Ask the Vet | 9 Frequent Causes of Cat Eye Problems

Cat eye problems are caused most frequently by bacteria or the feline herpes virus. The symptoms include inflamed red eyes and there will also be a discharge from the eyes. The feline eye infections are treatable, but you need to detect them in timely manner, to avoid further complications. The treatment will depend on the factor causing the infection.

1. Feline herpes virus

The feline herpes virus is the number 1 cause of conjunctivitis, which is the inflammation of the eyes.

The virus is transmitted through contact with infected cats.

The virus is likely to cause ulcers on the cornea, dry eyes or inflammation of the cornea.

The treatment consists of eye drops that contain antibiotics and immuno-modifying agents like Idoxuridine 

Oral Immune boosters like pollyimmunostimulants. 

2. Panleukopenia (FPV)

Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious disease that causes retinal dysplasia and eye lesions. Other symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting, dehydration and depression.

The eye infection can be managed with oral antibiotics.

The condition cannot be treated but may be prevented by the administration of the panleukopenia vaccine.

3. FIP

The feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an infection caused by a virus.

FIP causes infections of the cornea, eye lesions and puss can accumulate in the area.

FIP is a fatal disease, but may be prevented with vaccination.

Support treatment may be administered to infected cats, including prednisone, which will ease the eye infection symptoms.

4. Feline Leukemia Virus

The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) can cause eye infections.

The virus is transmitted from other infected cats and will also cause anemia, swollen lymphatic glands and lethargy.

Your cat should get the FeLV vaccine to avoid the infection with the virus.

5. FIV

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) also known as feline AIDS can be transmitted through saliva and other body secretions. If your cat gets bitten by an infected animal, the virus will show no symptoms for a long time.

However, an infected cat will have a weak immune system and eye infections are common in FIV positive felines.

Other symptoms of the disease include fever, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, respiratory diseases, frequent infections, stomatitis, gingivitis or skin problems.

It is important to manage each infection to prevent other complications.

The eye infections can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.

6. Calcivirus

The feline calcivirus causes conjunctivitis, which can be treated with antibiotics.

7. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a disease caused by bacteria that can lead to eye problems and may be treated with antibiotics such as tetracycline.

8. Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis may be transmitted from other felines or rodents. The disease causes eye inflammations which may be treated with oral antibiotics.

9. Fungi

Fungal infections may often affect the eyes.

Cryptococcosis is a serious fungal infection that may lead to blindness, detached retinas and inflammation of the retina and cornea. Cryptococcosis can also affect the central nervous system, so it needs immediate attention. Anti fungal medication should be administered.

Eye infections may be caused by different viruses, bacteria and fungi. The treatment can include eye drops, oral antibiotics or anti fungal medication. By Dr Ruan Du Toit Bester

Hope this info helps 

Till next week

Dr Ruan Bester

Ask the Vet: Royal Veterinary Centre

Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678

Emergency: +853 62662268


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