Eye Infections in Cats: Causes, Signs, Treatment and Prognosis

infected eyes in cats

Infected eyes in cats is a common problem that cat owners should deal with.

Getting a wink from a joyful pal is something, but getting a wink from your feline is another. Abnormal blinking, rubbing of the eyes, or discharge can be the signs of an eye infection. Eye problems due to an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus are fairly typical in felines, so watch for these clinical signs.

Causes of Eye Infections In Cats

While lots of disease processes can impact the eyes of cats, transmittable agents are one of the most typical causes of eye disease in the feline. Any feline who is in close contact with other cats is at danger of direct exposure since these transmittable representatives can be tough to manage in congested environments.

Cats that are strictly indoor cats tend to stay cleaner and experience less eye infections. 

In younger cats, both bacteria and viruses can cause eye infections. Chlamydia and Mycoplasma are the two frequently diagnosed bacteria. Feline herpesvirus type 1 is often the viral perpetrator; however, other viruses such as calicivirus can likewise contribute to eye infections. These infections are most commonly seen in young felines with weaker immune systems and those exposed to high-stress environments such as shelters, though any cat may be affected.

In older cats and those in steady environments, the abrupt onset of an eye infection might suggest that it has emerged secondary to another issue. Injury to the eye, autoimmune disease, cancer, and systemic viral infections such as feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may be underlying factors.

Symptoms of Cat Eye Infections

Cat parents may discover a variety of symptoms suggesting an eye infection, including:

  • The whites of the eye may turn red.
  • The ocular discharge might exist, running the gamut from clear, to yellow or even green. Winking or rubbing the eyes is also typical.
  • The 3rd eyelid might be protruding and covering part of the irritated eye.
  • Your feline may have other clinical signs typical with upper respiratory infections, such as sneezing or nasal discharge.
  • These symptoms may affect one or both eyes. It is common for a cat to only show among the above symptoms, especially early on in the course of the infection.

Diagnosis of Cat Eye Infections

A check out with the vet is key to an accurate diagnosis. A good history helps direct the veterinarian to the diagnostic tests most suitable for your feline. The evaluation will examine the eye for signs of injury, look for systemic signs of an upper respiratory infection, and assess all the structures of the eye.

The vet may take a small swab or scrape cells from the irritated areas to search for contagious representatives. If a secondary systemic issue is suspected, the vet may advise additional testing or bloodwork to make sure there is not a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

Prognosis for Cat Eye Infections

The prognosis for straightforward infections is exceptional. Bacterial infections usually react well to appropriate treatment, and viral infections are typically self-limiting.

If the infection is secondary to another issue, such as FIV, neoplasia, or structural problem, the long term prognosis depends upon the severity of the disease. Even in these cases, the eye infection can be handled separately and dealt with.

Be aware that eye infections can indeed be transmitted and can be a symptom of a more significant illness such as leukemia or Feline Immudeffiency virus and should always be checked by a qualified veterinarian.

Treatment for Cat Eye Infections

Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, typically in the type of a topical ointment or drops. Oral treatment is not generally shown.

While viral eye infections are usually self-limiting, numerous veterinarians still suggest topical antibiotics as it prevails for these felines to have both viral and bacterial infections co-occurring. Severe cases might necessitate the use of anti-viral medications.

It’s important to remember that lots of eye problems look-alike in cats and a physical examination from the veterinarian is essential to get a precise diagnosis. While eye infections prevail in the feline, other diseases such as glaucoma, foreign bodies or structural problems might look similar to the untrained eye. If your feline is showing any signs of discomfort, do not treat him or her with leftover antibiotics from another feline before calling the vet: you may be squandering precious time missing out on the right medical diagnosis.

Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
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