A kind wink from a human friend is one thing, but a wink from your cat is a whole different experience. The symptoms of an eye infection may include excessive blinking, rubbing of the eyes, or discharge. Because of how frequently infectious agents like bacteria and viruses cause eye problems in cats, it’s important to recognize the clinical signs associated with these conditions.
Causes of Eye Infections In Cats
Cats can suffer from eye illness for a variety of reasons, but infectious organisms are a major contributor. Because these infectious agents can be hard to control in crowded surroundings, every cat that comes into close contact with other cats is at danger of exposure.
Eye infections in kittens and younger cats can be caused by bacteria and viruses. The most prevalent bacterial diagnoses are for Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. Although feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) is usually to blame for eye infections, other viruses like calicivirus can play a role as well. Any cat is at risk, but kittens and cats with compromised immune systems or those living in high-stress environments like animal shelters are more vulnerable to these diseases.
If an eye infection suddenly appears in an older cat or one living in a consistent environment, it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Eye trauma, autoimmunity, malignancy, and systemic viral infections including feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) could all have a role.
Symptoms of Cat Eye Infections
There are a number of signs that can be seen by cat guardians that their feline friend has an eye infection:
- It’s possible to get a crimson tinge in the whites of your eyes.
- Various colors of ocular discharge, from clear to yellow to green, are possible. It’s also usual to massage or wink at the eyes.
- It is possible that the third eyelid has protruded to cover a portion of the inflamed eye.
- Your cat may also exhibit other clinical indications, such as sneezing or nasal discharge, that are typical with upper respiratory infections.
One or both eyes could be affected by these symptoms. Particularly in the first stages of the infection, it is very uncommon for a cat to demonstrate only one of the above symptoms.
Diagnosis of Cat Eye Infections
A trip to the vet for a checkup is essential for getting a proper diagnosis. The best diagnostic tests for your cat can be determined with the help of your cat’s detailed medical history. Every part of the eye will be checked for evidence of trauma, and the patient’s overall health for indicators of an upper respiratory infection.
In order to identify infectious pathogens, the veterinarian may take a tiny swab or scrape cells from the inflamed areas. The veterinarian may advise further tests or bloodwork to rule out more serious issues if they detect a secondary systemic illness.
Prognosis for Cat Eye Infections
For infections that don’t cause complications, the outlook is very good. In most cases, the infection may be cured by using antibiotics, while viral infections tend to clear up on their own.
Long-term prognosis is condition-specific when an infection is related to another condition like FIV, neoplasia, or anatomic abnormality. The infection in the eye can still be treated and controlled independently of the rest of the situation.
Treatment for Cat Eye Infections
Antibiotics, most often in the form of a topical ointment or drops, are used to treat bacterial infections. Treatment via mouth administration is frequently unnecessary.
Despite the fact that viral eye infections typically resolve on their own, many veterinarians still advise giving topical antibiotics to these cats because they frequently suffer from both viral and bacterial infections at the same time. In severe situations, anti-viral drugs may be necessary.
Remember that many feline eye disorders share similar symptoms, thus a veterinary examination is essential for a proper diagnosis. Though bacterial infections are very frequent in cats, the symptoms of glaucoma, foreign substances, and anatomical deformities can all present similarly to the untrained eye. Do not attempt to treat your cat at home with antibiotics intended for another cat if your cat is exhibiting any signs of discomfort; you may waste time and fail to get an accurate diagnosis.
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