Causes and Symptoms
Conjunctivitis is the medical term to describe swelling and redness of the tissue around the eyes. It is a chronic cat illness that can show up and then disappear many times during a cat’s life. Some causes of conjunctivitis are infection, dysfunctional or non-existent tear ducts and scars left over from previous cases or injuries. There are a few other possible causes, but the illness is most often caused by the herpes virus.
Cat Herpes (or rhinotracheitis) is an upper respiratory problem that is part of the feline distemper shot that most kittens are given. This vaccine is intended to limit the intensity of the herpes virus, not prevent it entirely. Most cats actually encounter the virus at an early age and are not visibly affected by it. Herpes can actually stay dormant inside of a cat until it finds a weakness in the cat’s immune system. Stress is a usual cause of a weakened immune system and this is often enough to trigger the herpes.
Some of the symptoms of cat conjunctivitis are red and watery eyes, swelling of the tissue around the eyes and the presence of a slimy build up. Most of the time a single eye is affected, causing your cat to close that eye slightly.
There are many options out there to help treat your cat’s herpes. One straight forward option is the 1-lysine amino acid pill. It is cheap and available at any health food store. The 500mg pills are usually administered two times a day for five days. If you have a choice, choose the capsules over the tablets because your cat is much more likely to cooperate and they are easier to hide inside wet foods or treats. 1000mgs a day is quite a large amount of medication for a cat, but it is required to get the herpes under control. If the symptoms have subsided after five days of treatment, the daily dose can be reduced to 250mg a day.
To help relieve your cat of the symptoms of conjunctivitis, wash their eyes with a saline solution. This solution is made by dissolving one-quarter teaspoon of salt into one cup of water. Several times each day, use a cotton ball to drip some of the saline solution into your cat’s eyes. Be sure to use a new ball of cotton and a new saline mixture for every treatment because the virus will thrive on a damp cotton ball and in the water.
Another solution for conjunctivitis is a product known as Willard Water. Willard Water is a catalyst that can supposedly alter the molecules in water. The healing abilities of this product have not been determined scientifically, but they are fast-acting and strong. Cats are often completely healed within a couple of days. Follow the directions and only let your cat drink the Willard Water during the treatment period.
In order to avoid flare-ups of conjunctivitis, your cat should be eating foods that contain antioxidants as well as all of the essential vitamins and nutrients. Purina and Iams both make great cat foods that help keep your cat healthy. Feeding your cat these foods will help to prevent the problems associated with conjunctivitis.
Some natural treatments such as homotoxicology, herbs and homeopathy are other options when dealing with cat herpes and conjunctivitis. The effectiveness of these solutions and methods will vary, so make sure you consult your veterinarian first before trying them.
When to Contact Your Vet
If the treatments listed above aren’t helping, the illness your cat has may not be conjunctivitis. If the problem continues for more than several days or the symptoms get worse, it is advised that you visit your vet. If the conjunctivitis is being caused by the herpes virus, ulcers can form and may eventually lead to blindness if your cat is not treated.