Cat Conjunctivitis




Cat Conjunctivitis
Cats tend to have less eye problems when compared to dogs. However a cat eye problem tends to be chronic and can last for months to years and can be a problem for life. What is Conjunctivitis, this is when the pink membrane part of the cats eye becomes inflamed. This normally affects only one eye and can make it very red and swollen. This can make your cat squinting for a short or long period of time. Conjunctivitis can come and go over the period of months to years and without any other eye problems to trigger it.
Signs of Conjunctivitis:

  • Squinting

  • Mucoid or watery discharge that can very from clear, grey, yellow or a dried blood colour that isn't blood

  • When the Conjunctiva is red and possibly swollen or thicker than its supposed to be

  • The cornea may be clear, or it can be cloudy if their is an ulcer, erosion or scar tissue present

  • If uveitis is present this can cause the iris to be a different colour

  • Sometimes an upper respiratory tract infection may be present

All or some of these symptoms may be present in one or both eyes.


Causes for Cat conjunctivitis
The most common cause for Cat conjunctivitis is infection. Their are many different infections that can cause conjunctivitis with three being the most common. These are:

  • Cat Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)

  • Cat Chlamydia

  • Cat Mycoplasma

Conjunctivitis can be a result of one or even all of the infections listed. Also, Cat herpesvirus can't be transmitted to humans as its a species specific virus.

Conjunctivitis and/or Keratitis causes diagnosis
The symptoms alone are normally enough to diagnose conjunctivitis but special test may be needed such as:

  • Cells from the conjunctival and/or corneal for cultivation

  • Cytology, this is looking at cells through a microscope

  • DNA test for Cat Herpesvirus-1 infection

Treating Conjunctivitis and Keratitis
These infections normally respond to topical antibiotics very well with the exception of Chlamydial infections. Chlamydial infections do clear up with topical antibiotics but can recur over time. Cat Herpecvirus-1 does not respond to topical antibiotics and is very difficult to treat. Topical antiviral medicines are some times used to treat conjunctivitis.
Cat herpesvirus-1 is very common among Cats with most having it. Most catch it as kittens but the virus remains dormant and can do so for the cats entire life, or it can flare up at any point. The main cause for the virus to flare up is your cat becoming stressed, casing your cats immune system to weaken and allowing the possible dormant virus to flare up and create a problem. With this in mind, Cat herpesvirus-1 conjunctivitis can not be cured but can be kept under control.
Some cats may never get conjunctivitis caused by Cat herpevirus-1 were some cats may get flare ups regularly and others now and again, it could be monthly to yearly.
Conjunctivitis caused by Cat herpevirus-1 has many different possible treatments depending on the symptoms that are present. If the cornea is involved their are other treatments also available. When the cornea is involved with Cat conjunctivitis, vision can be impaired if the virus isn't kept under control. It is possible but also very rare for a cat to become blind after having ocular Cat herpesvirus-1, instead your cat will feel long term discomfort if they don't receive treatment.

Conjunctivitis suspicions
If you suspect your Cat is having trouble with conjunctivitis, your first step should be a trip to the vets were they may diagnose and treat the problem.


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Cat Conjunctivitis


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The intensions of this site is to give you helpful information about the health of your pet cat. It is to provide helpful facts and information to help aid in raising your cat or kitten. This site and its information is not for self diagnosing your pet cat with any illness or sickness. Professional help should be sought - Visit your local veterinary surgeon or practitioner, you may also need to consider whether your pet cat or kitten should be taken to a Cat or cat hospital. Be warned vet bills can be very costly, we strongly recommend the purchase of pet insurance before health problems occur. Cat health insurance is a must as Cat illness can be very expensive, insurance will give much needed help in affording health related bills.

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