Kittens are at the highest risk for viral conjunctivitis. Kittens raised outdoors and in shelters are at particularly high risk.
In addition to conjunctivitis, herpesvirus FHV-1 can cause respiratory distress. Both symptoms can be severe in kittens. The discharge from the conjunctivitis can be profuse enough to gum their eyes closed, and the respiratory changes can lead to life-threatening loss of appetite and dehydration.
Therefore, conjunctivitis in kittens may require more aggressive treatment and vigilant monitoring than it would in an adult cat. Consult with your veterinarian right away if your kitten has signs of conjunctivitis. If your cat is an adult, an initial at-home treatment may be suitable.
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