Kitten Eye Infection- Conjunctivitis And Drops To Cure It
What is Conjunctivitis?
It is the most common type of eye disorder in cats. It is an inflammatory disorder (itis meaning inflammation).
In conjunctivitis, there is inflammation of the conjunctiva.
Conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that covers the front and lines the inside of the eyes. Cats have a third eyelid in the inner corner of the eye which is also covered by conjunctiva.
Conjunctivitis is not necessarily infectious it can also be non-infectious.
Infectious causes of Conjunctivitis
It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi. Out of which the fungi are the most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats.
The primary causes of conjunctivitis are flu viruses usually herpes virus or calicivirus.
It can also be caused by various streptococci and staphylococci bacteria.
Chlamydophila felis and Mycoplasma can also cause primary conjunctivitis.
Non-infectious causes of conjunctivitis
Non-infectious conjunctivitis is mostly caused by irritants in the cat's environment.
It may be dust particles or sand or chemical irritants like shampoo, perfume, or air fresheners that the cat accidentally came in contact with or any trauma to the eye that caused irritation of the conjunctiva.
Allergic conditions can also play a major role in causing conjunctivitis like coming in contact with certain plants to which the cat is allergic.
Corneal ulcers also play a role like abrasions on the front of the eye can cause irritation and redness of the eye.
Inflammation can occur in one or both the eyes at the same time.
Conjunctivitis can also be a result of the upper respiratory tract infection.
Conjunctivitis can also be a sign of any other kind of underlying disease.
It is also a common symptom of eye tumors in cats.
This disease is contagious it means it can spread to other kittens and make them ill so it is better to keep your cat in a separate room for some while.
The cat appears to be thinner than normal, not eating well, and maybe sneezing and blinking a lot more than usual.
She has sore looking eyes and repeatedly trying to rub her eyes with paws and floor or on the furniture.
Eyes will become red, swollen, itchy, and will discharge abnormal fluid.
There may be a blue or cloudy appearance of the surface of the eye.
Conjunctivitis can affect both the eyes at the same time.
How the cats are diagnosed for conjunctivitis
The medical history of your cat will help a lot in diagnosing the conjunctivitis.
The veterinarian will perform various tests related to medical history and clinical examination of your cat.
For the examination of the eye, the vet will first numb the eyes by using anesthetic drops and will inspect for foreign bodies, abrasions, or ulcers in the eye.
Her veterinarian may use the fluorescein dye to visualize the underlying ulcers.
For the proper treatment of conjunctivitis, it is necessary to find the underlying cause. To do this the veterinarian may ask for a biopsy and blood tests to check the presence of any infectious organism.
What to do at home
Conjunctivitis may not be necessarily dangerous and can be corrected by following some simple measures:
1. Conjunctivitis is contagious so that's why it is necessary to move your kitten to a less crowded area.
2.Keep your kitten at an area which is warm, dry, and dust-free.
3. If the fluid keeps draining from the eyes of the kitten, try to clean it with a warm wet cloth several times a day. If the kitten cannot open her eyes on herself because of the dry drainage, try to open kitten's eyes gently with a warm wet cloth and don't forget to wash your hands after touching the kitten's eyes.
4. You can apply topical antibiotics (Terramycin) at least 3 times a day (clean the eyes of the kitten with a warm wet cloth before applying ointment) but some kittens are allergic to it, in this condition you should immediately contact with the veterinarian.
If the condition of your kitten does not improve or get worse after trying all these remedies then you should schedule a meeting with the veterinarian:
1. Antibiotic and soothing eye drops can be helpful in treating conjunctivitis.
2. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used in conjunctivitis to reduce the inflammation.
3. In more serious cases, antibiotic injections and pills are also recommend.
4. Antiviral medications are used in conjunctivitis caused by the herpes virus, in this case, we can also use Interferon-alpha as a complement to the antiviral drug to stimulate the immunity of the cat.
5. Tetracycline ophthalmic ointment and Azithromycin oral antibiotic are used in conjunctivitis caused by Chlamydophila or Mycoplasma.
6. In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, you can use topical corticosteroid ointment or drops to reduce or stop the allergic reaction.
How to apply eye drops in a kitten
Keep the head of the kitten slightly upward and gently open the eyelids of the kitten then first clean the eyes with a wet warm cloth and then apply the eye drops and don't forget to wash your hands afterward.
Flu is the common cause of conjunctivitis in cats so don't miss out the vaccination of flu virus.
However, vaccination cannot prevent all the other reasons that are causing conjunctivitis.
Keep a look at your cat while she is playing
Keep her away from the sharp objects, because it can cause trauma and it is one of the reasons for conjunctivitis.
Manage the stress level in your cat
Stress reduces immunity and the ability to fight with organisms causing infections.
Keep a check on the hygiene of your cat and its environment
Q1: Is cat conjunctivitis contagious to human
The chances of spread of cat conjunctivitis to human are very low but one should take proper care of the hygiene like washing hands after touching the eyes of the cat.
Read more about Cat Eye Infections