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Conjunctivitis  in Cats By Jean Hofve, DVM 

 Cat with Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis in cats

 

What causes conjunctivitis in cats?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane, similar to the lining of the mouth and nose.

Many cats have chronic problems with conjunctivitis. Often, the problem comes and goes. The eyes may be red, swollen, watery, crusty, or containing pus.

Causes include infection, congenital defects (small or absent tear ducts), facial conformation (Persian features), and scarring from previous infections.

One of the most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is infection with a Herpes virus.

cat conjunctivitis


 

Nearly all cats are exposed to Herpes virus as kittens. For most cats, no further problems occur. However, Herpes is a sneaky virus, and likes to lie dormant until it gets a chance to get one up on the immune system. Because stress suppresses the immune system, cats under stress are particularly susceptible to recurrent Herpes flare-ups.

Herpes is painful, and usually causes quite a bit of redness and a watery discharge. It often attacks only one eye, producing a lopsided squint. Cats tend to be photophobic; that is, they squint against bright light, or try to avoid it altogether.

 

Treatment for Herpes

There are several treatment options for Herpes. One of the simplest is l-lysine, an amino acid that is inexpensive and readily available at the health food store. It comes in capsules or tablets, usually 500 mg. Capsules are much easier to work with, if you can get them. The dose is 500 mg twice a day for 5 days (total 1,000 mg/day). Lysine has a slightly salty taste, and is easily disguised by mixing with canned cat food or baby food. If that seems like a huge dose for a cat, it is--but that's what it takes to work. Once the acute episode is under control, a maintenance dose of 250 mg per day can be given indefinitely.
 

Bathe the eyes in a saline solution

To relieve irritation and wash viral particles from the eye, you can make a homemade saline solution. Use 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of water (room temperature). Three or four times a day, use a cotton ball to drizzle a small amount saline into the cat's eyes. Make the saline fresh each and every time, because bacteria could grow in the solution between treatments.
 

 

Willard Water

Another surprisingly effective treatment is 'Willard Water.' (Available in the US) This is a catalyst that theoretically changes the molecular structure of water. It is usually available at health food stores. Follow the directions on the bottle to make up a gallon at a time. Use this as the only source of drinking water for your cat. The effects are not scientifically explainable, but they are usually immediate--within a day or two--and dramatic.

Because herpes flare-ups are commonly stress-related, essences are an important part of treatment. Check out our full line of Essences for Cats to choose the remedy most appropriate for your cat's personality and situation.

Nutritional Support

Long-term nutritional support with antioxidants such as BioSuperfood and other immune boosting supplements will also help prevent recurrences. Alternative treatment with homeopathy, herbs, or homotoxicologycan also be very helpful.

Serious Symptoms

If symptoms worsen, or persist more than a few days, a check by your veterinarian is warranted. Herpes can cause serious corneal ulcers that may result in loss of vision if untreated.

 

 

This copyrighted article is courtesy of Little Big Cat www.littlebigcat.com


 

 

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