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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 8911
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
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I brought a 3 month old kitten on Sunday. She is playful

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I brought a 3 month old kitten on Sunday.
She is playful and eating, pooping, drinking, etc.
Just today I noticed she had a tiny bit of discharge in both her eyes - a milky yellow. Little balls of discharge I had to wipe away.
Her eyes were fine yesterday.
Vet is closed for the evening.
What should I look out for?

Hi Angie, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm sorry for this concern about Suzy but it's good that she's otherwise acting just fine.

There are several possible explanations for the symptoms that you're seeing:
1. This is the beginning stages of an upper respiratory infection. If this is the case, then additional signs might be sneezing, mild lethargy if she starts to run a fever, perhaps a disinterest in food.
Upper respiratory infections are commonly caused by viruses but there can be secondary bacterial infections as well which is why many vets will administer oral antibiotics to these cats.
Herpes can attack the eyes, too, and sometimes there can be a large amount of swelling and redness. The discharge might increase as well. Even if there's only a small amount of yellow discharge (which usually indicates a localized infection), I'll put these cats on topical antibiotics.

2. Its possible that she irritated her eyes in some way and they've become a little inflamed....a conjunctivitis in other words. If this is the case, then the condition might worsen if she rubs her eyes although it may be difficult to prevent her from doing so. Her eyes might appear similar to #1 but the primary difference is that she's not sneezing or showing any other signs.

3. I've seen a few kittens/cats develop the mucoid discharge in their eyes and it's been a transient event for whatever reason. In those cases, I assume that there was just a slight irritation which clearly was able to resolve on it's own.

Unfortunately, there aren't any over the counter, human antibiotic opthalmic ointments that you will be able to use. But you can flush out the eyes with sterile saline (don't use contact lens solution though) which can be purchased at most pharmacies.

You can also apply a warm compress to the eyes, if she will let you for approximately 5 minutes or so.

I would continue to gently clean the eyes as you have been doing.

I wouldn't consider this to be an emergency situation but I would probably have her checked out tomorrow when your vet opens if there is still a discharge present.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Deb! I will keep an eye on her and take her in, in the morning if it is still acting up.

I played with her for an hour and she had a tiny bit more discharge but this time a lot less gooey and a little dried up.


Hopefully this is just transient, as you said.


My friend freaked me out a bit and said it could be the beginning stages of FIP. Especially because she has a round belly. The belly is pretty firm though and I can feel her little organs so I don't think she is full of fluid or anything. Thoughts?

You're welcome:)
I wouldn't necessarily be jumping right to FIP if a saw a kitten with a small amount of ocular discharge. Certainly FIP can affect any organ system but the most common cause of an enlarged abdomen in a kitten this age is going to be round worms...not fluid. Usually by the time kittens develop abdominal fluid secondary to FIP, it's obvious that something isn't right: they often run chronic fevers, they fail to gain weight, they have changes in appetite...none of the signs which she has.

If she hasn't been wormed, I'd give her Pyrantal Paomate, three doses two weeks apart. Even if a stool sample has been checked and it was negative, I'd worm her.
Round worms are the most common parasite in kittens (and puppies for that matter) and eggs are not shed in every stool.
You can purchase this product at most grain or pet stores and, even more important, it's very safe.

I, too, hope that her discharge is only transient and that she recovers from this very quickly. I know your friend was trying to help but there's nothing about her symptoms that suggest the devastating disease of FIP to me.

I hope you'll keep me posted about Suzy. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate. I can also send you a follow up email in a few days to which you can respond when you have the time to do so.

Good luck. Regards, Deb

Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'll look forward to updates when you have the chance.

Kindly ignore the information request. Take care, Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, Deb!

You mentioned round-worm.

The kitten was wormed twice at the shelter - it says Praziquantel on the paperwork. I took her to vet before I took her home and they gave her an injection of what also reads to be Praziquantel on my receipt, because we did see a tapeworm on her in transit.

Would that have addressed round-worm?


I have not seen any signs of round-worm (or anymore signs of tapeworm) nor signs of soft stool or vomit. Would I have seen these signs if she did have round-worm?


Trying to decide if I should take her in to get another wormer.


Thank you! So far, so good on the eyes this morning. Odd but good. :)

No, Praziquantel would have only treated tapeworms...not roundworms.

You wouldn't necessarily see evidence of round worms although some kittens/puppies with a heavy burden will vomit them or you might see them in the stools. And, some will have softer than normal stools but I've seen a large number of kittens/puppies that have no signs at all....other than a pot-belly.

I wouldn't expect tape worms to be the problem so unless you're seeing the segments around her anal area or where she sleeps, I wouldn't worm her again for this parasite.
You can purchase round worm medication very easily at most pet or grain stores. Just look for Pyrantal Paomate on the label since it goes by different names (Strongid, Nemix, Evict). As I mentioned, this is an incredibly safe wormer and even if she's been wormed with it at the shelter (which I suspect she was, it just wasn't written down), it's very easy for kittens to reinfect themselves. These are very sticky eggs and since cats groom a lot, they can readily ingest more eggs from the environment....especially from a shelter.
I've often had to worm kittens/puppies multiple times until this worm is eliminated but usually every two weeks for three doses is enough.

That's great news about the eyes, though:) Deb
I'm just following up on our conversation about Suzy. How's she doing? Deb

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