Are you worried if your cat has conjunctivitis? Conjunctivitis is a very common disease in felines, if it is diagnosed quickly and the proper treatment is given, the evolution will be good.
Conjunctivitis is quite annoying for kitties because it presents symptoms such as tearing or involuntary closing of the eyes due to pain and / or itching. It is important to detect it in time to treat it and avoid complications. Do you want to know all the details about this pathology? Let’s see them!
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What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva which is the thin mucous membrane that covers the eyelids internally and the front part of the eyeball . A disease suffered by humans but also by many animal species such as cats.
At present it is one of the most frequent eye problems in kittens along with otitis, stomach problems, feline leukemia or rabies. Although it does not seem an extremely serious disease, we must apply the treatment as soon as possible if we do not want it to have consequences for the health of our feline such as problems in the cornea.
What symptoms does a cat with conjunctivitis have?
The symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness of the conjunctiva, both bulbar and eyelid . Normally it is accompanied by lacrimation either serous (transparent), mucous, mucopurulent and even bloody tears . Even another of the symptoms is usually the involuntary closing of the eyelids due to pain and because of it we usually realize that our cat suffers from conjunctivitis.
The veterinarian should carry out a complete ophthalmological study in his office to assess the type of injury and its severity. You will have to perform various tests on the cat such as the Schirmer test to see tear production or the fluorescein test to see if it has ulcers in the affected eye.
How does conjunctivitis originate? Common causes
The most common cause is usually viral infections of which conjunctivitis is one of the symptoms. For example, feline herpesvirus type I that usually occurs with a runny nose and other respiratory symptoms. Its diagnosis is made by means of the PCR laboratory test and the treatment in this specific case is symptomatic.
It can also be due to feline Calicivirus or bacteria such as Chlamydophila felis, which is usually accompanied by mild respiratory signs. Treatment in the latter case is usually with a specific topical antibiotic such as chloramphenicol or tetracycline for 20 days.
In addition to infectious causes, it can also be treated with non-infectious conjunctivitis such as eosinophilic , which causes severe conjunctival redness and thickening. It usually involves a whitish discharge and treatment is usually the administration of immunosuppressants, such as corticosteroids or cyclosporine.
The diagnosis of this type of conjunctivitis is important because the treatment is totally different. It can even be due to exogenous causes such as trauma, allergic reactions or contact with irritants such as soaps or detergents.
When a trauma occurs, the conjunctiva will become inflamed, but it must be seen if a corneal injury has occurred. Also, a corneal ulcer can occur in the cat’s eye.
Is conjunctivitis contagious?
In most cases, conjunctivitis is only contagious between other individuals of the same species, that is, between cats. But there are some types of viral conjunctivitis that can be spread from cats to humans.
That is why it is important to go to the vet as soon as the first symptoms are detected, since early treatment will reduce the chances of contagion quickly.
How long does conjunctivitis last?
As long as you receive the proper treatment (each type of conjunctivitis requires a specific treatment), the duration of conjunctivitis is around two weeks. During which the cat must receive treatment even if we appreciate improvement.
How to prevent conjunctivitis?
We must be very careful with the hygiene of our cat’s eyes since another cause of conjunctivitis is the dirt in the environment . Dirt and not cleaning your eyes regularly and correctly can lead to conjunctivitis.
To clean our cat’s eyes, the most common is to use physiological saline and sterilized gauze to avoid dirt and the appearance of legañas . We can also clean your eyes with home remedies such as a sterile gauze soaked in chamomile or thyme infusion.
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Whenever we observe that our cat has any symptoms of conjunctivitis such as excessive tearing or involuntary closing of the eyes, we will have to go to the vet to determine the cause and treatment. The speed of diagnosis and treatment is essential so that it does not pose a great health problem for our cat.