Cat Eye Infection Diagnosis

Cat eye infections can be easily noticed when there are visible changes in the eye. Cats develop eye infections due to various factors. Although some conditions are chronic in nature, most eye infections can be easily treated with medication and non-invasive procedures. Viral infections, bacterial contamination and allergens are the most common causes of various eye concerns. In order to determine the type of infection that the pet is suffering from, prompt diagnosis is essential. Pet owners should notice any changes and seek medical help to prevent severe and sometimes permanent eye damage.

Symptoms of Cat Eye Infection Include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Inflammation
  • Eye discharge or watery eyes
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light

Common Feline Eye Diseases Include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Keratitis
  • Feline herpes virus
  • Calicivirus

Diagnosis of Feline Eye Infections

The vet will perform a complete eye examination and evaluate all clinical symptoms present. An ophthalmoscope is a tool used to examine the interior of the eye to detect any abnormalities. Since the most common causes of eye infections are viruses, the vet will perform an immunofluorescent antibody test. In addition, a polymerase chain reaction test will be conducted to analyze a sample taken from the eye and detect viruses, such as the feline herpes virus.

Diagnostic Tests

A corneal scraping provides a more definite diagnosis, as it determines the type of virus present. The vet will also obtain a sample of eye discharge and send it for laboratory tests to rule out other eye diseases. In order to diagnose pets suffering from feline keratitis, a tear test is conducted to check the amount of tear production present in the eye. The vet will perform a Schirmer tear test by placing a tear strip on the lower eyelid to initiate tear production. This test is quick and doesn't require sedation.

Fluroscein Stain Testing in Cats

The fluroscein stain test is an effective diagnostic aid to determine if any corneal ulcers or abrasions are present. Although the test can be performed without anesthesia, some pets require it if the eye condition causes excessive pain. This test uses an orange stain as a guide to detect corneal changes, size of ulcers and eye trauma. The stain is washed before the eye is examined, and the stain remains visible when ulcers or abrasions are present.

Other Tests

Pets susceptible to glaucoma will be tested with a tonometer to determine eye pressure. Cats suffering from glaucoma may have irregularities in pupil size. In addition, the vet will consider the cat's medical history and risk of developing certain eye conditions due to genetic predisposition.

Treatment of Eye Conditions in Cats

The vet will prescribe antibiotic medication or eye drops and ointments to cure the specific condition. Pets suffering from severe eye damage may require surgical intervention. Care takers should administer prescribed medication on time and follow adequate practices to keep the eye clean. Eye discharge should be cleaned periodically with warm water and a clean cloth. Sick cats should also be kept away from healthy pets to prevent disease transmission. Pets suffering from viral infections such as calicivirus or herpes virus require rest and proper nutrition.

Pet owners should vaccinate pets from an early age to keep viral infections at bay. Cats should also be taken for routine vet checks to ensure optimal health.