One of the common infection that can afflict newborn kittens is an infection of the conjunctiva, which is the mucous membrane that coats the inner area of the eyelids, eyeball or of the cornea. The infection usually occurs when the top and bottom eyelids of the kitten’s open, roughly at around 10 to 14 days of age.
Causes of the infection
The main source of infection comes from the mother cat’s vaginal discharge which is unfortunately transmitted to the kitten during its birth. Unhygienic surroundings can also be another cause of infection in kittens.
The presence of Staphylococcus spp. bacteria or Streptococcus spp. bacteria in kittens can also be one of the reasons for infection in your kitten. The Herpes virus can also cause eye infection in your feline friend. If you let this infection go untreated then you will be pushing your pet to succumb to permanent blindness.
Symptoms of eye infection
- Conjunctivitis with inflammation, redness and discharge of the conjunctiva,
- Upper and lower lids stuck together as a result of dried and hardened discharge,
- Eyelids sticking to the front of their eyes,
- Eye discharge which appears pus-like or if it has mucous along with the pus,
- Ulcerated cornea,
- If you notice a collapsed eyeball, and
- Bulged eyelid as a result of swelling or fluid collection in their eye socket or orb.
Once you take your pet to the vet you can be rest assured that they are in safe hands. He or she will moisten your cat’s eyelids and will gently prise them apart. Once they have opened your pet’s eyelid it becomes easier for them to wash it and to get the infected matter out. To prevent further sticking of the eyelids you need to put a warm compress in the area of their eyes and apply the antibiotic ointment that your vet will recommend you to apply in your pet’s eye.
How to manage kittens that are prone to an eye infection?
To prevent the eyelids from sticking to each other, you must apply warm compress in their eye. Ensure you give them a course of antibiotic medication that is prescribed by your vet. It is also a good idea to keep away the infected kittens from the others if your pet lives with its littermates. As, bacterial infections are infectious you must practice caution and safeguard the healthy kittens from the infected ones. Ask your vet if isolation of the infected kittens is necessary.
Make sure the area that your kitten stays along with its mother and siblings are clean and hygienic to keep this contagious bacterial infection at bay. Remember to wash the mother cat’s nipples with warm water and not with soap as it will cause cracks and bleeding in the mother cat’s nipples.
You can always contact your vet for further professional advice.