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Cat Eye Infections

Updated on November 29, 2010

Eye infections in felines are a very common occurrence, with several different pathogens that contribute to them. Fortunately, eye infections can be treated quite effectively by your veterinarian, who is able to diagnose the problem due to feline eye infections having particular distinctiveness that are easily recognized.

Causes and Symptoms Associated With Cat Eye Infection

Feline eye infections can result from several different elements including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, viral Infection, inflammation of the membrane that the eye is coated with get inflamed and redness appears when a viral eye infection is present. Viral infections are a result of herpesirus -1 and are considered the most common cause of eye infection in cats. There are several symptom associated with viral eye infections.

  • One or both of eyes will show signs of squinting
  • The cornea and surrounding area of the eye will show signs of inflammation
  • The eye affected with have a discharge

Bacterial Cat Eye Infection

Symptoms of bacterial infections are similar to viral infections; it is often difficult to distinguish between the two due to identical symptoms.

  • The eye affected with have a discharge
  • Eye appears to be closed more than normal
  • Redness appears

Fungal Cat Eye Infection

The rarest form of feline eye infections is the fungal, often found in cats with a compromised immune system. Outdoor environments have been found to be the cause of fungal infections. Symptoms are similar to the other types however there are a few not typical.

  • Eyes will appear dilated
  • The feline will experience peripheral blindness
  • Pupils will not react to light
  • Retinas will appear red and inflamed
  • The feline’s behavior will dramatically change

Cat Eye Infection Treatment

Antibiotic are commonly used in the treatment for viral infections, usually in the form of an ointment, this also aids in the prevention of a further complications such as bacterial infections from occurring. There are several topical antiviral medications available for treatment, however they can become very expensive and are not recommended unless the cornea is compromised with the viral infections. Interferon and lysine are oral treatments often used to curtail the life of the infection and in the prevention of further infections from developing.

Topical antibacterial ointments are also used to treat bacterial infections, usually with treatments lasting 10-14 days with doses occurring twice a day.

Anti-fungal medications such as fluconazole, triazole, voriconazole or itraconazole are used in the treatment of fungal eye infection and are given in the oral form.

Prevention of Feline Eye Infection Reoccurrence

The most recommended treatment for eye infection prevention is to have you cat vaccinated early and continue with booster at the recommended intervals. Without these preventative measures, your cat can develop an infection that could last throughout its lifetime, which also leads to continually experiencing serious and painful eye problems. Cleaning with a damp cloth on the area around the eyes when mucus is present, doing this at least once a day, can be beneficial to the eye health of your cat and will prevent further buildup of mucus. To prevent eye irritation that can lead to infections, keep the felines hair short around the eyes, and always keep chemicals such as soaps and other household product from coming in contact with the cat’s face.

Other Causes of Feline Eye Infections

Trauma to the cornea can be caused by something scratching the cat eye, and if left untreated this can also lead to infections in the eye. If it goes untreated, it can ultimately lead to the loss of the cat eye or eyes. Symptoms of cornea damage include:

  • Constant squinting of the eyes
  • A bluish tint will appear on the cornea

If you suspect cornea ulcer you should consult your veterinarian right away. Most often Terramycin ophthalmic ointment is prescribed, however further treatment and even surgery may be required in order to cure the damage and infection.

Feline eye infections can accelerate at a very rapid pace, if you see a problem, even if you think it may be nothing, you should seek advice from your veterinarian immediately. Viral infections can clear up on their own without medications however, with the symptoms being so similar to bacterial infections, it is never good to wait, due to permanent damage to the retina and cornea if the bacterial or fungi infections go untreated for an extended period of time.

One final thing you must consider if your cat has developed an eye infection you should quarantine the cat until the condition is treated, especially if there are other pets in the household. This is also recommended if you have brought a new cat into the household and no vaccination record is available, quarantine the new feline until they have had a complete physical and have been vaccinated.

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