Ask the Vet | 9 Frequent Causes of Cat Eye Problems

shutterstock_206495671We are currently seeing a lot of cats with ocular problems, mostly caused by viral infections. Cat flu seems to be prominent in the winter months here so take care of you cats eyes and respiratory system. If you notice any eye discharge or sneezing/coughing please come go see your vet. 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 one 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.

2. Panleukopenia
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 disea ses, 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. Holistic remedies are also available. Remember to vaccinate your cats. Prevention is better and cheaper than cure.

Hope this info helps
Till next week,
Dr Ruan

Ask the Vet:
Royal Veterinary Centre
Tel: +853 28501099, +853 28523678
Fax: +853 28508001

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