Conjunctivitis in Cats – Causes and Symptoms
The conjunctivitis is one of the most common eye problems in cats. It is easily detectable, quite uncomfortable for our pet and if not treated it can lead to more serious eye problems such as corneal rupture.
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If you believe that your cat may have conjunctivitis, pay attention to this article from ExpertAnimal in which we will tell you about the conjunctivitis in cats, their causes and symptoms , and tell you about some natural remedies.
What is conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye , ie the covering membrane and the inside of the eyelids. It can occur for several reasons and the symptoms are very clear, so it is easy to detect it in our felines. But conjunctivitis can be a symptom of another more serious disease, so even though we can treat the conjunctivitis at home with some remedies, we must take our partner to the vet.
In the case of domestic cats, it usually occurs in young cats under 6 months of age, especially if they have not been cared for adequately or have been on the street trying to survive. Once the veterinarian diagnoses the problem in our pet, it will indicate the following treatment, which will usually be of topical use in the eyes to apply several times a day for several days, in addition to eye hygiene. In addition, if it is suspected that conjunctivitis may be a symptom of some more serious disease, the veterinarian will perform the appropriate tests to identify the causative agent and thus be able to treat the affected individual.
The prognosis will be good in case conjunctivitis is detected early and, as more time is spent untreated, the prognosis will worsen. It should be borne in mind that in cats, relapses often occur, when at another time they suffer from some disease and their immune system is weakened. In addition, depending on what has been the disease causing conjunctivitis we should think that, still cured our cat can carry the disease and transmit it to others of its kind.
It is therefore important to bear in mind that feline conjunctivitis is a picture that can occur in any specimen of any age and can be catastrophic for the cat’s ocular health if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. background, even losing sight of it.
Types of conjunctivitis
There are different types of conjunctivitis in cats or Felis silvestris catus such as:
- Serous conjunctivitis : This problem is mild, easy to treat, and the symptoms are mild. For example, the ocular membrane becomes pink and slightly inflamed, and the tears are liquid and transparent. It may be a first symptom of a respiratory disease, but it is usually caused by cold temperatures, dust, wind and allergies.
- Follicular conjunctivitis : In the case of follicular conjunctivitis, the ocular secretion is mucous rather than liquid. The back of the nictitating membrane and the eyelids become larger and a hardened surface forms. It usually occurs due to an allergy or an infection.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis : This type of conjunctivitis is a complication of serous conjunctivitis, which worsened due to a secondary infection due to a bacterium. The ocular secretions are so thick that the ocular secretion is of mucus or pus and crusts are formed in the eyelids. If conjunctivitis of this type occurs in both eyes simultaneously, it is possible that the cat has some viral respiratory disease.
In addition, we can classify feline conjunctivitis according to its origin in infectious, traumatic, allergic and parasitic:
- Infectious Diseases : Some infectious diseases that have among their symptoms conjunctivitis in cats are Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus or Feline Herpesvirus , Chlamydia and Feline Calicivirus.
- Systemic hypertension .
- Internal eye inflammation or uveitis caused by Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency, Toxoplasmosis and Feline Infectious Peritonitis.
- In cases of cancer , some changes in this can cause conjunctivitis. For example: ocular lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma when they occur in the eye zone.
- Injuries : caused by scrapes, scrapes, foreign bodies entering the eyes, burns, etc.
- Hereditary problems : In some breeds of felines is the case of hereditary diseases that affect the eyes and these facilitate the conjunctivitis. For example, in the case of the Abyssinians, the retinal atrophy occurs, in the Manx corneal dystrophy and in the Burmese there are alterations of the eyelids.
Conjunctivitis in cats can occur due to eye infections, allergies or due to various diseases , but especially those that affect the respiratory system.
These diseases, which have conjunctivitis among their symptoms, are many and highly contagious, and have a high probability of leaving eye sequelae in case they are not treated in time.
Other causes are the soiling of the environment in which the cat lives, as it will easily produce infections that will lead to a conjunctivitis, not cleaning your cat’s eyes , excess cold and currents of air that cause colds and other respiratory diseases. Finally, we add that they may also occur due to some genetic problems that facilitate the onset of conjunctivitis.
Most Common Symptoms
Conjunctivitis can be easily detected by its most common symptoms such as:
- Irritation of the conjunctiva , ie redness of the eyes and mucous membranes (inside of the eyelids).
- Constant tearing that causes the swelling of the eyes.
- Ocular discharge thick in abundance (excess of ramelas), sometimes yellowish or greenish.
- The third eyelid protrudes from the swelling.
- In puppies, due to swelling and secretions, their eyes are half open and it is difficult for them to open them.
- They have itchy eyes , so they usually wash and scratch their legs a lot.
- In advanced cases, opacity may occur in the cornea .
- Another symptom in cases of long duration are changes in the color and shape of the iris .
Home Remedies and Remedies for Feline Conjunctivitis
At YourCatCareguide we recommend that if you identify any of the symptoms mentioned above in your companion, do not hesitate to take it to the vet as it may be a simple conjunctivitis due to minor problems or a symptom of a serious illness. The specialist will indicate the proper treatment that in addition to the medication may include some remedies to make at home.
It is very important to remember that there are viral diseases that can cause many problems besides a conjunctivitis, which have a vaccine and therefore we must follow the vaccination schedule. Also, once you have passed through this, if our pet has a relapse, we will notice this sooner and we can act at home with medicines to relieve the symptoms and we can even prevent conjunctivitis. Here are some home remedies to prevent and treat feline conjunctivitis:
- It is always good to keep our pet’s eyes clean even if they are cleaned with saline and a sterile gauze . This prevents them from accumulating dust and dirt that can cause eye infections. We should always use different gauzes for each eye and clean from the inside out. It is very important that you do not use cotton instead of sterile gauze since the cotton leaves filaments residues very easily and this, it becomes a foreign body in the eye of our cat causing several problems.
- With proper feeding we can get the cat to have a strong immune system.
- If we see that our partner scratches his eyes a lot , we should try to prevent him from doing so, as he is more likely to do some wounding.
- To soothe itching, inflammation, redness and other symptoms, after cleansing the eye, we can apply with a sterile gauze around a finger infusion of chamomile or thyme , just as we explained earlier with saline.
- If we have several pets, it is best to separate those who are affected from the healthy ones to avoid contagion and also clean and disinfect their beds, blankets, etc.
- There are products for sale in stores specializing in animals such as artificial tears and eye baths . With these products we help keep our eyes clean and moisturized respecting the pH of our cat’s eye. It is advisable to apply the drops to the eyes at the dose indicated on the product and then cover the eye with a damp cloth with warm water for a few minutes and then do the same on the other eye with a different cloth.
- We should keep our cat’s hair healthy and clean. In this case we insist on the hair around the eyes that we can brush by removing it from the eyes and cutting it at home if you have the right material, or the safest, take it to the veterinarian to have it done. This way we can avoid irritations and eye infections.
- Remember that one of the causes of conjunctivitis is the colds caused by drafts, so we should try to keep the windows closed or ajar . If we are to travel by car with the cat , we should think the same with the windows of the car and with the air conditioning, try that it is not coming directly to your pet.
If you are experiencing symptoms, you should always take the cat to your veterinarian because if it is a conjunctivitis you are more likely to advise us on some medication than other things we can do at home.
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 you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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