Eye infections often occur in kittens. However, while they are quite common, it is important that they be treated as quickly as possible. Without proper treatment, a serious infection could potentially lead to blindness. If you notice your kitten shows symptoms of an eye infection, it is important to take it to the vet to have it examined. Your vet can do tests to determine the cause of the infection, providing you with the best treatment.
What causes a kitten eye infection to occur? Many different things can cause these infections, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites or even protozoa. One of the most common types of eye infections among cats is known as conjunctivitis, which occurs when the conjunctiva is inflamed and infected. The conjunctiva is the thin pink membrane that covers the inner part of the eyelids and the eyeball’s frontal area. However, while conjunctivitis is one of the most common types of eye infections, other infections may occur. Blephartis, an infection of the eyelid, uveitis, infection of the uvea, and keratitis, the infection of the cornea, are other types of infections that may occur. It is important to find out the root cause of the eye infection in a kitten, since the cause will determine the type of treatment needed to cure the infection.
Getting treatment for your kitten as soon as possible is important, which is why it is important to recognize the common symptoms of a kitten eye infection. Some of the earliest symptoms may include redness of the eye, excessive tearing of the eye or some swelling in the area. Itching and pain may also occur if an infection is present. Some of the more serious symptoms of an infection can include some type of discharge, aversion to light, a change in the eye’s appearance or the presence of crusting over your kitten’s eyelid. Be sure to pay attention to these symptoms and mention them to your vet, since the symptoms you have noticed can be used to help determine the diagnosis. Once you take your kitten to the vet, they’ll consider the kittens symptoms but may also need to perform some other tests to determine the final diagnosis.
Although kitten eye infections can become serious if they are not treated, many different treatment options are available. In most cases, if caught early, your kitten should fully recover after the treatment. Treatments for the infection will depend on the infections specific location within the eye and the root cause of the infection. Eye drops are one of the most common treatment options. Antibiotic ointments may be prescribed to treatment bacterial infections, while viral infections may be treated with a topical antiviral ointment. In many cases, your vet may recommend that you use warm compresses on the eye to treat the problem as well. Kittens usually begin responding to the prescribed treatment quickly, but remember that it could still take a couple weeks until the infection is completely gone and the eye once again returns to normal.
Of course, when you are prescribed a treatment for your kitten, it is important to only use it as directed and use all of the medication unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Also, it is important to note that you should never use human medications, such as eye drops, on your kitten. Your kitten will require a medication that is specifically developed for use in feline eyes.