Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Conjunctivitis

Contributor(s): Dennis E Brooks, Peter Renwick, David Williams

Introduction

  • Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the eyelids, nictitans, scleral part of the globe and lacrimal canaliculi.
  • Common - acute, chronic, allergic and 'special' types.
  • Cause: varied - traumatic, infectious (particularly feline herpesvirus), immune-mediated; maybe secondary to other concurrent ocular or systemic disease.
  • Signs: hyperemia, edema, ocular discharge (serous   →   mucopurulent), blepharospasm, photophobia; severe cases   →   adhesions Symblepharon; chronicity   →   thickening.
  • Diagnosis: physical examination; swabs, scrapings   →   microbiology FHV-1 viral isolation or PCR (when available); Schirmer tear test; serum antibody titer (chlamydial infection).
  • Treatment: depends on cause, eg topical antibiotics, removal of any physical cause, corticosteroids, analgesia.
  • Prognosis: generally good; dependant on management of underlying causes.
    Print off the owner factsheet Conjunctivitis in cats Conjunctivitis in cats  to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Acute - traumatic

Acute - infection

Chronic

Allergic

  • Inhaled, contact allergens.
  • Bacterial, eg staphylococcal allergens.

Special

  • Follicular - unknown but may be linked to chronic irritation; chlamydial infection may   →   lymphoid follicles.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca Eye: keratoconjunctivitis sicca  - deficient tear production.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Breed.
  • Long facial hair.
  • Very active outdoors.
  • Breeding establishments and colonies may have problems withChlamydiaand respiratory viruses.

Pathophysiology

Acute - primary

  • Trauma   →   tissue injury +/- introduction of bacteria   →   inflammatory response.

Acute - secondary

  • Systemic infection   →   localization of micro-organism in mucous membranes including conjunctiva   →   inflammatory response.

Chronic

  • Misdiagnosis/ineffective therapy.

Allergic

  • Allergen   →   anaphylactic/immune-complex/cell-mediated response   →   chemosis, profuse lacrimation.

Special

  • Follicular - lymphoid hyperplasia on nictitans and palpebral conjunctiva   →   trauma   →   inflammatory response.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca Eye: keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • TerWee J, Sabara M, Kokjohn K et al (1998) Characterization of the systemic disease and ocular signs induced by experimental infection with Chlamydia psittaci in cats. Vet Microbiol 59 (4), 259-281 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Petersen-Jones S & Crispin S (2002) BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Ophthalmology. 2nd edn. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. ISBN 0 905214 54 4


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