How To Tell If Your Cat Has An Eye Infection
Cats with an infected eye will often squint and have runny eye discharge.
One or both of your cats eyes will look abnormal. The cat may be squinting with the eyes half closed. You may be unable to see the eyeball properly due to swelling of the lining of the eye.
There may be discharge from the eyes. The eyes may be runny, with an ocular discharge and wetness. Sometimes yellow or green matter may be seen around the eye, often streaming down the front of the face.
Proper Diagnosis Is Crucial
Without a definite diagnosis, your kitty cannot be treated properly. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by an experienced veterinarian. Your veterinarian will begin by performing a comprehensive evaluation of the cats eyes to check for key signs and symptoms of infection or any indication of trauma.
A sample of discharge or infected skin cells may be taken in order to further investigate the root cause of the problem. Blood tests and other assessments may be necessary depending on each unique case.
Cat Eye Infection Treatment
Veterinary medicine has learned a great deal about eye infections in cats, and a visit to your vet is essential to deal effectively with all eye issues.
Heres how your veterinarian may treat your cats eye infection:
- Your vet will carry out a full examination of the eye, checking for any underlying causes of the eye infection.
- Cytology may be carried out, with the vet collecting a sample from the eye to examine under the microscope.
- A Schirmer Tear Test may be carried out to measure the cats tear production to rule out dry eye , which happens when a cat stops producing the normal amount of tears.
- Swabs may be sent off to the laboratory to carry out extra tests for a causative agent such as Chlamydia.
- Fluorescin dye may be applied to the eye to check for any damage to the cornea such as corneal ulcers or scratches. The dye will also allow the vet to confirm that your cats tear ducts are functioning normally.
- Finally, the vet may apply local anaesthetic drops to the eye to allow the third eyelid to be lifted up so that the vet can check for any foreign bodies that may be trapped beneath this, causing discomfort and damage.
- Once this detailed examination has been carried out, the vet should be able to make a provisional diagnosis, and then give appropriate treatment.
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Shop Around And Compare Vet Prices
All vet clinics calculate their costs differently. Always shop around for a second and third opinion. You have a right to ask for a referral or even the contact number of another vet who can give a second opinion. Its unlikely the vet is price gouging you, so they will have nothing to hide.
You can also ask for a written diagnosis rather than buying treatment in the office directly. Price compare medications from online stores, which dont have to plan for store overhead and do frequently have much lower prices.
Causes Of Cloudy Eye In Cats
There are several causes of cloudy eye in cats. Primary causes include disease, which may also involve secondary, noninfectious causes such as trauma and exposure to chemicals. Each cause is described in-depth below.
Corneal ulcers can occur for a number of reasons, such as blunt trauma to the eye, exposure to chemicals, or infection. Ulcers in the cornea form when the epithelium, a thin layer of protective cells, is fully penetrated. Inflammatory cells enter the stroma, underneath the epithelium, which is responsible for the cloudy appearance of the eyes.
This condition is characterized by corneal inflammation and swelling. Keratitis may be attributed to a number of secondary causes, such as infection and injury. Keratitis is often caused by the feline herpesvirus.
Cats typically develop cataracts due to inflammation, systemic disease, or trauma to the lens rather than old age. Old age causes a thickening of the lens called nuclear sclerosis, but cataracts are a different problem. Cataracts are characterized by cloudy eye and partial to full vision loss.
This irreversible disease occurs when the aqueous fluid within the eye stops draining properly. This buildup of fluid causes pressure on the optic nerve, causing nerve damage. This nerve damage will seriously impair your cats vision. Unfortunately, by the time signs manifest, partial vision loss has already occurred.
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Cat Eye Infection Causes And Symptoms
Cat eyes are naturally bright and clear but infections and other irritations can bring about several changes. If you have been googling what causes cat eye infection, worried that your cat could be in serious danger, here are some of the possible causes of the problem that you need to know. Note that these causes are not mutually exclusive and can thus occur simultaneously:
Signs and symptoms of cat eye infection may be seen in one or both eyes. They include:
- Squinting: Your cats eyelids will usually get stuck together, with the third eyelid partially covering the eyeball.
- Yellow or greenish eye discharge
- Pawing or rubbing the eyes against objects such as carpet, furniture etc.
- Unusual blinking
How To Treat A Cat Eye Infection
First aid for an eye infection involves a pet owner bathing the eye twice daily in mildly salty water. Add a teaspoonful of salt to a pint of boiled water. Let the water cool to a comfortable temperature. Moisten a ball of cotton wool with the saltwater solution and apply this gently to the cats eye, soaking the discharge to make it easier to wipe off. Repeat this every two hours.
If the eye condition is not back to normal after twenty-four hours of this treatment, you should take your cat to your local DVM veterinarian without delay.
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Home Care: Tips For Keeping Your Cats Eyes Healthy
You can help avoid eye problems in your cat by keeping up with yearly vaccinations, avoiding kitty overcrowding, and checking your cats eyes frequently for redness, cloudiness, a change in color or shape, discharge, or sensitivity to light.
To safely remove your cats eye discharge and make them more comfortable while waiting for their vet appointment, arm yourself with a bag of cotton balls and these simple tips from the ASPCA:
- Dip a cotton ball in water. Wipe away the eye discharge, always from the corner of the eye outward. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.
- Steer clear of any over-the-counter drops or washes unless your vet has prescribed them.
Because correct treatment can be so critical to the health and well-being of your cat, always talk to a veterinarian to be sure kitty is getting just the right care needed.
Enucleation Prevention In Cats
Enucleation surgery is often used for feline eye conditions that have unknown causes and prevention is not always possible. Preventing eye trauma is important and seeking veterinary attention immediately when a problem is noted will be a step in the right direction.
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Natural Home Remedies To Treat Conjunctivitis In Cats
Now, the question you were waiting for “How can I treat my cats eye infection at home?”. Here are some tips for things that you can do at home to care for your cats conjunctivitis. These are not magic recipes for treating acute conjunctivitis, however, they can be of great help at the first signs of an eye infection such as discharge, swollen or pink eye.
What Causes Cataracts In Cats
What Causes Cataracts In Cats? Most commonly, feline cataracts develop secondarily to inflammation as a result of eye trauma, viral infection, or other infections. Another common cause is poor nutrition as a kitten.
Do you know the answer to this question? Help our community by submitting an answer.
Why is my cats third eyelid showing? The most common cause of a third eyelid prolapse in both eyes, is when your cat has some sort of gastrointestinal upset or cat-tastrophy, really such as intestinal worms or other parasites food intolerance a viral or bacterial gut infection.
How much does eye removal surgery cost for a cat? An enucleation surgery for a feline can cost approximately $200 to $1,000.
Can you fix cataracts in cats?The ideal treatment for cataracts is surgery. If your cat has significant inflammation within the eye, cataract surgery may not be a feasible option. Unfortunately, there are no medications that can dissolve cataracts or slow their progression. This means that the cataracts will persist.
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Cat Eye Infection Home Remedies
Outdoor cats are as much susceptible to eye infections as dogs. If follows that keeping your cat indoors is your best bet in as far as prevention of cat eye infections is concerned. According to Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian and animal advocate based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, you can reduce the risk of cat eye infection by as much as 80 percent by keeping your feline friend indoors.
If it is too late however and the problem has already occurred, you can make use of the following cat eye infection home remedies:
More Tips For Natural Cat Eye Infection Treatment
In addition to the above cat eye infection home remedies, you will also want to consider the following tips:
- Give your cat a balanced diet: A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins A and C will help your cat by boosting her immune system and promoting eye health. Adding vegetables such as spinach, kale, and carrots is a good starting point.
- Keep the infected cat away from other pets, including dogs.
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How Is Cat Conjunctivitis Diagnosed
If your cat seems to be in pain, the vet might start by using anaesthetic eye drops to numb the area before inspecting it for foreign bodies, scratches or wounds. Sometimes a green dye might be applied which, when illuminated with a bright blue light, can show where the eye problem originated.
Your cats medical history will also help in diagnosing the symptoms as some cases of infectious cat conjunctivitis may be recurrent, with flare-ups on a regular basis.
When To Contact Your Vet
Always contact your vet if you notice any of the signs above or you have a suspicion there is something wrong with your cats eye. If conjunctivitis is left too long without treatment it can lead to more serious disease or even loss of an eye.
If your cat suffers with conjunctivitis regularly your vet will check for any conditions that might be causing it.
You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.
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How To Identify Cat Eye Infections
Eye infections in cats can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. If your cat has an eye infection, they may have any number of symptoms. How can you know when your cat may be suffering from an eye infection and what can you do about it?
Can Pet Insurance Help Me Pay For Vet Bills
Pet insurance can be a great way to protect yourself against high medical bills that can occur unexpectedly during the life of your cat, but many people ignore this option. It will usually cost between $25$35 per month to keep your cat covered. It can seem like a lot of money, but if your cat requires hospitalization, you will be glad you dont have to pay out of pocket. In many cases, not being financially capable of paying for treatment can result in the death of your pet.
When you have insurance, you will usually file a case with your company online and tell them about the vet visit, injuries, and costs incurred. The insurance company will then contact your vet and process your claim before sending you a reimbursement check.
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Home Remedies For Cat Eye Infections
Last but not least, it’s important to totally rule out two home remedies circulating on the internet for cat’s eye infections.
First, don’t get your “neos” mixed up. Neosporin, a topical skin ointment for humans, does not belong in the eyes of people, cats, or anybody else . You may see Neomycin listed as an ingredient in some antibiotics for cat eye infections. But they’re different products for different thingsjust don’t mix them up!
Second, apple cider vinegar should not be used to treat your cat’s eye infections. Not only is it ineffective, it’s also dangerousand can cause chemical burns to a cat’s cornea as well as cataracts and glaucoma if the vinegar penetrates even deeper into the eye. Vinegar doesn’t belong anywhere near a cat’s eye, or yours for that matter.
How To Treat Cat Eye Infection
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 250,569 times.
Eye health is important to the overall health of cats and should be assessed by cat owners on a regular basis. Knowing what to look for and how to act if you suspect an infection is important to preventing long-term problems with your cat’s eyes. Early detection allows you to decide if you can manage the problem at home or if a trip to the vet is essential. If in doubt, always seek professional advice because some problems can be dangerous and could potentially cause a loss of vision or an eye.
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Why Are Vet Visits So Expensive
There are more pet parents today than ever, and more people are treating their pets like family members when making their healthcare decisions. As such, veterinary practices have been in growing demand. While the high-tech diagnostics can rack up the bill, you’re also paying for the expertise of a doctor who spent years working toward helping our animal companions.
The reality it that most vets are not in it for the money. In fact, while the have just as much schooling and student debt as human health doctors, DVMs make a fraction of what their MD counterparts make. Please, watch this TED Talk on what being a veterinarian really takes.
When To See A Vet
Your cats eyes are as delicate as they are beautiful. Small problems can quickly turn into serious conditions. If your cats eye discharge symptoms dont clear up within 24 hours or if your cat is squinting, talk to your veterinarian right away.
If you have medications left over from a previous eye problem, dont use them on your cats eyes. Different eye issues call for different medications, and you can end up causing serious injury by using the wrong one.
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Feline Viral Conjunctivitis Aka Cat Eye Infection
What Are Some Causes Of Conjunctivitis
The most common causes of conjunctivitis can be roughly divided into two categories: infectious diseases and non-infectious conditions including allergies, hereditary conditions, and tumors. Conjunctivitis may also be a secondary symptom of another eye disease.
Infectious Causes of Conjunctivitis. Infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi are the most common causes of conjunctivitis in cats. In many cases, viruses such as feline viral rhinotracheitis , also known as feline herpesvirus, or feline calicivirus are the initial cause of inflammation. Primary viral infections are often complicated by secondary bacterial infections with a variety of bacteria including Streptococci and Staphylococci. Two other organisms, Chlamydophila felis and Mycoplasma are also capable of initiating primary conjunctivitis.
Non-infectious Causes of Conjunctivitis. Breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, and other longhaired breeds may be born with a turning in of the eyelids called entropion. Entropion causes corneal irritation when the eyelashes constantly rub against the eyeball. Foreign bodies, such as dust or sand, may become trapped inside the eyelids, or exposure to irritant chemicals may also initiate conjunctivitis that leads to secondary infection. Allergies are believed to be a common cause of conjunctivitis, but the specific allergens can sometimes be difficult to identify or avoid. Conjunctivitis is a also common symptom of eye tumors.
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