Pink eye makes a cat's or dog's eyes crusty and red, with an infection that harbors pus and fluid or moisture retention. The discharge that seeps from the eyes, and moistens the outer surface, almost blocking vision, needs to be cleaned periodically with cotton and warm water.
The symptoms are not very different between the two species. Canine and feline conjunctivitis is the result of the presence of an irritant, which causes inflammation and infection. The irritant could be a wood splinter or even a small insect.
The viral or bacterial infection is airborne and spreads via contact. Viruses proliferate in the presence of humidity. If the cause is an allergic reaction, the sinus and mucus membranes are infected.
The indicants of the condition are disturbing for the pet as well as the owner. The experience is more unsettling for the animal, who cannot even express the discomfort. The symptoms manifest in the form of pink, bloodshot eyeballs, discharge in the eye, swollen and inflamed region, and fluid buildup around the eye.
Felines are more tolerant towards the signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis. These include:
- Stinging sensation in the eye
- Soreness around the inner and outer eye region
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable disposition
- Persistent discharge from the tear glands
- Inflammation of the inner eye and surrounding region
- Swelling of the inner eye membranes
- Regular discharge that adds to the irritability
- Impaired vision on account of swollen tissue and membrane
- Quieter disposition
Canines respond to the symptoms differently in comparison to felines. They prefer curling within dark areas, and sleep most of the day. The infected eye is sensitive to light, and exposure makes it painful, causing a major shift in the dog's behavior. However, felines respond to severe itching and inflammation by rubbing the region against furniture edges.
It is not uncommon to see a cat consistently using its paw to wipe the discharge. Whimpering in case of dogs, and purring more than usual in case of cats is quite normal as they battle invading agents. Treatment of the condition includes repeated eye-flushing and mediation to reduce inflammation and pain.
Conjunctivitis in pets causes a major shift in their behavior. The otherwise outdoor pet shows signs of submissiveness, and refrains from any bright light. However, it is very important to ensure that it is not treated in haste for a harmless eyelash causing irritation. It is important to consult the vet and diagnose the condition, to promote pet health.
If at all, it does turn out to be a pink eye, you need to keep other pets away from the infected pet. The condition is contagious, and spreads rapidly. There are a number of herbal remedies available, to ensure that the medication applied directly to the eyes is not an allergy trigger.