What is feline conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis in cats is an eye problem they get, often as a result of disease or infection. Cats have a part of their eye called the conjunctiva. It is a little membrane that covers up the eye. Conjunctivitis happens when that membrane gets swollen and reddens.

   

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What are the symptoms?

The cat's eyes may look swollen, and it may have trouble seeing or may start squinting or closing one of its eyes. You may see discharge from the cat's eye. You will usually be able to see reddening somewhere in the cat's eye, and the eye may not look the same color that it normally does.

What are the causes?

Eye injuries and eye infections are a major cause, but it can also be caused by other infections diseases such as feline herpes or chlamydia.

What are the treatments?

First, you need to get your cat to a vet. This can cause serious, lifelong injury to the eye and risks permanent squinting or even blindness in extreme cases if you let it go untreated. There are two basic treatments depending on the cause. If it is caused by a bacteria, then the vet will give you antibiotics. These are very effective at fighting off the infections. If it is caused by a virus (usually feline herpes), the vet will not be able to do much. Herpes is a chronic disease in cats, and it will stay with them for life in most cases. This may mean periodic recurrence of the conjunctivitis. Vitamin supplements and other nutritional approaches to boost the cat's immune system can do some good, and they will help the cat fight it off on its own. There are some drugs available, but they are not usually used with herpes unless it is severe, because blindness and other side effects are pretty rare with that form.

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