Although cats don't usually have as many eye problems as do dogs, when they do contract an infection, the results can be lasting. Conjunctivitis occurs when the pink part of the eye, which lines the white sclera, becomes red and inflamed. If you suspect your cat might have conjunctivitis, read the following.
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Recognize the signs of cat conjunctivitis. Your cat may have conjunctivitis if he is squinting, or if there is a watery discharge from one or both eyes that appears clear, green or yellow in color. Additionally, the cat's eyes may appear cloudy. Your cat may also exhibit signs of an upper respiratory infection.
Know how to diagnose cat conjunctivitis. A veterinarian can usually tell by physical examination of the cat if the illness is conjunctivitis. Occasionally, the cat will require additional or invasive testing, including samples of the conjunctiva cells or blood.
Receive proper care for your cat. Most cases of conjunctivitis, caused by environmental irritants or infectious viruses or bacteria, clear with the use of topical antibiotics. Additionally, those cats with recurring infections may require a direct injection to the conjunctiva. Lastly, give oral medication to cats with illnesses whose symptoms include conjunctivitis.
Administer eye medication as prescribed by the cat's veterinarian, usually four to six times a day. Two people may be required to apply the medication to the cat's eyes successfully.
Tips and warnings
- In some instances, the infection may recur if the cat feels stressed, in much the same way people get recurring cold sores. If this happens, the only option may be to manage the symptoms.