Conjunctivitis in Cats: Sometimes it happens to notice eye secretions in our cat, but what do they depend on and when can they be dangerous? Everything you should know.
The eyes of cats are very sensitive and can have problems, such as abundant tearing, redness, ocular secretions that can be more or less dense, filamentous, and colored. This to one or both eyes. In fact, it can happen very often to find a cat that only tears abundantly in one eye.
If the cat tears from one eye or both, it could be suffering from conjunctivitis, an inflammation that affects the transparent layer that covers the anterior part of the eyeball and the inner surface of the upper and lower eyelids. This layer is lubricated under normal conditions by the lacrimal glands, but in the presence of an inflammation of the same, the owner of the cat may notice an increase in tearing redness of the eyes, and the appearance of a thick mucus-like discharge, sticky and purulent in the case bacterial infections.
Why the Cat Gets Conjunctivitis
The causes of conjunctivitis in cats can be of various types. The cat can suffer from it due to a bacterial infection (for example chlamydia, streptococci, staphylococci ) or viral ( Five, Felv, Fio, Herpes ). It can also be an allergic reaction triggered by pollen, dust mites, and other substances that the delicate membrane reacts to, such as chemicals. It can also be caused by food intolerances, trauma, or foreign bodies. Finally, conjunctivitis in cats could also derive from climatic conditions: typical is the case of excessive cold or heat stroke.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Cats
In addition to tearing, the cat usually also has eye redness and discomfort when exposed to light. The cat may then try to relieve itching by scratching with its paw or swiping its face over objects. The eyes appear swollen and the increase in volume leads the third eyelid, normally not visible, to move from its seat, covering part of the iris. Conjunctivitis in kittens is to watch out in particular. They are very contagious and remain at latent viral level, occurring at a time when for some reason are lowered immune defenses.
How to Cure Cat Conjunctivitis?
If these symptoms are noted, the cat must be subjected to a visit to the veterinarian who will carry out an eye inspection. It is essential to never neglect an inflammation of the eye as, if not treated, it can progress into more serious pathologies, such as uveitis, keratitis, corneal ulcer. In the event that the conjunctivitis is of bacterial origin, the doctor could analyze, using a swab of the ocular secretion, the tears to find out what the pathogen is and recommend a targeted therapy.
Depending on the origin of conjunctivitis, it will then be decided how to move. A mild form can resolve spontaneously in two weeks by cleaning the eyelid rim and the periocular area with a moistened sterile gauze. There are products based on chamomile or witch hazel that have a soothing and congesting effect on the eye.
If the conjunctivitis is instead of bacterial or viral origin, it will probably be necessary to use eye drops or an antibiotic ointment. Allergic conjunctivitis will instead be treated with an antihistamine and possibly an anti-inflammatory. It is very important to follow the duration of the therapy even if the problem apparently seems to be resolved.
Then there are some general tips to keep in mind: when treating the cat it is good not to touch one eye with your hands and then the other, to avoid the transmission of infectious conjunctivitis from one eye to the other. It is necessary to prevent the animal from rubbing its eye as much as possible because it risks causing wounds on the cornea. Finally, the cat must be properly fed. Quality food has a positive effect on the whole organism, increasing the immune defenses and lowering the chances of a form of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis but also allergic or food intolerance.
Tips to keep your cat’s eyes healthy
You can help avoid more common eye problems in your cat by keeping up with annual vaccinations, frequently checking your cat’s eyes for redness, opacity, a change in color or shape, discharge, or sensitivity to light. To safely remove your cat’s eye secretions and make him more comfortable while waiting for his vet appointment, arm yourself with a bag of cotton balls and some simple tips we want to share with you.
- Dip a cotton ball into the water. Dry the ocular secretion, always from the corner of the eye outwards. Use a new cotton ball for each eye. Proceed with this operation very gently
- Avoid over-the-counter drops or washes unless your vet has prescribed them.