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Eye infection

October 11th, 2005, 04:35 AM

We have been keeping a stray cat who spends most of his time outside and comes home only at dinner or lunch time (he simply refuses to stay at home except when he's not feeling well). This has been going on for maybe five years. He has always been healthy, but a couple of months ago he begun to have discharge in his right eye. Since it didn't seem to bother him at all we just applied general eye ointment on it occasionally. These last few days the problem seemed to worsen as he often half-shut the eye, and yesterday the cheek below the right eye got swollen. We found that the corner of the eye had turned red. Since he had just got wounds from fighting we suppose the eye has been injured as well. We treated him immediately with chloramphenicol ophthalmic ointment and kept him inside the house to prevent further infection, but until today it hasn't got better. So far his appetite, behavior, popping etc. haven't been affected at all, except that he's a little quieter than usual. Since it's difficult to bring him to the vet (he can't stay quiet in the car) we decide to treat him first. My question is:

1. Is the ointment the right medication? How long it takes for the infection to heal?
2. What might cause the infection and how to cure it?
3. How we can stop him from rubbing his eye without upsetting him since we heard that it could worsen the condition?

thanks for the answer.

October 11th, 2005, 07:42 AM
First off,thank's for taking care of the kitty,although after 5 yrs,he is no more a stray,he is your cat :love:
It sounds to me he needs a vet and probably antibiotics,cats can get nasty infections,especially after cat-fights and if not treated can be fatal.Also often bad eye-infections are related to bad teeth.
Most cats are unruly in cars,mine hate it,but I would never attempt to take them without a carrier.
So,my suggestion is to get a carrier and take him to the vet.
I assume he's not been neutered,since you say he's a stray,having him neutered will also calm him down somewhat,he won't be too eager to get in to fights and might want to stay inside more.
We love to see a picture and please let us know how he is doing.

October 11th, 2005, 07:51 AM
Since it seems to be getting worse and it sounds like it is spreading I would do everything in my power to get him to a vet he sounds like he needs antibiotics and antibiotic drops as well. By leaving it you may be creating a far worse problem that may spread to nose and throat and ears.

Lucky Rescue
October 11th, 2005, 09:49 AM
If it's an abcess from bite wounds, the face is a very bad area to have it, since there is nowhere for the infection/pus to go but inward, as Mastifflover says and that is bad news.

Shove him in a cat carrier and take him to the vet. IF he's not neutered, you could arrange to have that done when he's better. That would make him want to stay home more.

October 11th, 2005, 10:14 AM
hello all, thanks for your advices and sympathy. We finally decided a few hours ago to take him again to the vet. This time he's not as unruly as last week, perhaps because he felt unwell. When we called the doctor and told him his condition the vet misheard and said that it might be distemper, and we're so scared out of our wits that we were all silent during the trip to the vet. but thank goodness it wasn't distemper. It's eye infection all right, although the vet couldn't decide what caused it. He said it might be sinusitis or infection from the wounds he got from the fight (the wound has dried now). It could also be caused by insect bite. Anyway the doctor gave him injection for his infection and prescribed an ophtalmic ointment called terra-cortril. If he doesn't get better in 2 days we gotta bring him back again. well hope he's getting better tomorrow and hope he's not going to make things worse by scratching his eye (he has started to do it when we returned from the vet!)

still, i would welcome any advices on probable causes of eye infection and inflammation in cats and what might be done as first aid. Thanks all and will keep u posted on his condition.

P.S: as for getting him neutered,i agree that it's the best option, but we had a bad experience a few yrs ago when a stray dog we took to animal shelter died from infection after getting neutered. I guess he hadn't been examined properly to know if he's healthy enough for neutering. It traumatized us and since we're not sure whether our tom has any unknown medical problems, we don't have the guts to get him neutered.

October 11th, 2005, 03:52 PM
Thank's for the up-date!
It's very rare that a cat dies while being neutered,I've had 8 male cats neutered with no problems,one who was a stray.
The vet would check him out first.
You obviously love him,or you would not be taking care of him and he's a lucky little guy.
Unfortunately he is out there making babies,only adding to the cat-overpopulation and the misery of many feral cats/kittens.
I am not preaching to you,I love cats,but neutering is a must.....he'll be soo much calmer and sweeter afterwards.

October 11th, 2005, 05:08 PM
I'm not sure if your vet raised the possibility of herpes, which is not that uncommon in strays and can affect the eye. One of my cats has had three bouts that did not respond to medication, we just had to wait it out, although I had him on Lysine, an immune booster. Just a thought. Of course secondary infections will respond to meds but the herpes itself will not.

I'd go ahead and neuter him - the odds of anything untoward happening are minimal, for a male it is not considered major surgery - it will reduce his chances of fighting and, as important, the stray cat population in your neighbourhood.

Lucky Rescue
October 11th, 2005, 06:22 PM
I"m glad you took your guy to the vet and happy to hear he's doing okay!:)

I've had countless toms neutered with no ill effects.

However the effects from NOT neutering are many. Fights, which can result in transmission of fatal disease like distemper, leukemia and FIV, and abcesses that can get severely infected. Not to mention that intact toms roam, looking for females to impregnate (adding to overpopulation) and other males to fight with, and risk getting hit by cars, attacked by dogs, or hurt/killed or caught in snares by people fed up with their spraying and yowling.

I have seen toms with grievous injuries from fighting, including one with his scalp ripped right off as tomcats do sometimes fight to the death if evenly matched.

The risk of any or all of the above is very high and the risk of a cat dying during neutering is extremely low.

The average lifespan for outdoor and intact males is 5 years.

Just a FYI!:)

October 11th, 2005, 07:17 PM
hello all,

sad to say but this morning it looks like he didn't get better. on the other hand the swollen got a bit bigger. he doesn't want to eat or do anything anymore, not even meowing. I'm not sure what my vet injected into him, but after reading some information there's a possibility that it might be herpes. i don't know though. I'm crying as I type this because I can't bear to see anymore death. I dunno why but we've been unlucky all this time...we've taken stray cats, stray dogs and chickens and we had taken care of them so well, bringing all of them to vets, but still they all died young from disease. So I guess this time things will repeat itself. I know I sound damn pessimistic but I'm almost sure he won't get well.

I hope you guys excuse my whinings...I really have to share with someone about this. Thank you for listening. Will update you again about how he goes.

October 11th, 2005, 07:30 PM
i just searched the internet and couldn't find any info on the effect of herpes. Is it life-threatening? Or will it affect the eye only? Any info will be really appreciated.

October 11th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Don't worry, it's not fatal! Read this:

He may not have it, just something to keep in mind.

October 11th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Don't worry, it's not fatal! Read this:

He may not have it, just something to keep in mind.

thank you very much for the info! i just called the vet and he said it might not be herpes and we just gotta wait and see for these 2 days. At first i was disappointed with the answer cos i was positive it's herpes, but thanks to your info i know now that it could also be bacterial conjunctivities or others.

October 11th, 2005, 09:22 PM
just a quick update. just now pussy got his appetite back...he climbed up the kitchen table to search for food and we gave him rice and fish which he cleaned up. the swelling however, didn't decrease. the area around the eye swell up so it appeared like the area is about to explode or come out (it hasn't grown like a balloon though). also he often appeared as if he's in cold. I'm really frustrated trying to figure out what could it be and whether it's life-threatening. the next visit to the vet will be tomorrow...hopefully his condition didn't get worse.

October 11th, 2005, 10:18 PM
It's a good sign that he's eating. Don't worry too much, the chances that he has anything life-threatening are remote, eye infections can look pretty gross. I would touch the area as little as possible, if there are any secretions building up, wipe them away with a cloth rinsed in lukewarm water, apply the meds as directed, nothing more.

October 12th, 2005, 08:26 AM
Mu99le,you have a whole bunch of experienced cat-owners trying to help out and believe me,we understand how worried you are,we've all been there.
I can't say for sure,because I don't know what caused his injury,but I doubt it's fatal :fingerscr
Medicin can sometimes make them loose their appetite,but your kitty is hungry again,definetly a good sign...keep us updated ,please :love:

October 12th, 2005, 05:23 PM
hello everyone,

i'm happy to report that yesterday the kitty has regained his strength, and that the swelling cheek is subsiding. his left (not right like i said before, sorry) eye is now visible. this morning he meowed for food at 4 a.m. and woke everybody up. :sorry: for the false alarm yestrday. i guess it's the injection that made him quiet. if you don't hear again from me, that will mean he's improving. :) we've decided to get him checked for neutering after he's well. in the meantime thank you all for the supports! :love:

October 12th, 2005, 09:30 PM
okay...kitty is OK now but there is a new problem. since he hasn't been neutered, he keeps meowing, asking us to let him out. of course there's no way in the world we will do that since his left eye is still recovering and we're afraid he'll get into fights again. but his meows are very loud and i'm afraid it will disturb the neighbors. shall we put him in cage? but i dun think it will stop the meowing and perhaps will only increase it. i dunno if it's safe to get him neutered right away as his eye infection hasn't fully healed and we still dunno whether he's allergic to anesthesia or anything. basically, i'm trying for a way to keep him quiet at home until he gets well enough for castration. help anyone? :confused:

Lucky Rescue
October 12th, 2005, 10:11 PM
That's the thing with tomcats - even if they're dying, they are driven to get out and fight and mate.:(

Can you put him in the basement, or someplace the noise won't be so bad? A cage is going to make it worse.

You can also try feeding him canned beef cat food at night. It makes some cats sleepy.

I doubt the vet will do the surgery while he has an infection. Even after the surgery, his behavior is not going to change overnight. But gradually he will lose the desire to fight and roam once all the testosterone is out of his body.

October 12th, 2005, 10:24 PM
thanks Deb. unfortunately we dun have a basement...most houses in my city dun have. food usually calms him down, but not for long...especially since he has ravenous appetite. we're thinking of calling the vet to see ways to make him quieter.

before i go off topic, just one last question: you mentioned in the other thread (i think it was you, correct me if i'm wrong) that there's a special, low-risk anesthesia for fragile cats...could you mention the name? just want to know. thanks. :)

October 13th, 2005, 07:40 AM
I am glad he's feeling better :thumbs up we would love to se a picture of him..
I've never had an"outdoor"cat,but I can imagine the meowing gets loud.
Maybe it is possible to put him on some kind of calming meds,don't know for sure :confused:
You are in Jakarta,wow! We have people from many places,but you are the first Indonesian :pawprint:
I hope kitty(what's his name?)calms down soon,I wish we could explain to them why we do the things we do to them...

October 13th, 2005, 09:55 AM
hi chico, yeah there are millions of strays here in indonesia and too few animal can see cats almost everywhere. our kitty is IMHO the most beautiful :) ...he has large, round eyes and cute mouth, and he's white except for greyish brown patches here and there and on his forehead. wish i could show you the photo...i dun have either camera or cameraphone so i can't take a pic of him, and i dun have scanner so we can't scan the pics we took when he's younger. he meows often today and keeps climbing up the dining table to search for food. at nights he's sometimes eager to go out. it has started to get quite troublesome as there are only 3 of us at home, two of us are working and so someone has to stay home all day to watch over him. we once left him locked up at home because he was sleeping on the couch, and when we returned the window has been pushed open and he's gone already. so it's really torturing because we have to watch him all the time and barely unable to do other things. we haven't consulted the vet since he's still on his way home and it's now 10 p.m. i hope he won't trouble us so much tonight. *sigh*.

October 13th, 2005, 04:12 PM
Mu99le.Whenever we go on holiday,to the Carribean or anywhere warm,I am really bothered by all the cats and dogs running loose looking hungry and skinny,to the point where I really don't want to go anymore,it's just heartbreaking.But at least you don't have snow and cold,like here in Canada.
You might not be able to keep this kitty inside,I am assuming he is semi-feral..but I am happy you care and love this little guy.Hopefully he'll calm down and want to stay in.
If you are able to have him neutered,he might want to stay inside more.
I am hoping he's not spraying all around your house,like most tom-cats would..but you'll know if he does,it stinks!!
I wish you luck with your kitty and it's too bad you cannot show us a picture,here is a pic of my pampered,spoiled,loved kitties :pawprint:

October 13th, 2005, 05:49 PM
Mu99le.Whenever we go on holiday,to the Carribean or anywhere warm,I am really bothered by all the cats and dogs running loose looking hungry and skinny,to the point where I really don't want to go anymore,it's just heartbreaking.But at least you don't have snow and cold,like here in Canada.
You might not be able to keep this kitty inside,I am assuming he is semi-feral..but I am happy you care and love this little guy.Hopefully he'll calm down and want to stay in.
If you are able to have him neutered,he might want to stay inside more.
I am hoping he's not spraying all around your house,like most tom-cats would..but you'll know if he does,it stinks!!
I wish you luck with your kitty and it's too bad you cannot show us a picture,here is a pic of my pampered,spoiled,loved kitties :pawprint:

oh they are beautiful!!! thanks for sharing the pics. :love: one of the reasons why i want to get a cameraphone is to be able to get a pic of pussy (not a very good name i agree...but that's the only name we can thought of at the moment :p ). Yes thank goodness we dun have snow here or things will be worse for the cats, but we do have heavy rains in november. we also have many starving kittens in the neighborhood and it's heartbreaking to see those skinny little bodies :( . the cat overpopulation here is quite bad because animal shelters are very few...probably less than ten in the whole city and they tended to be concentrated in the south area (i live in the west).

thankfully pussy doesn't like to spray around the house...we always give him litterbox whenever he stays indoors and he has been very sweet to go there everytime he wants to urinate. i dunno how things will be in the next mating period tho....until now we've never kept him indoor more than 5 days. last night he's sweeter although he refused to sleep and kept pinning for someone to open the front door. but at least he's quieter than the previous nite. hope he'll maintain this good behavior, at least until his eye is fully recovered :)

October 23rd, 2005, 08:41 AM
Hi, sorry I haven't updated for a long time. To make long story short, we finally let pussy out again after he disturbed us for three consecutive nights. The lump still hung stubbornly below his eye, but we had no choice. It's not as hard as before, however, and it's apparently itchy as he kept scratching it. Then three days later he discharged blood mixed with pus from his eye. It's obviously from the lump because when we pressed it, blood would come out and the lump got smaller and softer. We were relieved as we thought it's an abscess and not something worse. So we took him home again and wiped out the blood that kept running from his eye. But after the discharge stopped, the lump started to swell again. We took him to the vet just now and he also wondered why the lump could swell again. He gave another antibiotic injection and suggested that we take him for x-ray check in animal hospital. the thing is we can't take him immediately since the place is very far from our home. I'm just wondering whether any of you here ever experience something like this? Can an abscess swell again after it broke? Sorry for my spelling and grammar errors...I'm rather tired tonight. Thanks a lot.

p.s: btw pussy didn't show any sign of illness...he's still as eager as before to go outdoor and his appetite is still as ferocious as ever.

October 23rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
Yes abcesses can swell up again and fill up with puss.Did your vet also give you oral antibiotics to give at home?If not I would ask about them. And kitty really needs to be kept in untill hes healed..Its hard to put up with the howling to get out. But its for his own good

October 23rd, 2005, 07:18 PM
yes he's given oral antibiotic too...but we dunno whether we can tip it into his mouth. anyway we'll try...thanks for the reply :)