This little kitten was one of a litter presented to the RSPCA in this sorry state. What is the diagnosis, what are the potential infectious causes, how would you make a definitive diagnosis and what treatment might be employed in this case?
This is feline keratoconjunctivitis, most probably caused by Feline Herpes Virus type 1 although Chamydophila is another possible cause (Nasisse et al: Clinical and laboratory findings in chronic conjunctivitis in cats: 91 cases (1983-1991). J Am Veterinary Med Assoc 203: 834-7.). Diagnosis is best achieved by PCR as shown here, but treatment is very difficult in the UK. We have recently shown that acyclovir can be effective when used topically five times daily but trifluorothymidine is probably the best antiviral, although difficult to obtain in the UK. Initial treatment with topical chlortetracycline would be sensible to exclude Chlamydophila as an aetiological agent. Prognosis for full return to vision and ocular comfort is poor.