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Rosie_MRCVS, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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I just got home from work and my cat has a red eye lid

Customer Question

Hello, I just got home from work and my cat has a red eye lid , it is watery and I heard him sneeze a few times last night.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you and Simon. I'm sorry he is unwell at the moment. I have a couple of questions, if that's ok.- is he eating and drinking ok at the moment?- is he on any medication?- what is the eye discharge like?- is it both eyes, or definitely just the one?- is the eye itself red, or just the area around the eye?- does the surface of his eye look ok - is it uniformly shiny?Thank you - the extra information will really help. Rosie.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Greetings is just around the eye, the eye it self seems clear. One eye only. Surface seems okay and clear. His food is still in his bowl, but he eats more at night. So not sure. On no meds, and the eye is runny like tears. Also he got out a few days ago and had to get him out of the bush and trees in the back yard. i do not think there is anything there, i am find and I had to pull him out. As I am writing to you he did sneeze and it sounds like a runny nose.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Greetings! You're welcome, and thank you for getting back to me. I'm sorry it has taken me a while to reply - I was with another customer. I'm also sorry that I don't have the facility for a live phone call as I am in England. If he is sneezing as well as the eye problem then it is likely that an upper respiratory infection is causing this. There are many different viruses, and a few bacterial infections, that can cause problems like this. Most of them in cats are grouped together under the 'cat flu' banner, but only a couple of them are serious (these are the ones we vaccinate against). I was asking about the eye because sometimes if it is just one eye then it could be caused by an ulcer, which is common in cats. Usually for this you see a patch on the eye surface that appears different, and most of the time a bit of red and maybe some new red blood vessels around this. As you say the eye is clear I don't think this is happening now, but it can develop as a result of inflammation so is worthwhile being aware of it. If you think he is developing an ulcer I would get him checked out asap, as untreated they can become very serious indeed. However, I don't think that's where you are at the moment. I think he has a bit of conjunctivitis. Like I said above, this could be caused by a virus. It could also be caused by him sniffing something he shouldn't have when he got out, which some cats are prone to do. Occasionally an allergy (to pollens mainly) can also cause these signs. I would keep a watch on his appetite - cats do eat by a sense of smell and if he can't smell his food then he is less likely to eat it. If he does go off his food then try something really smelly for him - warm tinned tuna is a good one, if you can stand the smell in the house! It can also help to decongest him a little bit by having him with you when the shower is used as the steam can really help unclog things for him. I would either just shut him in the bathroom with you, or put him in his travel box in the bathroom with you - whichever would stress him out the least. I would also bathe his eye twice daily, as the discharge can sometimes physically irritate the skin and occasionally glue the eyelids together. I would only use cooled boiled water for this - don't add anything to the water. I would bathe the eye, if he lets you, a minimum of twice daily. If the discharge worsens then you may need to increase this to three times daily. I would also try him on some antihistamines - you can give him benadryl at a dose of 1mg per pound bodyweight twice daily. Some cats get very sleepy on this - if he is one of them then halve the dose. I would do this for five days, to cover in case he has an allergy. If it is just a simple virus or an allergy then the above will help and he should be back to normal in about five days. Providing he keeps eating and doesn't become lethargic then this is ok. If he stops eating, becomes lethargic, the eye discharge becomes yellow, or he starts really holding the eye shut, then I would get him checked out by your vets. He probably would need antibiotics at this point. I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just get back to me again. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please leave a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.