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My cat's eyes are broken

Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED!Registered User regular
edited April 2020 in Help / Advice Forum
Last year my SO and I adopted Pete, a super friendly tabby.

When we got him, he was on meds for a "minor" eye and respiratory infection. We finished the meds left and he was fine.

After some time, we noticed his eyes were bothering him and he was a bit wheezy. We took him to the vet who gave us antibiotics and steroids. He continued to do well.

Flash forward to now and he continues to have horrible problems. We ran out of meds for a bit and he started to just rain dark pus from his eyes. We got meds as soon as we could and he's doing okay, but not great.

The weirdest thing is my SO and I left for Texas leaving him alone with her sister (staying just one day) and her brother (lives upstairs) who gave him his meds. When we got back, his eyes were the best they'd been in a long time. A few days after we returned, all his eye problems came back. The only difference I can think of is while we were gone, her sister basically never left so there were less exposure to outside allergens?

Anyhow, here is a photo of him awhile ago and today. He's currently on steroids, topical antibiotics and lysine gel. I wish I knew what was going on.

Edit: He's been tested for FIV and FEV and was negative.

mel4h2c2fwf4.jpg

Magus` on
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    Sounds like allergies. Stop using lotion on your hands or wearing perfume and cologne/aftershave. Stop giving treats for a while too.

    If it clears up, then you can start figuring out what it is.

    Dark liquid from the eyes is cat-herpes. It's triggered by stress as much as anything else. One of my cats has the same problem.

    Edit: Get rid of any cat beds you have sitting around, just put them in a closet or something. The synthetic fabrics can cause reactions as well.

    dispatch.o on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    We don't often wear cologne and perfume but we're happy to stop period.

    Is cat herpes different from FIV or FEV?

    No cat beds, but he does like to sleep on things that are similar. He's always done that, though, even when we left and came back and his eyes were better.

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    Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Definitely some kind of allergy. It's a bitch to nail them down.

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Additionally, I asked if he could have an allergy shot and the vet basically said it was pointless. He did not elaborate. We tried giving him Benadryl and that was hilariously unsuccessful. Not to mention the dosage request would be super high as he's a biggin'.

    Yeah, trying to go through all these variables is maddening. The only thing I can think of is outside allergies since there seems to be some connection between less house traffic and the warming weather, but, how do you even address that?

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Have you tried a different vet? Just like doctors, second opinions can be helpful. I find that vets can be pretty set in their diagnosis. When spex was having sneezing fits randomly, like once a month, one of our vets was like "hes got asthma and you'll be buying steroids and using a cat inhaler for the rest of his life."

    Second vet recommended we vacuum once a day and gave us dosage instructions for chlorpheniramine. We did that for spring and he's been fine sense. Hard to know what would be good for your kitty in these circumstances, but a second opinion cant hurt (might hurt the wallet, though)

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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    If I didn't have insurance, my allergy shot would cost me $4,000 CAD/month. Obviously not apples to apples, but it's a "luxury" solution since cheaper topical/ingested remedies exist and is generally quite expensive.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    Iruka wrote: »
    Have you tried a different vet? Just like doctors, second opinions can be helpful. I find that vets can be pretty set in their diagnosis. When spex was having sneezing fits randomly, like once a month, one of our vets was like "hes got asthma and you'll be buying steroids and using a cat inhaler for the rest of his life."

    Second vet recommended we vacuum once a day and gave us dosage instructions for chlorpheniramine. We did that for spring and he's been fine sense. Hard to know what would be good for your kitty in these circumstances, but a second opinion cant hurt (might hurt the wallet, though)

    Small town. Technically there are two vets there but we've seen them both. Main issue is due to schedule we don't always go together so some information might be falling through the cracks.

    Edit: Since I work from home ATM I vacuum most every day. It's an old house, however, and the way it's set up means I'm sure there's dust older than I am.

    How do you get your cats to take the medicine? Liquid Benadryl just makes him drool and I think the dosage for his weight would be 4ml or something along those lines and I can't even get him to take half a ml. He won't eat any food with crushed up meds, no matter how fine. Somehow he just knows.

    Edit 2: Based off what my SO has told me, we've spent hundreds if not over a thousand on his care. He's been an investment.

    Magus` on
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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Those are legit roadblocks, for sure.

    My cat is food crazy, sometimes he'll eat a pill if we put it in a bit of chicken breast. If not, we do the ol' open his mouth and chuck it in method, and then reward him with chicken afterwards. He hates this, but he likes chicken more, and hes not a very skittish cat overall. Hes also a large-ish cat, so a bit easier to get the ol' chuck in one go. Might be harder for a tiny cat with a tiny mouth.

    I've asked my vet to follow up by email and they were happy to send me a quick summary, maybe your vet would do the same. It can help to keep medication names strait.

    Wish I had more advice to give, but I dont want to pretend to be a vet and try to actually diagnose the guy.

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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    Magus` wrote: »
    We don't often wear cologne and perfume but we're happy to stop period.

    Is cat herpes different from FIV or FEV?

    No cat beds, but he does like to sleep on things that are similar. He's always done that, though, even when we left and came back and his eyes were better.

    http://www.eyecareforanimals.com/conditions/feline-herpesvirus/

    It's FHV. It's not transferred to humans but is a cause of respiratory illness when active.

    There are eye drops you can use to reduce the flair up frequency and severity, but it's incurable. It's kinda gross but my one eyed cat gets drippy eye once or twice a year.

    Edit: I'm not a vet. I've just had extraordinarily luck with getting damaged pets.

    Don't take me thinking it's feline herpes to mean that you don't need to find another vet. I also assumed the vet told you to give lysine and thought it weird they wouldn't have mentioned the possibility when that's usually why people give lysine.

    dispatch.o on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    I was terrified of pilling our cat when I learned I would need to twice a day forever, but it turned out that her pill dissolves readily in a very small amount of water, so we can take that and put it in her wet food. Might be worth a try?

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Yeah one of my cats was a shelter cat and apparently runny eyes are common I cats that come from shelters. Her runny eyes weren't usually bad enough to actually gum her eyes up, just to give her tear streaks. My vet also recommended lysine for her.

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    ceres wrote: »
    I was terrified of pilling our cat when I learned I would need to twice a day forever, but it turned out that her pill dissolves readily in a very small amount of water, so we can take that and put it in her wet food. Might be worth a try?

    I can try. I dunno how he knows, but you could grind a tiny pill into a can of food and he will not eat it. The other cat doesn't even notice.

    Maybe I need a better grinder? Not sure if Benadryl dissolves well. I'll have to test it...

    Also, I got some cat wipes to clean his face and new laundry detergent which I'm now using on our bedding.

    He also has what appears to be a lot of scabs around his mouth and chin but I think that's acne.

    Magus` on
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    Acne can be because of exposure to plastic that's retaining bacteria. Water/Food bowl especially.

    dispatch.o on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Good catch. I'll clean them down.

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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Good catch. I'll clean them down.

    That's the problem with plastic. It doesn't really get clean. Try just a couple of kitchen soup bowls until you find something at a discount store.

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    CronoColaCronoCola Registered User regular
    It took us a couple vets to learn our shelter cat has FHV. His eyes don't get that bad, but there are regular flare-ups and I believe it makes him more susceptible to colds in general.

    We've had pretty good luck with pill pockets in the past, though I've also heard of some pets eating around the pill. Sounds like your guy might be wily enough to do the same.

    To cut down on the acne issue, I also recommend switching out the plastic bowls with metal ones if you can!

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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    For my dogs allergies, the vet told us to basically do a week of one med and see if it helped and if not then stopping and waiting a few days then trying the next.

    Claritin didn't do shit for my dog, but Zyrtec did the trick.

    Some allergy meds are toxic to pets so do your research first! I think there are even specific breeds of dogs that can react to some meds that other dogs can take fine, iirc when I was looking up what to give my dog

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited April 2020
    I agree with dispatch.o that weepy eyes can be a sign of herpesvirus in cats. However, herpesvirus symptoms tend to come and go (just like cold sores in humans) and are more likely to flare up during stress. If your cat's weepy eyes are constant, but went away when you left for a period of time, that does suggest allergies. But we can't fully rule out herpesvirus just yet.

    Traditionally, veterinarians have prescribed the amino acid lysine for herpesvirus. It works by binding with another amino acid (arginine) that herpesviruses require to replicate. However, recent studies suggest that lysine may be ineffective in cats, and any appearance of effect is coincidental. So just because he didn't respond to lysine doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have feline herpes.

    It's worth trying either a more effective antiviral medication, or a different anti-allergy.

    Anti-allergy meds are a bit easier, as most of them are over the counter and you can buy veterinary formulations online. (This pet medication storefront is just an example, not an endorsement.) It's worth trying a different anti-allergy medication and seeing if it works.

    Anti-virals are a little tougher. They require a prescription. One common example of a prescription-only antiviral for cats is cidofovir. I think it's fully reasonable to call one of the vets in town, say your cat's eye discharge didn't resolve with lysine, and to ask to try a more powerful anti-viral.

    Edit: I am not a vet either, so take my advice with the appropriate skepticism.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    I absolutely positively do not advise using a human formulation of any drug in cats.

    ...but if you decide to, avoid Tylenol/acetominophen at all costs. Even small amounts are highly lethal in cats.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Did you change his food when you got him? definitely think allergies also, but combined with the chin stuff, I wonder if it is food related

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    Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    I can't believe I forgot this but I just had a similar problem with one of my cats and it turned out it was the fragrance in their cat litter. You may want to try an unscented brand; Feline Pine is REALLY good and you can get it cheap from chewey.com

    also maybe try unscented dish wash and laundry detergent etc.

    Magic Pink on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited April 2020
    You know, I didn't even think of that. Good call!

    I have it on my list to get new bowls. Just bought new ones, too.

    I just got new laundry detergent and am working through our clothes.

    I've been using Dawn which I don't know if that counts as unscented.

    Magus` on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    So an update. Pete's eyes are doing better. Not as good as the before picture but not having streams of black death down his face.

    I made a discovery that is probably a factor. I moved in with my now fiancee in August of last year. I knew very little about the house outside it was old.

    Recently we turned on the AC because it was getting a bit warm. I noticed immediately in the living room that the smell was really bad. I couldn't figure how why it was. I noticed the filter downstairs had not been obviously changed in some time so I did that. Smell didn't change.

    After some discussion, I found out that the landlord has put additional filters in some vents to decrease dust output. So I go to the living room vent and pull out the filter and holy fuck. It was so called with grime and other things you could no longer see though it. I located some other filters in similar, but not nearly as bad shape.

    After a ton of spraying them down and using Dawn, they were still pretty bad. I soaked them in a bleach solution for about an hour at which point I saw them go from a dark grey to a bright blue. I let the bleach evaporate over a few days to be safe.

    Since then he seems to be wincing a lot less. It may be a combo of all the other stuff going on but man, I hope that really helps.

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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    Oh man, yeah HVAC isn't really a DIY thing a landlord should be doing on their own unless they're actually a professional in the field because it's more complicated that you'd think and can result in issues like, well, this.

    Can you get he landlord to just flat out replace the impromptu filters?

    HappylilElf on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    I'm going to. I can't see how it would be hard to find properly rated filter material and cut it to be like 2'x2' or whatever.

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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    I don't think it's as much that they're all bad, it's that you need to eliminate as many variables in the environment as possible and then reintroduce them one at a time after the symptoms all go away.

    The bed you have might be totally fine, but you can't know until you figure out what specifically is causing the allergy by process of elimination.

    Edit: My cats have that exact bed and love it. So I recommend it, just not when you're trying to sort this out.

    dispatch.o on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    Well, he didn't have a bed before but it's possible it could be an allergen too.

    Magus` on
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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Update: Pete has not had steroids for about a week. He is still getting lysine gel and antibiotic eye gel as well as a face wash with cat wipes.

    He's starting to get black stuff around his eyes which sometimes bleed if you try to clean them. He's also going a huge amount of black scabby material around his mouth and chin. It smells absolutely horrid.

    At this point I don't know what to do. Try to get more steroids and hope whenever we move it fixes the issue (if it's in home allergens).

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Mites?

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Possibly, though, would steroids be halting those symptoms?

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Steroids would prevent inflammation and irritation. They are immune suppressants. So it's possible

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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Do you have someone who you can foster him to for a couple of months to see if it helps?

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    I've tried, but so far no.

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Did you ever find a way to give him allergy meds?

    I don't know if there are any vet hotlines, but I would look for more advice to take to your current vet to test and try, even if it makes them grumpy.

    Sounds like you’re really fighting for the little guy, sorry you haven’t found a solution yet. We’re rooting for you though.

    I have a weird thought that might not be legitimate, but when you left your cat with your sister, are you sure they followed the full medication routine? If anyone is the type to not do it and say they did, or forget for a day, you could be looking at an allergy to something like the cat wipes themselves.

    That is completely conjecture, so if it seems unlikely based on what you know of your peeps, I’d disregard it entirely. Just looking for the last factors that could contribute from the information provided.

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Did you ever find a way to give him allergy meds? w4sbj9ty1a4n.jpg
    8gl9wpg3xer7.jpg


    I don't know if there are any vet hotlines, but I would look for more advice to take to your current vet to test and try, even if it makes them grumpy.

    Sounds like you’re really fighting for the little guy, sorry you haven’t found a solution yet. We’re rooting for you though.

    I have a weird thought that might not be legitimate, but when you left your cat with your sister, are you sure they followed the full medication routine? If anyone is the type to not do it and say they did, or forget for a day, you could be looking at an allergy to something like the cat wipes themselves.

    That is completely conjecture, so if it seems unlikely based on what you know of your peeps, I’d disregard it entirely. Just looking for the last factors that could contribute from the information provided.

    I've only recently started using the wipes. Like in the last month or so. It's something from Burt's Bees which is supposedly good?

    Also, I forget if I mentioned, the sister was staying at our place.

    Some pictures I just took:

    w4sbj9ty1a4n.jpg
    8gl9wpg3xer7.jpg

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    Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Update: So I took Pete to a new vet who said that a likely issue is a potential food allergy single he has mouth lesions. However, the food he suggested (ZD & DD) are super expensive.

    Anyone have any alternatives? If we don't have a choice, that's fine, but I thought I'd ask.

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    did he get new food while your sister watched him...?

    This is extremely my not-a-vet opinion, but it seems like Hills prescription foods are recommended for everything through vets. Spex when we first got him was on hills because he had a history of urinary crystals, but we just got normal food (blue diamond) and began adding water to it and he hasn't had a problem in 5 years. That's crystals though, which is a simple hydration issue, I haven't messed with allergies.

    I would heavily consider if he has eaten any different food, or even different flavors of the same food. I would also check your brand for ingredients and then see if you can eliminate them. If you are on particularly cheap food, you might just be able to hop to more expensive, better food without going all the way to hills

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    I will disagree strongly with Iruka here. If you are getting a vet controlled prescription diet, you should use that diet and nothing else. You could get lucky, sure. But usually there are only 2 or 3 brands that actually formulate the medical food properly. The vet can provide you with the options for companies if you ask, but the costs are all going to be high. Hills Science Diet formulation are usually recommended first as they are the usually cheapest. That doesn't mean they are the best, and usually vets will start at Hills and move to the more expensive like Royal Canin if needed.

    As someone with a medical diet cat, its not cheap. But its a small enough price to pay to ensure he is happy and healthy. If you think the prescription is a bad call, get a second opinion, but don't ignore and replace yourself. In our boy's history, he started with Hills and got moved up to Royal Canin when Hills wasn't working well enough.

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Just want to say that I wasn't saying dont listen to your vet, we talked to ours before moving spectre off hills and decided to give it a shot. It just seems like there was a short period of no issues where maybe the food was the not considered factor, and it sounds like the hit to your budget might be of some consequence. I qualified the statement for a reason, but I would be continuing to ask questions about the issue and what the allergy could possibly be.

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