Cat eye infections are a relatively common condition seen by our Greensboro vets. In today's blog our vets share some of the causes of eye infections in cats and how they are treated.
Conditions That Can Affect Your Cat's Eyes
Like a person's eyes, your cat's eyes can become infected because of a number of different issues. Eye infections in cats are often painful and can be contagious depending on the underlying cause of the infection.
Symptoms of Eye Infections in Cats
While the causes of eye infections vary, the symptoms are typically very similar. If your cat is suffering from an eye infection symptoms may include:
- Red eyes
- Pawing at eyes
- Sneezing or nasal discharge
- Red or inflamed eyelids
- Repeated excessive blinking
- Green, yellow or clear discharge
In some more severe cases your cat may experience respiratory distress and require immediate veterinary care.
Causes of Eye Infections in Cats
There are a number of diseases that can affect your cat's eyes, however infectious agents are one of the most common.
Cats that live in close contact with other cats are at particularly high risk of contracting an eye infection since many of the causes of eye infections are highly contagious, and often difficult to control in crowded environments. Painful, irritating eye infections in cats can be caused by:
- Viral infections
- Upper respiratory infections (cat colds)
- Bacterial bacterial
- Fungal infections
Diagnosing Cat Eye Infections
If you notice that your cat is displaying symptoms of an eye infection, it is essential to seek veterinary care as quickly as possible in order to prevent the infection from spreading to the other eye, or to other cats who live in your home or your neighborhood.
At the appointment, your vet will perform a thorough examination, checking your cat's eyes for signs of trauma, as well as checking the state of your cat's overall health, looking for signs of an upper respiratory infection or other underlying medical conditions.
Your vet may take a swab or scrape cells from the inflamed areas of your cat's eyes to look for infectious agents, or in cases where your vet believes there may be a secondary underlying cause for your cat's eye infection, further diagnostic testing such as bloodwork may be recommended.
Treatment for Cat Eye Infections
Treatment of your cat's eye infection will depend on the cause of the infection. In many cases your vet may prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment to fight the infection and ease symptoms. Your vet may also suggest that you gently clean your cat's eyes a couple of times a day to remove discharge, and keep your cat safely indoors while they recover in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
In cases where your cat's eye infection is caused by another health condition, treatment may be more focused on the underlying health condition rather that the eye infection.
Eye Care for Pets in Greensboro
If your cat requires specialty eye care, ask your vet for a referral to see our board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist here at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Greensboro. Our veterinary ophthalmologist will work closely with your pet’s primary care vet to provide care for ocular diseases that may be affecting your pet.