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Feline Conjunctivitis

It is quite common for cats to develop conjunctivitis. The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the eyelids and encompasses a portion of the eyeball surface. The condition develops whenever it becomes inflamed.

Feline Conjunctivitis

It is important to get this inflammation treated as soon as possible. Failure to do so could open the door to more serious eye problems developing. Corneal ulcers can easily develop due to serious inflammation.



Causes

Conjunctivitis in cats can occur for a wide range of reasons. Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections are commonly the underlying reason that the problem occurs. The condition is also a side effect of diseases like immunodeficiency virus, herpes virus, and chlamydia. Also, the conjunctiva can become inflamed because of allergens like pollen.

Signs

Fortunately, owners have no trouble spotting signs of cat conjunctivitis. The affected eye will turn noticeably red. One or both may be affected. The red color is caused by the presence of blood vessels and the build up of fluid in the area.

Another common sign of inflammation is discharge from the eye. The particular color will vary anywhere from clear to greenish yellow. The eye will be very irritating, causing cats to paw in an effort to get relief. It’s also common for the eye to swell, especially if it’s continuously pawed at.

Diagnosis

To diagnose feline conjunctivitis is a relatively straightforward process. The vet will simply take a culture of the eye discharge. This will provide him with information as to the underlying cause, whether it be fungal, bacterial, etc.

Treatment

Cats that are suffering from conjunctivitis are usually provided relief in the form of eye ointment or drops. These will have to be applied multiple times throughout the day, the frequency of which will be determined by the specific medication. Allergic reactions can be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops.

The eye’s red color should diminish within just a few days of your cat receiving the ointment or drops. However, it’s important that you continue applying them for the prescribed length of time even if the symptoms have disappeared. If you discontinue treatment early, the condition may not be fully treated.

As you have already learned, the herpes virus can also lead to signs of this condition. In these particular cases, the symptoms of feline conjunctivitis may disappear for a while, but will more than likely recur at some point.

Feline Chlamydia

Both bacteria and viruses can cause conjunctivitis in cats. This condition is known as pink eye, the same thing that can affect dogs, humans, and other animals. Feline chlamydia results from a bacterial infection. Cats are usually infected with other viruses along with this disease like herpes virus and calicivirus.

Feline Chlamydia

Chlamydia in cats usually affects those at the younger or older end of the spectrum. Those with damaged immune systems or other illness of some sort have an increased risk too. However, the bacterial infection can cause symptoms in any cat.



There is an assortment of ways that feline chlamydia can be transmitted. The bacteria can be passed via eye discharge, nose secretions, or saliva from infected cats. Mothers are also capable of transmitting the disease to their kittens while giving birth.

You should also know that it’s possible chlamydia in cats to be transmitted in indirect ways. The bacteria can live in bedding, food dishes, and other places and can infect your cat if he comes into contact with them. Owners can also harbor the bacteria on their hands and pass it along to their felines.

Seeing the white of your cat’s eyes turn red is one of the primary signs of feline chlamydia. The eye may also swell, with the third eyelid closing partially. Discharge that’s very watery may also appear from the eyes. All of this will irritate your cat’s eye, causing him to paw at it frequently. This illness may only cause symptoms in one eye at first. Eventually though, both eyes will likely experience problems. As mentioned, chlamydia in cats usually occurs at the same time as other respiratory conditions. Cats may have a fever, discharge from the nose, coughing, and sneezing if this occurs.

Feline chlamydia doesn’t usually prove difficult to treat as long as it’s mild. Antibiotics can get rid of the bacteria. They may be given orally or placed directly in the affected eyes. The condition can get more problematic though if there are other problems at the same time. Your cat may have an upper respiratory illness that requires hospitalization.

Whenever giving your cat antibiotics to treat any condition, it’s vital to go through the entire regimen. If you don’t, then the bacteria you’re trying to get rid of may mutate and grow stronger. If this happens, they may become resistant to the antibiotics.

If you have multiple cats in your household, then you’ll especially need to be careful with feline chlamydia. It can easily be transmitted to other cats. Keep infected cats in seclusion. Disinfect bedding, food dishes, and other places that can harbor the bacteria. Also, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after you touch the infected cat so that you don’t spread it to your other felines.

Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia, commonly referred to as distemper, is caused by a highly contagious virus. The disease, which can easily be fatal, destroys the white blood cells and damages the lining of the intestines and stomach. Since white blood cells help fight infections, this disease leaves your cat at risk for various other conditions.

Feline Panleukopenia

Transmission

The virus that causes panleukopenia in cats can be spread a variety of ways. Contact with infected cats, food dishes, bedding, and litter pans can spread the virus. Owners can also harbor the virus on their shoes, clothes, and hands and give it to their cat. Fleas can also transmit the disease.



Signs

Feline panleukopenia causes symptoms to appear after an incubation period of about five days. Cats experience diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and thirst, and abdominal pain. Your cat may also stop grooming himself properly and develop a rough coat. The “third eyelid” may also appear in the inner corner of the eye.

Diagnosis

Different diseases share some of the same signs as those caused by panleukopenia in cats. The vet will review your cat’s medical history and symptoms. A blood test to check for antibodies to the virus will help confirm that your cat has this disease.

Treatment

Feline panleukopenia causes frequent diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, treatment will likely involve fluid therapy to prevent this and to help stop the diarrhea and vomiting. Secondary bacterial infections will also need to be prevented until the immune system can hopefully take over.

Prevention

There is a vaccine available to help prevent panleukopenia in cats. It is usually combined with shots to protect against calicivirus and herpes virus. Your cat will need to have booster shots every one to three years.

Feline Herpes Virus

Feline herpes is also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis or FVR for short. It is a disease that affects your cat’s upper respiratory tract. Caused by the feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV-1), it can affect a cat of any age or breed.

Feline Herpes Virus

Transmission



The feline herpes virus is shed in bodily secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes. Cats can become infected with the virus by coming into contact with the contaminated secretions. Also, objects such as litter trays and food dishes can harbor the virus and infect your cat when he comes into contact with them. You as the owner can even harbor the virus on your hands or clothing and pass it along to your pet.

Certain cats are particularly at risk for the feline herpes virus. Those who live in poorly cleaned or ventilated conditions are at risk. Kittens and cats around plenty of other cats are also susceptible. Felines who are also sick from some other type of disease can also be infected more easily.

Signs

As mentioned earlier, the feline herpes virus affects the upper respiratory tract. This causes various symptoms such as nasal discharge and inflammation and sneezing. Your cat may also develop a case of conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye. Pregnant cats can also experience complications since the virus affects the reproductive tract as well.

Diagnosis

The herpes virus in cats is fairly straightforward to diagnose. The vet can send a sample of your cat’s nasal or eye secretions to a laboratory to test for the virus. There are various tests available to make a diagnosis of this illness.

Treatment

Treatment of feline herpes virus mainly consists of supportive care since there is no cure. You will need to ensure that your cat eats and drinks. Discharge from the eyes and nose will need to be cleaned regularly too. Some cats are given eye drops to help relieve inflammation.

It is also beneficial to minimize the amount of stress that your cat endures while he’s sick. In severe cases, the veterinarian may feel the need to give your cat antiviral or antibiotics.

Prevention

You should be aware that after a bout with this disease, most cats become latent carriers. Latent carriers show no sign of disease although they are still capable of spreading it via their bodily secretions. There is a vaccine available to keep your cat from contracting this virus.