- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Ques. Re: Chronic eye prob. Possible herpes

May 8th, 2008, 11:22 AM

On March 9th, we acquired two older neutered ragdoll kittens (9 and 10 months) from a well-established breeder with a good reputation. We drove 6 1/2 hours to another state to get them. They are half brothers (same father). They were impeccably groomed when we met them, but by the time we got them home, they both had weepy eyes. We thought it was from crying at the beginning of the trip.

First vet visit was two days later, as per our contract with the breeder. Vet prescribed Clavamox for younger cat, whose eyes were obviously oozy by then. The other cat's eyes were clear. As the cats had not yet adjusted to our home, the younger cat was hiding and we had to catch him to give him the meds in his cheek as directed. He pretty much stayed in hiding for that first two weeks, and he didn't always get both doses of the antibiotics every day, but we did administer until gone.

At the end of the antibiotics, eyes were still weepy. Vet prescribed Vetropolycin ointment. We used that for just over 2 weeks, when it appeared that the tearing had lessened and had been clear for some time. It seemed to irritate his eyes and the irritation seemed to increase with use, and he was spending more time with watery, closed eyes, so that's why we stopped.

His eyes seemed to clear for a short while, but about 10 days later, it returned. The ointment was even more irritating when I tried it again, so it was time for something else. Latest treatment is Ofloxacin drops and L-lysine supplements. We have used this for just over a week and his eyes are still very irritated. There is still some occasional clear mucous-like strings across his eyes. The rims of his eyes are red and slightly inflamed. The "third eyelid" is sometimes visible, he squints a lot, and there is a lot of tearing, which is clear, but turns brown on his face. He has developed a little gray spot on the cornea of his right eye, which seems to be the first eye to flare up and the last to clear. He does sneeze a little, but so does his brother, who does get a small amount of sand in the corners of his eyes, but that is all. The affected cat will be 1 year old on June 14th. He is not the lap cat that his brother is, but is generally affectionate, and follows our girls around for attention.

We've spent hundreds of dollars on this and my husband's work has slowed down significantly since we acquired these guys, so repeated vet visits are a hardship. We've been in contact with the breeder, who will talk with us about everything else, but will not return any of our messages about the cat's eyes. It would be helpful if she could tell us whether we might be dealing with herpes or chlamydia. The vet has said that the tests are very expensive and many times unreliable. At any rate, in my uneducated opinion, I'm thinking that all these antibiotics surely should have cared for any secondary infection that might have been present.

Does anyone have experience with these conditions? If I finish these Ofloxacin drops and there is still inflammation, should I keep taking him for more antibiotics, or just assume it's a viral and give it time to run its course? How long should that typically take? I don't want to overmedicate him and possibly compound his irritation. I just feel so bad for the poor guy!

IF it would turn out to be chlamydia, I've read that humans can contract conjunctivitis from them. We encourage the children to wash their hands often, but might we be endangering our children by keeping a cat that might possibly be infected with this?

Thanks for your patience in reading this post and thanks in advance for any insight you can offer.


May 8th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I am sorry, I don't have any advice except to change vets, get a second opinion.

Attached is a link about herpes:

and one about chlamydia

When a kitty is sick it is normal for it to hide.

As for the breeder, would say she fits into the byb, that don't care about what she breeds.

Would love to see pics of you babies:lovestruck:

Good luck and keep us posted.

May 8th, 2008, 02:53 PM
Photos can be found at

I tried to post this once, but it didn't appear.

You can see the inflammation in O'Malley's eyes.

May 8th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Another possibility is Feline Leukemia, this can also present itself in weepy goopy runny eyes. Please take them both back to the vets or for a second opinion and have them do the FeLk test as well

:goodvibes: :fingerscr for your gorgeous kitties please keep up updated & welcome to :D

May 9th, 2008, 06:38 AM
Your Ragdolls are soooo beautiful:lovestruck::cloud9::lovestruck:. Perhaps your vet can recommend a specialist to take a look at your kitty's eyes.

May 9th, 2008, 05:04 PM
When I adopted my kitten she had a herpes outbreak - her eye was runny but with the ointment, Clavamox and L-Lysine, it cleared up after about a week - week and a half at most.. :shrug:

I also recommend a second opinion - it sounds like there's a possibility it could be something more serious..

May 9th, 2008, 06:26 PM
I have a cat with herpes - he gets a bad outbreak about once a year - and you just have to wait it out. It's painful to watch, sometimes it spreads down his nose. If I am remembering rightly (old brain), it takes at least 2-3 weeks to clear up. Personally, unless the vet thinks a secondary infection has not resolved, I wouldn't put him back on antibiotics, they are of no value.
Lysine, yes, 500 mg twice a day. I buy the human-grade capsules, much cheaper, and empty them into his food (has to be pure, no additives). I believe there are also drops for pain, kind of like a mild local anaesthetic. Wash his face with a warmish damp cloth as often as he needs it, to get rid of any debris which may add to the irritation.
And when it clears, stop the lysine.

Jim Hall
May 9th, 2008, 06:56 PM
lysine is fanrastic i always suspected DU has herpes and give her about 250 a day if its herpes or cyladma (sic) keeping warl and getiing the best diet you can afford will help a lot i found with another cat i had that definitly had herpes that stress would express it both physical like playing too hard or being cold or mental stress changing places going to the vet etc

May 13th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the replies. Both cats were tested for feline leukemia in March, when we got them, and were negative.

Malley seems to be getting better, because he's squinting less, but then he'll squint more and be more red again for a few days, like he's moving in the right direction, but almost as if it's a step forward, then a step back, and so on. His eyes are still watering, but there's not as much debris on his face. It seems to start in his right eye, then move to include both, then isolate back in the right, which is where it is now. I've been keeping his face clean and using moisture eyes ointment once or twice a day when he squints a lot, hoping to provide some comfort.

Thanks again.

May 13th, 2008, 05:13 PM
I'm wondering if there might be an allergy component to this. Both environmental and food allergies can sometimes manifest with similar symptoms. How are O'Malley's ears? Any gunk or itching that you notice? What kind of food do your kitties eat?

Also, is he still getting the Lysine supplement, and if so, how much? It could be that he just needs a higher dose for the time being. But for sure, to reiterate what Jim said, a good diet can go a long way towards improving a cat's immune system and give it the tools to fight whatever pathogens etc. it encounters in life. So that might still be something to consider, whether it's an allergy issue or not.

May 14th, 2008, 09:49 AM
I was wondering about allergies, but I haven't found much on the web about what to do about it. Since he had the rusty tearing before he even left the car when we got them, I assume that if it is allergy, it is not something specific to our home, but I may be wrong. Since I can't just try putting antihistamine drops in his eyes like I could if he was human, I can't see if that will help. Testing is impossible because, as I mentioned, incurring even more vet bills is not an option right now unless it's an emergency. Is there any help for him if it is allergy eyes?

He has no drainage or build-up in his ears that I can see (I do have a pediatric otoscope) and there is no odor or anything. He does have a small cloudy spot on his right cornea, but it's been there a long time, perhaps as long as we've had him, I don't know. It hasn't seemed to change at all.

The breeder was feeding Iams lamb and rice for adults, so that's the first food they had when they came. I asked the vet whether this was good. He said yes, but he prefers Eukanuba, so we made the switch with the next bag. We started with kitten, but changed to adult formula this week. He won't eat the better quality canned foods, so I give him 9 lives chicken or liver and bacon, but he only gets about 1 tsp. 2x/day for taking the lysine in.

I was giving him 500 mg. lysine 2x/day for about 10 days. I decreased it two days ago to 250 mg. 2x/day. I give them lysine tablets for humans with no added sugar, salt, or preservatives. I crush the tablet to mix it into the soft food.

The breeder still won't return my messages. We're not trying to return him, he's our kitty, but if she can offer some direction about what we're dealing with, so we can help him, we feel she should.


May 14th, 2008, 01:19 PM
I finally heard from the breeder after trying to get a response from her for at least seven weeks! I logged onto a mail account I haven't written her from before. I titled the subject "Inquiry" and sent it to the e-mail of her Ragdoll website. I said I don't want to return our pet to her, but could she PLEASE respond?! I attached a photo. Her response was basically that he didn't have the problem there, and it could be herpes from the stress of the move. Oh, and she said did have one once that had to have surgery because of an eyelid problem that made his eyes look like that.

May 14th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Hmmm, I have a few suggestions, for what they're worth. One thing you could try is an eyewash of sorts using colloidal silver and goldenseal. You need about 1/8th of a cup of sterile water (boiled water that has been cooled), to which you add a few drops of 10ppm colloidal silver (such as Sovereign Silver ( and a few drops of alcohol-free goldenseal (Gaia Herbs ( has a good product). Soak a cotton pad in the solution and hold it against O'Malley's eye for as long as you can (a minute or two would be great - he might be more compliant if you can hold him on your lap for this). If you can squeeze a couple drops into his eye at the end of the session, even better. Maybe do one eye and then the other a little while later so you don't test his patience too much. If you could do this a couple times a day for a few days, hopefully you'll see some improvement.

Along with that, boosting O'Malley's immune system so that he can handle stress better would be a good idea. You might want to look into something called Transfer Factor ( or colostrum. Lactoferrin ( is another supplement that could be useful in your situation.

As for nutrition, I'll refer you to this link:
Basically, wet food is preferable to dry, and the fewer the grains, the better. If you scroll down the page, there are tips on how to make the transition to wet. It can take some time, but it's so worth it. :thumbs up