Cat Runny Eyes. Yours cat’s eyes should normally be clear, bright, and free of discharge. Red, runny cat eyes can signal problems requiring treatment from eye drops to emergency surgery. Feline Conjunctivitis is the most common eye problem in cats and is defined as an inflammation of the white membranes lining the inside of the eyelids. It leads to red, swollen, itchy, runny, watery eyes. Being able to recognize the signs of an eye problem or injury are the best ways to prevent permanent feline eye damage and insure visual integrity for your cat.
Signs Of Cat Conjunctivitis
- Red eyes
- Mucous or watery eye discharge
- Thick yellowish-green eye discharge
- Swollen eyes
- Pawing and/or rubbing eyes
Causes Of Cat Conjunctivitis
Cat Conjunctivitis most often occurs secondary to viral upper respiratory infections (Cat Flu) due to Feline Herpes Virus and/or Calici Virus. Chlamydia and occasionally Mycoplasma may also be agents responsible.
With Cat Herpes and Feline Calici Virus infections the respiratory or flu-like signs usually resolve, but the eye problems may never go away completely. This may occur because once a cat is infected with Herpes and/or Calici Virus; the virus can remain in a dormant or ‘resting’ phase in the cat’s nasolacrimal duct, which is the passage between the eyes and the nose for the entire life of the cat. Whenever the cat becomes sick or is stressed, the virus is ‘activated’ and the conjunctivitis recurs.
Occasionally irritation from an inherited eyelid or eyelash disorder irritates the eye and causes cat conjunctivitis. Long-haired Persian cats seem to be prone. ‘Trichichiasis’ is hereditary in this breed.
What You And Your Vet Can Do
Diagnosis often involves gently scraping the conjunctiva and sending the specimen to the lab to determine the exact cause. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is the current and most accurate test available to diagnose Cat Herpes Virus. Occasionally blood tests, viral cultures and/or a biopsy of the eye tissue are necessary to confirm the cause.
Topical antiviral eye medications include:
- Idoxuridine – marketed under the name Herplex, Stoxil
- Trifluridine – marketed under the name Virotropic
- Vidarabine – marketed under the name Vira A
These medications are expensive, but effective. Drops are usually applied three to four times daily for three to six weeks depending on the virus.
Cats that do not respond to standard conjunctivitis treatments should be blood tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
What You Can Do: Holistic Cat Eye Remedy
Eye Restore: an excellent, all-natural cost effective remedy and a holistic alternative to prescription medications. It is applied into the eyes topically: 2 drops into each eye twice daily. This is sold for $12.99 per half ounce which lasts for several months.
Ingredients: Pure Sterilized Norwegian Virgin Cod Liver Oil
NOTE: Chronic and/or recurrent bouts of Conjunctivitis can lead to Dry Eye especially cases caused by Feline Herpes Virus.