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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.