partly covering the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is frequently painful, triggering a cat to paw at or rub the eye versus objects such as your leg or the carpet.
What are the dangers of eye infections and conjunctivitis?
Normally, conjunctivitis and eye infections are not harmful, nevertheless, in sophisticated cases of infection, the organisms can spread out and impact other structures of the eye. Vision could end up being impaired. In addition, eye infections or foreign bodies may cause corneal ulcers which are extremely major conditions. Conjunctivitis may also be a symptom of a more serious disease such as feline immunodeficiency virus infection. As in humans, some eye infections can be sent to other individuals or litter mates. Allergies are not contagious and for that reason pose no hazard to other cats.
What is the management of eye infections and conjunctivitis?
All cases of conjunctivitis ought to be dealt with simultaneously. A culture and level of sensitivity test might be necessary to figure out if bacteria are the cause, and if so, what medication needs to be used for treatment of the eye infection. Scrapings of the conjunctiva can be made and analyzed to test for numerous viral infections in the feline.
Eye drops or ointments are typically the drugs of choice. Eye drops are watery services that should be used every few hours, while ointments last longer and are typically only used two to three times each day.
If the reason for the conjunctivitis is thought to be allergic reaction, then different medications are offered including anti-inflammatories, generally hydrocortisones. If the cause is an eye infection, then bactericidal or fungicidal lotions or services might be used. In severe cases, oral antibiotics are used in addition to the topical preparations. Most cases will react to treatment, however, it might take one to two weeks to fully recover. In basic, treatment is continued for a number of days after the eye restores its normal look.
It is necessary not to use hydrocortisone-containing agents if a corneal ulcer exists. Hydrocortisone, although fantastic at lessening eye swelling, might really impede the healing of or worsen an ulcerated cornea.
Also read: Bloodshot Eye in Dogs and Cats