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Conjunctivitis in Cats:

Cat conjunctivitis is a fairly chronic problem that affects cats.



Conjunctivitis basically means an inflammation in the membranes of the eyes. This is a condition that comes and goes fairly regularly. Indications of conjunctivitis include swollen, red, crusty, goopy or watery eyes. The various causes of feline conjunctivitis occurring include infections, facial conformation that is for those cats with Persian features and congenital defects like missing tear ducts or small tear ducts.



Scarring that is a result of a previous infection can also be a cause of the cat conjunctivitis. However the commonest cause of cat eye problems like conjunctivitis is an infection that is the result of the Herpes virus. In cats the herpes infection can also be referred to as “rhinotracheitis” and is an upper respiratory infection. It is one of the parts of the combination feline distemper vaccine that is given to most of the kittens.



The main purpose of the vaccine is to lower the severity of the herpes disease although it does not actually prevent the problem. Almost all cats are at some point or the other exposed to the Herpes virus while they are still kittens. Those cats that are under stress are known to be more susceptible to this virus and to recurrent flare ups of the problem. It tends to affect only one of the cat’s eyes and hence gives the cat a lopsided squint. Cat’s cannot bear too much of strong light and tend to squint in the bright light. Cat conjunctivitis treatment involves bathing the cat’s eyes in a saline solution. This helps to relieve any irritation that the cat might be feeling. It also helps in washing the viral particles out of the eyes. Try making a saline solution at home by adding a quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of water. The water should be at room temperature. Next using a cotton ball drizzle a few drops of this solution into the cat’s eye at least three to four times in a day. Remember to keep making a fresh solution of saline solution each time you need to use it as bacteria can develop in the solution in between the various treatments.

Cat eye health is a serious matter and it is the responsibility of the pet owner to ensure that any infection that develops is attended to immediately. If an eye infection like Herpes is left untreated it can even lead to corneal ulcers that can ultimately culminate in loss of vision.

 
  Submitted on March 4, 2010  
 
 
 

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