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Conjunctivitis in cats – Causes, symptoms and treatment

Conjunctivitis is one of the most frequent eye problems in cats. It is easily detectable, quite annoying for our pets and, if we do not treat it, it can lead to more serious eye problems such as corneal rupture.

If you think your cat can have conjunctivitis, pay attention to this article where we will talk about the conjunctivitis in cats, causes, symptoms and treatments, besides commenting on some natural remedies.

What is feline conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is about the inflammation of the eye’s mucosa, that is, the membrane that covers it and the inside of the eyelids. It can occur for various reasons and the symptoms are very clear, so it is easy to detect it in our cats. Conjunctivitis can be a symptom of another more serious disease, so although we can treat conjunctivitis at home with some remedies, we should take our partner to the veterinarian.

In the case of domestic felines, usually occurs a lot in small kittens, under 6 months of age, especially if they have not been properly cared for or have been on the street surviving. The veterinarian, once diagnosed the problem in our pet, will indicate the treatment to follow, which will generally be of topical use in the eyes to apply every few hours for several days at the same time that we apply ocular hygiene care. In addition, if it is suspected that feline conjunctivitis may be a symptom of a major disease, the veterinarian will perform the appropriate tests to identify the causative agent and thus be able to treat the affected individual.

The prognosis is good in case of detect the problem early. If, on the other hand, conjunctivitis in cats is not treated, the prognosis will worsen with the passage of time. Keep in mind that felines often relapse when at another time they suffer from another disease and their immune system weakens. In addition, depending on the disease causing conjunctivitis, we must think that, even if our cat is cured, it can be a carrier of the disease and transmit it to others.

For all the above, the important thing to remember is that feline conjunctivitis is a picture that can occur in any specimen of any age and that can be catastrophic for the eye health of the sick cat if it is not diagnosed and treated. time and depth, losing sight completely.

Types of conjunctivitis in cats

There various types of conjunctivitis in cats, or Felis silvestris catus, including:

  • Serous conjunctivitis in cats: this problem is not serious, easy to treat and the symptoms are mild. For example, the ocular membrane is pink and a little inflamed, in addition the tearing is liquid and transparent. It may be a first symptom of a respiratory illness, but it is usually caused by cold temperatures, dust, wind and allergies.
  • Follicular conjunctivitis in cats: in the case of follicular conjunctivitis the discharge of the eye is mucous instead of liquid. The rear part of the nictitating membrane and the eyelids enlarge and a hardened surface forms. It is usually due to a joy or an infection.
  • Purulent conjunctivitis in cats: This type of conjunctivitis is a complication of serous conjunctivitis, which has worsened due to secondary infection by bacteria. The ocular secretions are so thick that discharge from the eye is mucus or pus and scabs form on the eyelids. If conjunctivitis of this type occurs in both eyes at the same time it is quite possible that the cat has a viral respiratory disease.

On the other hand, we can classify feline conjunctivitis according to its origin in infectious, traumatic, allergic and parasitic:

  • Infectious diseases: some infectious diseases that have conjunctivitis symptoms among cats are feline rhinotracheitis virus or feline herpesvirus, chlamydia and feline calicivirus.
  • Systemic hypertension.
  • Internal inflammation of the eye or uveitis caused by the feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency, toxoplasmosis and feline infectious peritonitis.
  • In cases of cancer, some alterations of this can cause conjunctivitis, such as ocular lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma when it occurs in the eye area.
  • Trauma: caused by bumps, scratches, foreign bodies that enter the eyes, burns, etc.
  • Hereditary problemsIn some feline breeds there is the case of hereditary diseases that affect the eyes and they facilitate the creation of conjunctivitis. For example, in the case of the Abyssinians there is retinal atrophy, in the manx corneal dystrophy and in the Burmese there are alterations of the eyelids.

Causes of conjunctivitis in cats

If you wonder why conjunctivitis occurs in cats, you should know that this condition can occur eye infections, allergies and various diseases, but especially those that affect the respiratory system. These diseases that have conjunctivitis among their symptoms are many and highly contagious, they also have a high probability of leaving ocular sequels if not treated in time.

Other causes are the dirt of the environment in which the cat lives, as this will easily lead to infections that will lead to conjunctivitis, not clean your cat’s eyes, the excess of cold and air currents that cause colds and other respiratory diseases. Finally we add that they can also be due to some genetic problems that facilitate the appearance of conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats

If you wonder How to know if your cat has conjunctivitis, we reveal that this ocular affection can be easily detected by its most common symptoms, such as:

  • Irritation of the ocular conjunctiva, that is, redness of the eyes and its mucous membranes (inner part of the eyelids).
  • Much tearing constant that comes to produce the swelling of the eyes.
  • Abundant secretionthick eyepiece (excess of legañas), sometimes yellowish or greenish.
  • Appearance of Third eyelid protrudes due to the swelling.
  • Eyes closed or difficulty opening them due to swelling and secretions.
  • Itchy eyes, scratching and increased washing with the legs.
  • In advanced cases, it can happen opacity in the cornea.
  • Other symptoms in very durable cases are the changes in the color and shape of the iris.

How to cure conjunctivitis in cats?

Des we recommend that if you identify any of the above mentioned symptoms in your cat companion do not hesitate in take him to the vet, since it can be a simple conjunctivitis due to mild problems or a symptom of a really serious illness. Once the specialist gives us an adequate treatment, sure that also recommends that, in addition to medication, we do some cures at home. In this way, we can not indicate how to cure feline conjunctivitis definitively, since if we do not treat the underlying cause the ocular affection will not stop appearing, but we can recommend how to clean the eyes and what products to use.

It is very important to remember that there are viral diseases that can cause many problems besides conjunctivitis, that they have a vaccine and, therefore, we must follow the vaccination schedule. Likewise, once we have gone through this, if our pet falls, we will notice it more precociously and we can act at home with remedies to relieve symptoms and we can even prevent conjunctivitis.

Regardless of the treatment stipulated by the veterinarian to combat the cause that causes the eye problem, it will probably recommend the use of physiological saline and sterile gauze to treat conjunctivitis in cats. In addition, with this product we can prevent the accumulation of legañas and dirt that can cause eye infections. To carry out a correct cleaning, we must always use different gauzes for each eye and clean from the inside out. It is very important that cotton is not used instead of a sterile gauze, because the cotton leaves residues of filaments hooked very easily and that becomes a foreign body in the eye of our cat causing several problems.

On the other hand, depending on the type of conjunctivitis, it is possible that the veterinarian prescribes the use of Ophthalmic ointments. In any case, it must be a specialist who indicates which is the most appropriate and how to administer it. There are also products for sale in stores specializing in pets such as artificial tears and the eye baths. With these products we help keep our eyes clean and hydrated while respecting the pH of our feline’s eye. It is good to apply the droplets on the eyes, in the doses indicated by each product, then cover the eye with a warm cloth with warm water for a few minutes and then repeat it with the other eye with a different cloth.

Home remedies for conjunctivitis in cats

In addition to following the treatment stipulated by the veterinarian, we can make use of natural remedies to treat conjunctivitis in cats. Below we show the most recommended and indicate some recommendations:

Check your diet

With a adequate food We will make the cat have a strong immune system, which translates into a much faster and successful recovery. Of course, depending on the underlying cause of feline conjunctivitis will be necessary to adapt the diet to the state of the animal, so it will be the same veterinarian who tells us the guidelines to follow for these cases.

Infusion of apple or thyme

If we see that our partner scratches his eyes a lot, we should try to prevent him from doing so, since the most probable thing is that he ends up getting hurt. For soothe itching, inflammation, redness and other symptoms while cleaning the eye, we can apply with a sterile gauze wrapped in the finger infusion of chamomile or thyme, in the same way as we explained above with the physiological serum.

Cold and heat for feline conjunctivitis

Si we combine cold compresses with hot ones or tempered we managed to reduce considerably the inflammation and eye irritation caused by conjunctivitis. For this reason, this is a home remedy for conjunctivitis in cats that has been used for decades in humans and, due to its effectiveness, has also been transferred to the animal world.

Adequate hygiene

We must keep our cat’s coat healthy and I clean. In this case we insist on the hair around the eyes that we can brush away from the eyes and trim it at home if we have the right material, or safer, take it to the specialized hairdresser. This way we will avoid irritations and eye infections.

Security before everything

If we have several pets, it will be best to separate those that are affected from healthy ones to avoid contagion and, in addition, clean and disinfect their beds, blankets, etc.

On the other hand, we remember that one of the causes of conjunctivitis in cats are colds caused by air currents, so we should try to have the house windows closed or half-closed. If we are traveling by car with the cat, we have to think the same with the windows and with the air conditioner and try not to give directly to our pet.

Always, in case of seeing symptoms, we must take the cat to his veterinary specialist, because if it is a conjunctivitis, probably recommend some medication in addition to what we can do from home.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Conjunctivitis in cats – Causes, symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our section of Eye Problems.

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