If you've ever had pink eye, chances are you know how miserable the condition can be. The irritation and swelling of the eye is extremely messy and can be downright painful. Unfortunately, this condition isn't limited to humans. Pets, like cats, can also develop pink eye. But what if you could keep your cat from getting this problem? Here is what you should know about pink eye and how to prevent it.
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a medical condition of irritation and inflammation of the eye and its surrounding tissues. When conjunctivitis develops, the inner and outer eyelid (remember, cats have two) become swollen and inflamed, which can make them look different. As the inflammation spreads, it often results in discharge from the tearducts, which is often a byproduct of your cat's body trying to beat the virus responsible for its illness.
The Virus Responsible
Believe it or not, when cats develop conjunctivitis, it is often due to feline herpes. That's right: the same type of virus responsible for human STDs can trigger complications like conjunctivitis in cats.
It is not entirely unbelievable. Chicken pox in humans is also caused by a form of the herpes virus, and that version has a little more in common with the feline herpes in question. Cats don't get chicken pox or shingles, but they do develop a life-long condition that can flare up anytime they're stressed out or sick. So it is entirely possible for a cat to have conjunctivitis many times over in their lives once they're exposed to feline herpes.
The Vaccine Prevention
Feline herpes can be prevented with a simple vaccine. It's actually included in the standard set of FVCRP vaccines that are given to most cats. If your cat hasn't received this vaccine yet, it's a good time to change that. If they have, make sure that they're receiving regular boosters as recommended by your veterinarian. Boosters help to refresh the immune system so that it's ready to fight off new infections, including being exposed to strains of feline herpes.
If you don't want your cat to experience pink eye, there isn't a whole lot you need to do to keep it from happening. Simply get your cat vaccinated and remember that if you ever come into contact with a cat with conjunctivitis, to wash your hands thoroughly and keep them separated from any uninfected cats. Visit a veterinarian like those at Apple Valley Animal Hospital to learn more.Share
17 July 2019
For years, I wanted to fill my home with happy animals. When I got married, my spouse wanted a pet just as much as I did, and it was great to start looking for pets together. We were able to find a rescue animal who worked well with our budget and our lifestyle, and it was neat to give that sweet animal a home. However, after we brought the pet into our home, we realized that he needed some medical care. We turned to a veterinarian for advice on his medical health, and we worked on getting him completely vaccinated. Check out this blog for more information on finding help early.