How to Treat Eye Infection in Newborn Kittens?


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Two of the most common infections that can infect newborn kittens are conjunctivitis, an infection in the mucous membrane that is responsible for lining the inner surface of the eyeball and the eyelids, or an infection of the cornea, the transparent coating on the surface of the eyeball. The infections tend to occur after the bottom and top eyelids separate and open, which is usually around the two week mark.The most common source of the infection is infectious discharge from the vagina at the time of birth. An unhygienic environment is just as likely to be the cause. Streptococcus or Staphylococcus bacteria are the most common culprits of eye infection in a kitten. If you leave the condition untreated, it can cause permanent blindness.

  • The eye might develop conjunctivitis, with redness, inflammation and discharge from the conjunctiva
  • Lower and upper eyelids get stuck together due to crusted and dried discharge
  • Eyelids stick to eyeโ€™s front
  • Pus-like or mucous-like discharge from the eye
  • Lower or upper eyelids bulge outward because of fluid build-up and swelling within the orb or the socket
  • Ulcerated cornea (sores on the eyeball surface where bacteria have made holes through the coating)
  • Collapsed cornea
  • Infectious vaginal discharge from the mother during the time of birth
  • Unclean environment for newborns

The vet will perform a thorough physical exam on the infected newborn. You will be asked to provide a complete history of the motherโ€™s pregnancy, as well as background medical information on the mother. If the mother has infections or diseases that you are personally aware of, share the necessary information about the symptoms, the onset time and the duration with your vet.Even if there are no signs of an infection in the mother and the newborn kitten shows signs of an infection transmitted through the birth canal, your vet will take a culture of the vaginal discharge from the mother.The eye discharge will also be taken for testing. To examine the eye properly, the doctor might stain the cornea of the kitten with fluorescein, an orange-yellow die that will illuminate the surface of the cornea, making foreign objects and minute scratches visible under the light. The doctor might also order a CBC, chemical blood profile, electrolyte panel and urinalysis to see if the newborn kitten suffers from a systemic disease that needs immediate treatment.


Your vet will separate the eyelids of the kitten by moistening them and gently pulling them apart. Once the eyes open, he will wash the eye and the lids to get rid of the infected cellular matter. To ensure that they do not stick together again, he will apply warm compresses and most likely recommend you to do the same once you get back home. He might also prescribe

an antibiotic ointment

that you will have to apply to the eye in regular intervals. Oftentimes vets prescribe Vetropolycin to treat eye infection in pets.

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