Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

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Jacks
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Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by Jacks » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi everyone. I have the MOST adorable stray Tabby boy I rescued, totally terrified of humans and very shy but gentle, who I bonded with after intensive work. His name is Max, and he is as gentle as a lamb with me; shakes like a leaf at the vets but never hisses or scratches. I've had him home 1yr and 6 months (long story). He has the most beautiful big green eyes, but this is where he has problems. First, he scratched himself in the right eye - I SAW him do it, by accident, whilst playing with daBird! We had a few weeks of drops and ulcer medication as he had punctured the cornea. It cleared up fine. Then in July he had a little gunk in his left eye one morning, and when I came home from work it was swollen and tight shut. Straight to the vet - we suspect he had scratched himself as it was uncomfortable. Drops again, and this was healing nicely when he scratched himself in the left eye again - right in front of me! Back to the vet - the vet hospital this time as my vet was booked up - again, a puncture and we commenced treatment. However, this time it won't get better. The vet also noticed he'd been overgrooming his tummy, so we gave him a flea med, but I don't think he had fleas, more that he was stressed. Max likes to be with me and will follow me around. However he's been kept (on vets advice) in his little room ever since mid July, because the eye STILL isn't better, and the third eyelid is red and swollen. The ulcer heals, but the infection will not go. All colours of gunk come out. He now wears a cone collar to stop him scratching, and we've sent swabs off to Cardiff to check for viral infections, resistant bacteria, Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), Feline Chlamydia and Feline Mycoplasma. He can't mix because of my 6 other cats (all of them are FINE, no eye problems at all). It's just the one eye. I'm trying to spend as much time with him as I can, but I still have to work, and he has to have three drops a day. He's SOOOO good. We play a loving cuddle game and then lift his head up gently to swab the eye and put the drops in. I'm just mortified for him. He can't overgroom at the moment because of the collar, but sometimes he just looks so sad, and I don't blame him. He's a very young male, in perfect health otherwise (we hope anyway) - it's just this awful eye infection that's been going on since 24th July. My poor baby. I've bought him a special cat tree with a bed on top for his room, and he has toys, scratch pads, a fountain, hidey holes and two litter boxes, but it's not like freedom and I can tell he's photosensitive and just wants to be loved. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of thing? I lost two cats 5 months apart in October and March and I'm starting to stress that my baby boy is going to be taken from me. :cry: :cry: :cry: He was on Maxitrol, he's now on Chloramphenicol 3 x daily.

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lilynmitz
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Re: Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by lilynmitz » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:59 pm

So sorry to hear of the problems you’re having with Max’s eye, it sounds miserable. All I can suggest is that you continue with the vets treatments, it has healed up before, so it may do again. The silly boy just keeps re-injuring it. I've been through something similar with two of mine, but in our case the treatment worked first time.

But if the worst comes to the worst and he loses the eye, he will still be your Max, he will cope very well with one eye, all will be fine, I had a lad who was almost completely blind, as I know others have too, and they manage surprisingly well in a safe environment. The overgrooming is almost certainly a stress thing, and while it may stop once he ks over this latest hurdle, in my experience it can become a lifelong habit - not least because the sort fur on their tummy feels odd to the, so they keep grooming it in the hope that will make it better. My blind boy did this after a stay in kennels, and continued for the rest of his life, and my current lass Elsie started doing it after she scratched her tummy on some barbed wire, and she ks done it ever since, even though it healed about 2 years ago. It’s a shame, but it doesn’t do them any harm, so long as they’re not breaking the skin.

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Re: Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by Jacks » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:10 pm

Thank you for your wise words, Lilynmitz. We are continuing with the treatment and the eye 'fingers crossed' is nearly better. There is still a slight abrasion from the last time he scratched it (whilst wearing a COS that was too floppy). He has tested clear for Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), Feline Chlamydia and Feline Mycoplasma, although the vet thinks he may have Herpesvirus as it won't present if it's dormant. I'm not convinced. He also, we see, has a badly broken and inflammed upper canine directly below the eye. I'm wondering whether the discomfort from this is why he has been scratching his face. It needs treatment but they won't do anything until the eye is better. The vet says the tooth has sheared off and is fractured down to the pulp - it must be painful :(

We have another week of drops and COS and we will see how he does. He's on Metacam as well, as he may be in pain with the tooth. x

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Re: Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:41 pm

I’m pleased to hear his eye is improving. If he keeps doing this, I’m wondering whether his sight might not be too great to start with. My blind laddie Mitz kept injuring his eyes as he didn’t have a blink or swerve response if something was about to poke him in the eye, and he also ended up with black eyes (well, swollen anyway) from walking into things. He also overgroomed his tummy when he got stressed. Imho vets far too often write off overgrooming as flea allergy as it means they get to sell you the treatment for it and avoid offending the owners by saying there’s something about their household that’s really stressing out their cat.

Has the vet not recommended removing the tooth? It’s not going to get better on its own. And if it’s causing him pain and infected, that’s just another infection his system is trying to fight off, and another source of stress and unhappiness for him

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Re: Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by Jacks » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:12 pm

Hi Lilynmitz! Well, today we've got a clean bill of health for the eye - it has healed! I've also got a quote for the tooth removal, but we are going to wait a week or two to allow him to get back into socialisation. He's been in his room since the 24th July. All clear for all the 'nasties' and the vet agreed that he could be scratching his face because of the tooth. They will do an xray first to see if it's embedded, in which case they will do a root canal procedure and seal it under the gum - otherwise they will remove it. I'm really pleased about this - the sooner the better so I'll make an appointment for later next week I think, when I can have a couple of days at home with him. I think you're right about the 'flea' issue - whenever they see Sophie they think she might have fleas because she sheds hair and dandruff all over the bench - but it's because she's petrified. She turns into a slug like zombie and her hair starts falling out, poor girl, purring with distress so they can't hear her heartbeat,, :shock: It's an easy answer. I know Max doesn't have fleas, bless him, but I'm aware that I was telling him off too much (for running after Bobby) and I'm not surprised he was over-grooming. He is so devoted to me that he must be very confused when I'm cross with him. I've told him I will stop doing it, and he and Bobby have to work their relationship out between them. The only time there's been a fight was early on after Charlie died, when we had 'dominance wars' and Bobby turned and fought back when Max chased him. It didn't put Max of chasing - he's like a big child, he loves chasing anything that runs away, so he and Sophie have a few great chases from time to time! She's a feisty old girl and she really likes him. He's the only male that doesn't flinch when she sniffs his tail - he has no fear of other cats.

Speaking of which, on Sunday we had a bizarre moment - my husband let Max out of his room with his blue COS on, and Boo was in the kitchen (Boo is also a boy = wary of Max - the girls love him). Boo plodded into the lounge just as Max sauntered round the corner, big and rangy with blue COS flapping. Boo completely FREAKED out. He shot in the air, wet himself, and shot back into the kitchen with arched back and all hackles up. The sight must have been terrifying and completely unexpected, of course. The other cats ran in panic! Lots of grooming and cuddles later he was back to normal and today met Max without collar and was fine - so it must have been the collar that did it!

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Re: Conjunctivitis - Single infected eye - just won't clear up

Post by Mollycat » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:40 pm

Adding my agreement to the "flea allergy" thing as my Purdy from a previous relationship had one that mysteriously disappeared as soon as Henry died - in fact she has absolutely blossomed since. It pains me saying that out loud as Henry was only 14 and my angel boy, but the fact is despite having followed him from his previous home she is so much better without him, 22 years old and never felt better.

Sarah, also from the previous relationship, used to leave a trail of wet pawprints all over the vet's table. She also used to quack-yowl the whole time and the only way we could shut her up was to sit in the dog part of the waiting room - where's the zip mouth emoji? And when released she would sit in front of the screen asking for the telly to be turned on, much to the vets' amusement!

Congrats on the eye clearing up at last!

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