Everyone wants their cats to be the perfect image of health. But, sometimes common illnesses can get in the way of that. A common problem for cats is eye infections. This is due to either contact with pathogens in their environment, poor hygeine or contamination. Here we discuss causes of cat eye infection and how to treat cat eye infections.
Causes Of Cat Eye Infections
Eye infections can be caused by a virus or bacteria transmitted by another cat. This is especially common in cats that have just been brought home from a shelter where they may have been in close contact with many cats. Eye infections can also be a sign of stress in many cats. Stress can be caused by such things as moving house, internal illnesses and territories being threatened by other animals. Poor hygiene can also cause of eye infections in cats. Always make sure to discuss all possible causes with your veterinarian.
Common Signs of Cat Eye Infections
- Redness around the whites of the eye
- Eye protrusion (i.e. bulging eye or eye looking like it is coming out of the socket)
- The third eyelid (between the eyes) is swollen
- Squinting and unable to open eye completely
- Discharge from the eye or nose
- Upper respiratory problems like wheezing or sneezing
Treating Cat Eye Infections
It might be tempting to try to treat the eye yourself, but this can have terrible consequences later. Cat’s eyes are very delicate. If an eye infection goes too long without treatment, your cat could become blind in that eye or it can spread to both eyes making it more difficult to treat. Always make sure to contact your veterinarian at the first sign of any health concerns.
In the meantime, make your cat more comfortable by keeping the eyes clean and clear of drainage. To do this take a clean cotton ball and soak it in lukewarm water. Wipe the eye from the inside corner to the outside corner. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye and for each swipe. This is to prevent re-infection and spreading. Always wash your hands after caring for your cat’s eyes.
Avoid using any eye cleaner on your cat’s eyes at this time. Over-the-counter cleaners do not have antiseptic properties to them and may make your cat’s eye more irritated and inflamed. Common symptoms of eye infections are so general and easy to misdiagnose and therefore there’s a risk you can treat your cat for the wrong illness. This is another good reason to get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you suspect an eye infection.
The treatment your veterinarian prescribes will depend on how your cat contracted the eye infection. Most likely you will be sent home with either a steroid or antibiotic cream to treat the infection. In some cases, they may send you home with an oral medication. In very rarely cases surgery may be required. It’s important to complete the dosage prescribed for the specified time (generally around 2 weeks) even if your cat, eyes looks better. This is to prevent your cat from getting the infection again. If you have concerns about how to give your cat medicine, always ask for the veterinarian to demonstrate for you. They are more than happy to give you tips and tricks to get the job done properly.
And always remember to give your fur baby some extra love and attention when they are feeling down. Curling up in a warm blanket, lots of cuddles and being loved will most certainly help them to get better in no time.