The eyes are a fundamental part of the cat’s body: they need them to see, to be able to better calculate distances,… and also to get from us what they want by giving us that sweet good look that only they know how to do.
Among all the problems that these beautiful eyes can have, the most frequent is inflammation of the conjunctiva, which causes a series of discomforts that we will see below. In addition, we are going to give you tips to treat and prevent conjunctivitis in your cat so that you know what to do if one day you see that his eyes have filled with gums or are red.
What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the lining of the eye that causes a lot of discomfort. It is very easy to detect it since surely we ourselves have had to go through it from time to time. It is often a minor problem, but if it is not treated in time it can lead to total loss of vision.
The symptoms are practically the same as we have when we have to deal with this infection: itching, difficulty in opening the eyes wide, redness, excess tearing , and also the third eyelid will protrude due to swelling . In very long-lasting cases, the iris can change shape and color.
Types of conjunctivitis
There are 3 types of conjunctivitis in cats:
- Waxy conjunctivitis: which is the one that most often affects cats and the least serious. It is a mild inflammation of the eyeball; you will also see that the eye secretes tears of transparent color.
- Follicular conjunctivitis: in this case, the discharge is mucous. A hardened surface is formed in the eye as the lids and the back of the nictitating membrane enlarge.
- Purulent conjunctivitis: is the complication of waxy conjunctivitis, and the most serious type. It is caused by a secondary bacterial infection. The secretions become mucus or pus and crusts form on the eyelids.
A healthy cat that is properly cared for is unlikely to get conjunctivitis. However, you are never 100% prevented and if your immune system weakens, you can end up suffering from an eye infection . To know how to treat them, it is important to know what caused it. To help you, these are the main causes:
- Diseases that affect the respiratory system (colds, allergies, flu)
- Hypersensitivity to cold or low temperatures
- Dirt in the environment
- Contact with a cat with conjunctivitis
- Cancer of the eye (squamous cell carcinoma, for example)
- Feline leukemia
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
Treatment of conjunctivitis in cats
The first thing to do if we have a cat with conjunctivitis is to take him to the vet so that he can determine the cause of the problem and thus be able to give him the most appropriate treatment. As we have seen, it can be mild or be a symptom of a really serious disease, so depending on what your friend’s case is, some medications or others will have to be administered.
Apart from giving you your medication, at home we can make some changes to your routine that will undoubtedly help you to recover as quickly as possible:
Chamomile infusions are very effective in treating conjunctivitis naturally, relieving itching and inflammation. You simply have to make an infusion (better if it is with dry leaves), and let the water temper. Then wash your hands, take a gauze pad and soak it in the water. Now you just have to gently pass it over the affected eye, from the inside out, removing the blemishes . Do it every 3-4 hours until you have fully recovered.
Like the infusion, the serum will also calm the itch . It is applied in the same way as that.
In pet stores you will find artificial tears for sale that will keep your cat’s eyes hydrated . Add the drops indicated by the product, and you will surely notice that little by little you can keep your eyes open for longer and longer.
When you have a furry one with conjunctivitis, it is highly recommended to keep it separate from the rest of the animals that we may have, otherwise they will infect each other and the treatment will be much longer. Likewise, you have to know that we can also get it, so it will be necessary to wash our hands well with soap before and after we caress our sick cat.
Considering that eye infections can appear after the immune system is weakened, there is nothing like preventing colds. To do this, we will keep the windows closed and, if we have the air conditioning on, prevent it from giving it directly. For the same reason, if you normally go abroad for a few days it will be better if we do not leave you or your situation could worsen.
Remember that whenever you see that your furry friend has eye problems you should take him to the vet so that he can quickly regain his health. A timely diagnosis will prevent the cat from losing vision.
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