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Keratitis is the medical term given to inflammation of the cornea -- the clear outer layer of the front of the eye. Nonulcerative keratitis is any inflammation of the cornea that does not retain fluorescein stain, a dye that is used to identify ulcers of the cornea. If the very top layer of the cornea has been disrupted (as with an ulcer), the dye will enter the lower layers of the cornea and will cause a temporary stain that glows under an ultraviolet light; in nonulcerative keratitis, the top layer of the cornea is not disrupted, so no dye enters the lower layers of the cornea.
Long-term superficial inflammation of the cornea may occur at any age, but the risk is higher between the ages of four to seven years. There are different forms that nonulcerative keratitis can take. Inflammation involving the area where the cornea (clear part of the eye) and the sclera (white part of the eye) come together, and characterized by the presence of nodules, may occur. Another is a condition in which part of the corneal tissue dies, leaving a pigmented lesion and fluid build-up. These forms can occur at any age, but the latter form is most prevalent in Persian, Siamese, Burmese, and Himalayan breeds. There is no proven genetic basis in cats that has been found so far. However, geographical location has been found to play some role, as animals living at higher altitudes appear to be at increased risk.
Herpesvirus in cats can affect cats of all ages and can lead to inflammation of the cornea. This form is characterized by the presence of a type of white-blood cell called an eosinophil (condition known as eosinophilic keratitis) and results in a condition in which part of the corneal tissue dies, leaving a pigmented lesion and fluid build-up in the eye. This can occur at all ages except in newborns.
The disappearance of the signs and symptoms of a particular disease; this is often used in association with cancer
The outer layer of the eye that helps it to keep its round shape; the eye white.
A change in the way that tissue is constructed; a sore
A medical condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
Any substance or item that the body of an animal would regard as strange or unwanted; a foreign disease or virus in the body (toxin, etc.)