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NancyH, Cat Health, Behavior, Care Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ years cat owner, rescue, breeding, study of behavior & health care
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Kitten Eye Problems

Customer Question

Our outdoor female cat had five kittens 5 weeks ago and all of them had one eye "pasted shut" and when we apply a warm wet compress the eye opens but it's grayish red and doesn't appear to have a pupil. Are these kittens all victims of feline herpes? And if so, what can we do and are those eyes each going to go blind?
I'm afraid we're not in a situation where we can afford a lot of vet care for all of them, but certainly we feel we need to do our best for them.

Also, is this contagious to my children when they're handling them?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
from this site
"Most cats infected with FHV-1 have runny eyes due to conjunctivitis and/or ulcerative keratitis.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent membrane that lines the eyelid. The inflammation leads to discharge, swelling, and pain; the cat's eyes may be red and weepy. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a number of underlying conditions.

Ulcerative keratitis is inflammation and ulceration of the cornea, the transparent front portion of the eye that gathers light rays and directs them into the eye. Ulcerations on the cornea can cause a serious threat to an animal's eyesight. In addition to discharge from the eye, signs of corneal ulcers include squinting, turning away from light, obvious discomfort, and pawing at the eyes. "

Its a different disease than the human virus with the same name so you and the kids cannot catch it. Pinkeye sometimes can be transmitted to people but washing hands after handling sick animals usually takes care of cross infection issues.
The eyes could benefit from treatment to stop the advance of the disease. Terramycin ointment seems to be what folks use for that.
Often if you take a litter in to see a vet the vet will charge for only one kitten but ask ahead of time if that is the policy and what costs might be.
You should spay your mother cat as she is the most likely source for these kittens to have gotten this.
Depending on how much eye damage was done your kittens may have some or no vision as a result of the disease.
Hope this helps you and good luck with them!

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