ISSN 2398-2950      

Neonatal ophthalmia

ffelis
Contributor(s):

Katie J Dunn

Rhea Morgan

Synonym(s): Ophthalmitis neonatorum, neonatal conjunctivitis


Introduction

  • Inflammation and infection behind the closed eyelids of the newborn kitten.
  • Cause: feline herpesvirus-1, Chlamydia psittaci  Chlamydophila felisMycoplasma felisMycoplasma gataeStaphylococcus spp Staphylococcus spp, other bacteria
  • Signs: periorbital swelling.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, ophthalmic examination.
  • Treatment: opening of eyelids, antibiotics.
  • Prognosis: good if treated early.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1).
  • Chlamydia psittaci.
  • Mycoplasma felisMycoplasma gatae.
  • Staphylococcus spp. and other bacteria, some of which may be normal flora for the eye.

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Delayed opening of the eyelids may contribute by allowing accumulation of mucus and other secretions.
  • Herpesvirus may be transmitted to the kittens at the time of birth via a genital infection in the queen.

Pathophysiology

  • Normally the eyelids are closed (ankyloblepharon) in the kitten for 10-14 days.
  • It is believed that the queen transmits herpesvirus, a bacterial, or other type of infection to the affected kittens at birth, or soon after birth.
  • How the infectious agents gain entrance to the space between the eyelids and cornea is not well understood.
  • The infectious agents multiply behind the closed eyelids, causing inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea, and accumulation of purulent discharge.
  • The build up of discharge causes the eyelids to swell and protrude.
  • If the infection is not interrupted, corneal ulceration and perforation may occur, which threaten the globe and result in blindness.
  • In kittens older than 2 weeks of age, infection may occur directly to the open eyes or respiratory system from contact with any infected adult cat.

Timecourse

  • Short duration over several days.

Epidemiology

  • One, several or all kittens within a litter may be affected.

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.
  • Lorimer D W (1989) Ocular manifestations of feline herpesvirus infection. Vet Focus (3), 108-111 VetMedResource.
  • Nasisse M P (1982) Manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of ocular herpesvirus infection in the cat. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet (12), 962-971 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Andrew S E (2002) Diseases of the eyelids. In: Morgan R V, Bright R N, Swartout M S (eds):Handbook of Small Animal Practice. 4th Ed. WB Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 929 - 942.
  • Severin G A (1995) Severin's Veterinary Ophthalmology Notes. 3rd Ed. Fort Collins CO, p 166.
  • Glaze M B, Gelatt K N (1999) Feline ophthalmology. In: Gelatt K N (ed):Veterinary Ophthalmology. 3rd  Ed.  Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, pp 997.
  • Magrane W G (1971) Diseases and Surgery of the Conjunctiva. In Magrane W G:Canine Ophthalmology. 2nd Ed. Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, pp 88-89.
  • 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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