As it happens with most feline ailments, learning to recognize an eye infection in cats is the first step towards any possible treatment. Unfortunately, kitties can be very private, especially if they’re not feeling well.
When this happens, it is important to notice fast when something is not right so that you can fix it! When it comes to eye infections, very few medicines are as useful as an antibiotic eye drop for cats! If your cat has an eye disease, consult with your vet to see if you can use this treatment. For the time being, learn more about eye infection in cats!
How are your cat’s eyes supposed to look like?
The first thing that you should know is how your kitty’s eyes look like when they are healthy. Your cat’s ocular health is fundamental because as you just read, cats tend to pick up a lot of eye infections. Usually, cat parents use an antibiotic eye drop for cats to fix the problem, but sometimes this medicine is not enough!
For now, just get familiar with your cat’s eye colour, the appearance of the third eyelid and its general structure. Once you notice that something is wrong, you should get worried!
What to do when something is off?
Once you know what your cat’s eyes look like when they are healthy, it is easy to identify signs of infection. Most common signs are redness, drainage, squinting and rubbing. However, don’t attempt to diagnose these symptoms on your own. Usually, signs of an eye issue in cats are very non-specific.
These diseases have a wide variety of causes. So, until you know what is causing those non-specific signs, you won’t know the proper method of treatment. If you notice that something is wrong with your cat’s eyes, you should schedule a vet appointment immediately.
Causes of eye infections in cats
“While many disease processes can affect the eyes of cats, infectious agents are one of the most common causes of eye disease in the feline. Any feline who is in close contact with other cats is at risk of exposure since these infectious agents can be difficult to control in crowded environments”, said Dr Jessica Vogelsang.
In younger cats, both bacteria and viruses usually cause eye infections. Infections are most often seen in young cats because they have a weaker immune system. In older cats, this is not so common and an eye infection may indicate that your cat is being affected by another problem. Generally, an antibiotic eye drop for cats can do the trick. Nevertheless, consult with your vet first before treating your cat!
Symptoms of an eye infection in cats
As a cat parent, you should notice a variety of symptoms indicating an eye infection. According to Dr Vogelsang, the most common ones are:
"The whites of the eye may turn red.
Ocular discharge may be present, running the gamut from clear, to yellow or even green. Winking or rubbing the eyes is also common.
The third eyelid may be protruding and covering part of the irritated eye.
Your cat may have other clinical signs common with upper respiratory infections, such as sneezing or nasal discharge”.
It is important to remember that these symptoms may affect one or both eyes.
Diagnosing an eye infection in your cat
“A visit with the veterinarian is key to an accurate diagnosis. A good history helps direct the veterinarian to the diagnostic tests most appropriate for your cat. The examination will evaluate the eye for signs of trauma, look for systemic signs of an upper respiratory infection, and evaluate all the structures of the eye”, said Dr Vogelsang.
Generally, the vet will take scrape cells from the inflamed areas to look for infectious agents. If the vet suspects a secondary systemic problem, he may recommend additional testing or bloodwork to make.
Using an antibiotic eye drop for cats: good or bad?
Pretty much every feline bacterial infection is treated with an antibiotic eye drop for cats. This method is easy! However, you may find an antibiotic in the form of a topical ointment or pills. Although oral treatment is not usually indicated. “While viral eye infections are usually self-limiting, many veterinarians still recommend topical antibiotics as it is common for these felines to have both viral and bacterial infections occurring concurrently. Severe cases may warrant the use of anti-viral medications”, said Dr Vogelsang.
At the end of the day, just make sure that you should use an antibiotic eye drop for cats to treat the disease. You will see how well it works!
As a cat parent, you need to remember that many eye problems look alike in cats. A physical examination from the vet is vital to get an accurate diagnosis. If your cat is showing any signs of discomfort, don’t treat him with an antibiotic eye drop for cats right away! Call your vet first.