kitten and eye discharge

tabbaldwinOctober 17, 2010

One of my new kittens has eye discharge (pinkish mucous). He's been to the vet who didn't seem too concerned about it--not thinking it looked bad (and it wasn't the day I took him in--for vaccines--it seems to come and go), but went ahead and Rx'd some eye ointment: "Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Bacitracin Zinc Ophthalmic". I only administered it to him twice and it seemed to irritate him. I'd have continued with it except we had to leave for my MIL's funeral and leave the kittens to another's care for a few days and I didn't want her messing with his eyes. Anyway, we've been back a week, and I guess I need to start the ointment again as he's having a good bit of discharge. I think the change in weather has made it worse (he's indoor, but our new house doesn't have the heat working yet, which I discovered the other morning when I went to turn it on to knock off the first chill of the season!).

Anyone experience this with a kitten before? It doesn't seem contagious as the other kitten's eyes are fine (he was raised with her).

I'm going to take him back to the vet this week, but wanted to get some opinions from you animal people! That way, I'm more prepared to discuss it with my vet.


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Just my opinion here --- the cat that we found had eye oozing and once she had kittens, two of the four also have the problem. It doesn't seem to bother any of them so we just clean it sometimes and that's it. One of the kittens was born with an eye that didn't open because of the discharge (her name is Deadeye) We cleaned it daily until it finally opened on its own, but Deadeye still has the oozing now and she is 6 mos. old. Her eye doesn't stick shut any more so we just don't worry about it.

I think it is hereditary but maybe it isn't. We don't have the money to worry about things that don't bother the kitties.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 7:12PM
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Anytime one of my cats has an eye problem I now take them right to a veterinary opthalmologist. IME eyes are one of those things that get much more expensive if you wait. If you can't afford that I would ask the vet what the diagnosis was and if there is some other treatment to try.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I also suggest you take her to a specialist. I took in a stray kitten with a goopy, runny eye and when the vet checked her he just said her eye was punctured and she'd be blind and gave me the same ointment you're using. He also said she'd probably end up with an infection and lose the eye.
I took her to an ophthalmologist that same afternoon.

Ophthalmologist found both cornea and lens were punctured and gave me another eye med that would keep the eye dilated and would also help prevent the eye from being covered in a cataract. She now appears to have some vision in the eye and its healthy otherwise.

What your cat has could be viral but it could also be a corneal ulcer. Eye problems can be very painful.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:24AM
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It sounds from your post that you did not administer the ointment for very long at all before you had to leave for a spell?

I have been through eye issues with several cats and a dog over the years and have had the experience that they can often take several weeks to clear up.

I recall long ago when my dog had an eye infection and the vet prescribed an ointment for 14 days. After 14 days her eye was still a bit goopy. I called the vet and they said to do another week of ointment. Another week and it was still not cleared up- called again and was told to go ahead for another week. It cleared up completely in that 4th week.

One of my cats had a similar story that we had to be vigilant for between 2 & 3 weeks before the infection cleared up.

I don't know if that's typical of eye infections to take a long time to clear up. Seems like a nice environment if you are bacteria though.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, HOW you administer the ointment matters IME. Don't try to put it directly in the eye, but rather try pulling gently below the eye to open the lower lid, then ease the length of ointment along the inside of the lower lid. This seems to be less traumatic for the cat than having you come right at their eye with a tube. I've also used a wet q-tip as an applicator for the ointment- it's just easier to control the amount you use, and easier to roll it off a wet q-tip into the lower eyelid than break it from the tube (my experience is that when you pull the tube away, you often take the length of ointment you've squeezed out with it).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:07AM
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Thanks for the replies!

Quasifish--thanks so much for your story. No, I didn't get to do the ointment application long before we had to leave, and when we got back, his eyes didn't seem bad until just the other day. I'll get back on the ointment this evening.

I appreciate hearing how you apply it, too! Vet wanted me to put the ointment directly onto the eye, but I was worried about touching his eye, so by the time I could steady my hand and get it coming out of the tube, the kitty was squirming too much for me to continue. I didn't know if using my clean finger to place it onto his lower eyelid was going to be good enough. I'll try the q-tip, too (but won't it leave little strands of cotton behind?).

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:32AM
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Tracey, I was a little worried about cotton strands too, but with the cotton is wet enough, that hasn't been a problem I've encountered. If you're concerned, you could always buy some of those foam tip applicators. I would still wet them just to make the ointment come off easier.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I'm only 13 but my kitten is having a runny eye im not shure if it is eye discharge or not hes only 5 weeks old hes had it for maybe 3 weeks but he acts just fine. im just worried

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:54AM
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Have your vet check it out. If it's been going on for awhile, it's a good idea to have it looked out and possibly treated. Your vet might give you drops or ointment for your kitten's eye, which you can have an adult help you administer (some cats are good about getting their meds, others are more squirmy--like people!).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 10:09AM
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