Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye) in Cats - Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
Purulent Conjunctivitis continued...
Conjunctivitis due to fungal
infection is rare and requires special laboratory aid for diagnosis.
Treatment: Purulent conjunctivitis requires eye irrigations and sometimes
warm soaks to loosen crusted eyelids. Antibiotics are applied to the eye surface several
times a day. They should be continued for seven days beyond apparent cure. An
ointment containing a combination of neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin (such
as Neosporin ophthalmic ointment) often works well.
If the condition is caused by chlamydophila or mycoplasma, eyedrops
containing tetracycline or chloramphenicol are the antibiotics of choice.
Chlamydophila conjunctivitis can result from cats shedding organisms in their
stool or urine after the infection appears to be cleared. This carrier state
can be treated by your veterinarian with a three-week course of doxycycline or
a week of azithromycin.
Deep-seated infections are difficult to clear up. In such cases, you should
suspect involvement of the tear drainage system. Repeated cleansing of the eye,
correction of any underlying problem, and specific topical and oral antibiotics
tailored to cultures and sensitivities form the primary approach to this
Antiviral eye medications are available for the treatment of viral
conjunctivitis. They must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Cats with
herpesvirus often have chronic recurrent conjunctivitis and may periodically be
a source of infection for other cats. Research at Colorado State University is
using a new antiviral drug, cidofovir, to treat cats with herpes
conjunctivitis. This medication needs to be given twice a day and is not as
irritating to the cat as other antiviral medications.
This is a condition in which the small mucous glands (also called follicles)
on the underside of the nictitating membrane form a rough, cobblestone surface
that irritates the eye and produces a mucoid discharge. Various pollens,
allergens, and infective agents are implicated as causes. After the initiating
factor has been removed, these follicles may remain enlarged. The roughened
surface of the conjunctiva then acts as a persistent irritant to the eye.
Treatment: A steroid-based eye ointment can be used to decrease the size of
the follicles and smooth the surface. If steroids are not effective, your
veterinarian can mechanically or chemically cauterize the follicles. Steroids
should not be used unless an infectious cause has been ruled out.