What Is Conjunctivitis in Cats: The Most Common Causes and Further Treatment
Feline conjunctivitis is a common virus. Unfortunately, if it appears once, it can be again in your cat. That’s why you should read our article and know possible causes signs and how to treat your cat. It will be useful for all cat owners.
What Is Conjunctivitis in Cats?
It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane of the eye. The conjunctiva is the tissue that covers the outside of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Its main function is to protect the eye from the ingress of mechanical particles and the penetration of infection, as well as the secretion of fluid that lubricates the eye. It can be both an independent disease and a complication against the background of other problems. By the way, conjunctivitis in kittens is not a rare thing. Sounds like something difficult to understand, doesn’t it? In simple words, it is damage to the tissue that protects your cat’s eyes from dust and other hazards.
What Causes Conjunctivitis in Cats?
The most common causes include:
- Infectious diseases (herpes, calicivirus, chlamydia);
- Inflammation of the eyelids and cornea. The conjunctiva is physically located close to the eyelids and cornea, so inflammation of these tissues can lead to conjunctivitis (for example, blepharitis, some forms of keratitis);
- Internal inflammation of the eyes;
- Injury to the conjunctiva, eyelids, cornea, or the eye itself;
- Exposure to irritants, the ingress of foreign material on the conjunctiva. In addition to mechanical particles of debris, sand, dust, plant fibers, etc., cigarette smoke and aerosols (perfume, air fresheners) can also be irritants, so smoking next to the cat is not recommended;
- Allergy (for cats this is a rare cause of mucosal inflammation, more often dogs suffer from this);
- Idiopathic conjunctivitis (that is, conjunctivitis, the cause of which cannot be determined).
By the way, also look at signs of this infection:
- Redness of the eyes;
- Swelling of the eyelids;
- The cat often squints and blinks;
- Discharge from the eyes.
If you notice at least one of these signs, you should immediately start treatment.
Cat Conjunctivitis Treatment
Only a veterinarian should diagnose this virus. There is no single treatment regimen for conjunctivitis. Cat conjunctivitis medicine depends on the type of disease and is complex. In this case, not one eye should be treated but both. Drug therapy includes flushing the conjunctival organ, using antibiotics, corticosteroids, pain relievers, special drops, and ointments that relieve inflammation. Rinsing the eyes is a mandatory procedure that is performed before each application of the ointment or the use of drops. After washing, special ointments are used. The drug is applied not with your fingers but with a glass rod, which is previously doused with boiling water. An ointment the size of a match head is applied under the eyelid twice a day. Cats tend to have resistance, so you can put some ointment on your lower eyelid and wait for the animal to blink properly. Thus, the drug is evenly distributed in the desired area. If conjunctivitis is of infectious origin, treatment is aimed at eliminating the pathogen with antibiotics.
How to treat conjunctivitis in kittens? The treatment algorithm is the same. Be sure to follow all instructions from your veterinarian and consult with him/her about future prevention measures.
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Is Conjunctivitis Contagious in Cats?
A cat with this virus should be isolated from other pets. Moreover, the disease is contagious, transmitted to humans. When caring for a four-legged pet, you need to observe personal hygiene, wash your hands with soap, or treat them with a disinfectant solution.
Cat Conjunctivitis: How Long Does It Last?
On average, the treatment will last about 5-14 days. If your cat is not showing any improvement, research needs to be done to determine the cause and change the course of treatment. It is important not to panic and notice all changes in your cat.
Does your cat have conjunctivitis? Share some details in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you soon on the pages of our blog!
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