Why does my cat have so much trouble?
All cat lovers who can not resist the temptation to try to help those puppies who do not stop pissing under a car have already wondered why the kitten has so many bugs or because it has a half-closed eye .
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Being away from the litter is a stressful factor for the cat, and if he can not see it, imagine only the sense of insecurity about him. There may be many culprits in answer to the question of why my cat has so much trouble . Therefore, in this article of YourCatCareguide, we will present the most common!
Feline herpesvirus type 1
The feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) is one of those responsible for so-called ” flus ” in cats. It has a special tropism by the ocular region and respiratory system, that is, it causes a picture that we can simplify by calling it conjunctivitis and upper respiratory problems: sinusitis, sneezing , rhinorrhea (nasal discharge), etc.
Almost no kitten in a litter in which the mother is a carrier will get rid of contracting the virus once the infection is reactivated with the stress of childbirth, although it has remained dormant for quite some time. This virus can affect cat puppies even when they are still in the womb and consequently they are born with the affected eyeball. It usually causes acute infections in kittens less than 3 months old and moderate or latent in adults who have managed to control the initial infection thanks to a competent immune system.
At the ocular level, it can give rise to different clinical signs that have a common denominator: many catches appear in the cat , of different viscosity and color. Briefly, what happens in these ocular processes is an insufficient tear production, thus predominating the mucosal and lipid part on the same aqueous portion and, for this reason, the plaques arise. In addition, it presents the following clinical signs:
- Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelids that may become stuck due to ocular secretion.
- Uveitis: inflammation of the anterior chamber of the eye
- Keratitis: inflammation of the cornea.
- Corneal ulcer.
- Corneal sequestration: A part of the dead cornea is “sequestered” in the eye, giving rise to a dark spot.
Herpesvirus infection can be a gateway to several bacteria that complicate the disease. Treatment involves the use of locally applicable drugs such as antiviral drops, such as fanciclovir or acyclovir, and control of opportunistic bacteria with antibiotics , lubrication and cleaning of secretions on a regular basis. Usually they are long treatments and they require a lot of dedication from the tutor.
Due to the presence of plaques in the cat, veterinarians usually perform the so-called Schirmer Test that measures tear production and begins treatment with eye drops.
Does FHV-1 infection last forever?
If a cat outgrows acute infection without collateral damage, although it may always have a sequel to the cornea, it will become a chronic carrier . The infection will be reactivated from time to time, with lighter pictures that may even go unnoticed. Sometimes we notice that our cat slightly closes an eye or that the cat’s eye is tearing a lot .
Calicivirus is another of those responsible for the “flu” in cats. It may affect the eyes exclusively or cause respiratory symptoms and eye discharge . It may also cause ulcers in the oral mucosa without other associated clinical signs.
Although the trivalent vaccine in cats, which includes FHV-1, calicivirus and panleukopenia , protects them from infection, there are two problems :
- There are many different strains of calicivirus that are impossible to include in the same vaccine. In addition, these strains are in constant mutation, whereas FHV-1 only exists one, fortunately.
- Usually the vaccines are administered at 2 months of age and by that time the kitten may have already been infected.
After the infection, the virus is excreted constantly and therefore there are frequent relapses of either isolated conjunctivitis or associated respiratory signs such as cough, sinusitis, sneezing …
Since respiratory signs are most frequent, it is most likely to be used an oral antibiotic that is also excreted by tears, which allows controlling secondary infection by opportunistic bacteria. If your veterinarian deems it appropriate, it may indicate an antibiotic and / or anti-inflammatory eye drops (if the conjunctiva is badly affected). The fact that there is a decrease in tear production makes this option widely used. Antiviral drugs do not have the same efficacy as FHV-1.
In order to arrive at a diagnosis , serological tests are performed , as in the case of herpes virus, although clinical suspicion and response to treatment may suffice.
The bacterium Chlamydophila felis does not participate in feline flu, but may appear in the eye as a consequence of viral infection, taking advantage of low defenses.
It usually causes an acute infection, with intense ocular secretion , mucopurulent and a great inflammation of the conjunctiva.
Treatment for feline chlamydiosis, once identified by labor tests (a sample of the conjunctiva is collected with a swab and sent to laboratory culture) is based on ointments or eye drops of a particular group of antibiotics (tetracyclines) for several weeks.
If cat eye infections and eye infections do not improve with the usual eye drops, our veterinarian will suspect this bacteria in the review visits and will surely ask for specific tests to detect and treat it appropriately.
Tweezers on flat-faced cats
In the brachycephalic races (such as the Persian cat ), secretions in the tear fluid are very frequent and, for this reason, these types of cats tend to live constantly with plaits .
Due to the physiognomy of the head of these breeds, their nasolacrimal passages may become clogged, tearing outwards and the medial area of the eye dry and glued. The final appearance is like a crusty or viscous patch of brown color and a dirty appearance of that area, and there may be redness in the area of the conjunctiva. In addition, protruding eyes (bulging eyes) may become dry.
The daily cleaning secretions to prevent wounds to dry and form, either with saline or with specific products, it is essential in these cats. If our veterinarian deems it appropriate he may recommend the application of an artificial tear to prevent problems in the cornea. Do not miss our article to learn how to clean your cat’s eyes step by step .
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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