<p>We have a 2 yr old DSH tiger female. She went in for her physical and passed with flying colors. However, when the

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Customer: <p>We have a 2 yr old DSH tiger female. She went in for her physical and passed with flying colors. However, when the vet looked at her eyelid, she said something about it being like feline herpes. She gave us Neo-Poly-Dex [Neomycin, Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Ophthalmic Suspension USP] 5ml drops [ 2x per day x 7 days ]for it. However, my understanding is that Neo-Poly-Dex should not be given for feline herpes. My basic understanding of NeoPolyDex is that it is an antibiotic and contains cortosteriods. And, since herpes is a virus, antibiotics do not work. Also, my further understanding is that cortosteriods suppress the immune system. I do understand though that this will help with any secondary bacterial infections. We have been applying the drops since thurs. It almost seems worse - to be honest - more discharge.</p><p>Just wanted to get your thoughts. Any adverse effects? Unrelated question, is it possible for me to carry FELV into the house; like if I pet another cat and pet mine, or on my clothes? Or is there more contact required?</p>
Answered by Dr. Spencer in 36 mins 12 years ago
Dr. Spencer
5+ years of experience

124 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Cat Veterinary, Cat Medicine, Cat Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hello and thank you for submitting your question to Just Answer.

You are correct about the Neo-Poly-Dex - it is two antibiotics (Neo, Poly) and a steroid (Dex). It will not cure feline herpes virus. It will not do anything for feline herpes virus unless there is a secondary bacterial infection, and even then I, personally, would not choose an antibiotic with a steroid for use in such a case. Steroids can also make corneal ulcers worse, so unless the vet stained her eyes prior to prescribing this medication, I would not recommend using it. I would not be too concerned about a topical ophthalmic (eye) drops causing too much immunosuppression. Typically we worry about that much more when we are prescribing oral systemic steroids.

If her vet was concerned about feline herpes virus (FHV), I would recommend a second opinion, and perhaps even better, ask to be referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist. They will have the most up to date information and treatment for FHV.

Also, there is some concern with cats having serious reactions (anaphylaxis) to the mixed antibiotic/steroid ophthalmic medications. It is not known which of the medications causes the problem, however many vets, myself included, shy away from prescribing these mixed antibiotic ophthalmic medications in cats. There is some thought that it may be the Neomycin causing the problem, however more research is needed.

As far as FELV, no you will not be able to bring this disease into the house. It is spread by close contact (cleaning, licking) between cats.

Hope this helps! Good luck with her.

Take care,
:) Dr. Spencer

Thanks Dr. Spencer - So we will certainly stop her on this med; immediately.


We used it for 3 days total. Here eye almost seems worse, to be honest - more discharge and what i can only describe as a filmy material. Should we take her to the emergency room?


She suffered a URI as a kitten which may have something to do with it too.


Regarding the reaction you mentioned - what signs should we look for?


Thanks for the info on the FELV - we have a lot of cats in the area. I sometimes get nervous about tracking it into the house. Sounds like they have to come in contact for a while to transmit.


Best Regards

Yes, FHV can cause URI signs and then can persist as a life long infection that can show up, usually through ocular signs, during stressful times in a cats life. Some will have continuous ocular signs.

As far as the idiosyncratic anaphylactic reaction, there is no way to know which cats will develop problems with this medication. It is a true anaphylactic reaction and can cause death. If your cat's acting normally now and you have stopped the medication, then I wouldn't be worried.

I always worry about eyes. They can go downhill very quickly. Was your kitty showing any problems with the eye before you took her in for the physical? Any discharge or anything? Is the "filmy" material you're seeing now on the eye itself or is it just discharge? How does the eyeball look? Any bluish color to the cornea (the clear part of the eye)? Or does the eye ball look clear and healthy with just some discharge? What color is the discharge?

If you can answer these questions, then I will have a little more information to answer your question on whether I would take her in immediately or wait until Monday.

Dr. Spencer

Hi Dr. Spencer:


She seemed to worse after we took her to the vet. Now, her she is favoring the eye, blinking, etc. The discharge feels crusty and is of a brownish or some other dark color. However, there also looks like some pale colored material too that is more of a gooey consistancy.


There does in fact seem to be a small ring of blue or possibly black where the white part of the eye meets the the green part of the eye.


The pale filmy material when present, is on the eye itself. We have been wiping it away.


The area around her eyes are puffy, red and swollen.


Thank you for the additional information. It's hard to say, without seeing her, how concerned I would be. However, if her vet did not do a fluorscein dye test to check for corneal ulcers prior to putting her on that medication, I would probably not wait until Monday to take her in. If she has an ulcer, it can get worse and even puncture the eye within days. If you take her in today, they will likely be able to make her more comfortable...red and swollen means it hurts her....not to mention you will likely sleep better tonight as well, knowing that she'd going to be alright. I'd see if you can make an appointment for her today.

Good luck with her! Also, the vet she sees today may be able to give you the number for the Ophthalmologist as well!

Dr. Spencer
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Dr. Spencer
124 satisfied customers
5+ years of experience
Dr. Spencer
+ years of experience

124 satisfied customers



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31,131 satisfied customers

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