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Author Topic: Cat rubbing eye, I'm feeling horrible  (Read 11973 times)
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noisymouse
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« on: March 18, 2011, 07:35:12 PM »

This is a bad, bad, stupid post. Call me a terrible, irresponsible pet owner all you like, I probably deserve it.


My cat Sophie is blind in one eye. Something badly damaged it before we adopted her almost a year ago. That eye is okay (just, blind) at the moment.

The problem is her other, only good eye. Tonight she's started rubbing it and blinking it. It's not all red-looking or anything... yet. I've just noticed her rubbing at it, every once in a while. I'm very paranoid because, of course, it's her only good eye.

And the timing of this is just crappy. I absolutely can not afford to take her to the vet. Not even the small amount that it would cost for a check-up. I don't want to get into a big sob story, but the summary is, we are a family of four, I'm on unpaid maternity leave, and my husband lost his job a few months ago and hasn't been able to find regular work since. We've slowly used up savings and exhausted the generosity of friends and family to try to stay afloat. We are currently looking into government assistance and all that, but it will take some time to process, and for the moment, today, we are down to our last couple dollars. If this happened say two weeks ago, or possibly two weeks from now, things might be okay, but this particular moment was the WORST possible moment for Sophie to need to go to the vet. I simply can not take her in right this moment. (our vet will absolutely no way, no how allow any kind of payment plan, we have already asked) (and by the way, she is being taken care of just fine in every other way... it's only the surprise vet trip that I can not afford)

But I'm not looking for sympathy, I don't deserve any. What I'm looking for is this:

Is there any hope that I'm overreacting, that she just has dust/hair/a cold that is irritating her eye, and it might clear up on her own?

***I have to tell you that I won't let her suffer. I'm going to wait and see what things are like tomorrow. If her eye is looking bad or she's still in obvious discomfort, I will not hesitate to immediately surrender her to the humane society where we adopted her from, and their vets can take care of her. I would much rather give her up to a place that can give her the veterinary care that she needs, and give her a chance with a family that can care for her better, than be selfish and let her go blind and let her suffer. That is of course not something I WANT to do, but I'll do it if I need to, because it would be the best thing for my baby. It's not her fault that we suck so much right now.***

And while I keep an eye on her, I am feeling absolutely bloody terrible, and just wanted to know if anyone is able to tell me, "well it may not come to that." Maybe I sound crazy because I'm completely freaking out about having to give up my cat for good after she rubs her itchy eye a bit one evening. I'm just so paranoid because that's her only good eye and this is the worst possible time this could happen. So please, if I'm crazy then tell me so. It would make me feel slightly better.....
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JustMe
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011, 07:41:46 PM »

Actually, I understand completely.  I have a 10-year-old cat we adopted at age 6 months. She had her eye removed before we adopted her due to an infection?. At least twice a year, her other eye will get clear goo in it and she will keep it closed for a few days.  Just when we are starting to panic because she only has 1 eye, it clears up. Sometimes we take her into vet and he prescribes ointment. Sometimes we don't.  As long as it isn't red or she appears in distress, we don't bring her in anymore.
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NedF
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2011, 07:45:19 PM »

Please look in this section for your state to see if there are any low cost vet services available:

http://itchmoforums.com/help-for-pets-in-need-b91.0/

If she's only started fussing with her eye today and you don't see any obvious redness, swelling, discharge, etc. then keeping an eye on her seems ok for now. If she continues to paw at it tomorrow then you should look into low cost vets in your area.
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caylee
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2011, 07:49:29 PM »

First of all try to calm your fears - maybe she just got a hair in her eye. I'd take a good look at it in a well lit room to see if I could see any hairs or fuzzies in the eye. Then I'd call the ER vet to ask about using some type of eye wash. Don't use anything in the eye until talking with the vet first, though. Most vets will not charge for phone conversations like this.

Maybe others can give you better suggestions.

Hugs
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bug
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2011, 07:59:52 PM »

A couple of free things I used to do with Red when his eye got messed up -- and that happened a lot:

Use a cotton ball soaked in warm water and gently clean her eye. She may have a clogged tear duct.

When my FIV+ cat's eye used to get weepy or gunky, my vet recommended opthalmic polysporin. My vet uses the ointment but drops are also available. Make sure it is Opthalmic and NOT regular over the counter Polysporin. You might have to ask the pharmacist for it as it's usually behind the counter. It is a very small tube. Just a small dab smeared into the corner of his eye helped a great deal.

Also, ask the humane society if there's a way to get the eye looked at by their vet. They are usually quite good about helping people keep their pets. Maybe their rates are much lower.
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noisymouse
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2011, 08:25:47 PM »

Thank you guys so much. I'm going crazy right now. I'll look into all of your suggestions.

I'm still hoping and praying at this point that it's just my paranoia... her OTHER, blind eye does get itchy and irritated from time to time, and after taking her to the vet a few times in the past, we also just let it clear up unless it's red or gross. As long as it didn't seem to bug her too much, it didn't bug *ME* too much, because hey, the eye is already wrecked, you know?

But then one night she's rubbing the OTHER eye and it's OH MY GOD WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?


I have to get some sleep now. Her eye is not discharge-y or red, and FOR THE MOMENT, she's not rubbing it or blinking it. (also, I seem to recall that she was sneezing a bit a day or two ago... could a cat cold make her eye sore?) I'll see how things are in the morning and let you guys know.
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alek0
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 09:08:08 PM »

You can keep some saline rinse on hand for emergencies, and if eye looks irritated just rinse it. Here is one example of a similar product:
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Only-Natural-Pet-Eye-Care/999265.aspx

(can't find the brand I use at ONP, but ingredients are similar).
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Mandycat
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 09:36:01 PM »

A "cat cold" could affect her eyes and make her uncomfortable. Also, are you in a part of the country where Spring pollen is beginning to affect allergies?  Right now, it sounds like it is not serious enough to give her up.  I would try to get some saline eye wash and put it in her eyes to wash out anything that might be irritating it.  It could also just be that she got a hair or some dust in her eyes.  Make sure her nails are clipped short so that she doesn't accidentally scratch her eye, but cats are usually pretty good at avoiding that. Just a precaution.  Hopefully, things will look better in the morning.
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lesliek
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2011, 05:53:20 AM »

I agree it sounds like it may just be allergies. Don't use any Visine type human drops though ! The rx drops bug mentioned are the same for humans & animals though & safe. You can make your own sterile saline by boiling 2 cups of water with 1/8 teaspoon salt [sea salt if you have it]. Pour into a clean jar & seal & let cool to room temp before using on a cotton ball. When your money situation improves, think about asking the vet for a bottle of drops to keep on hand for situations like this.
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Janet
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2011, 06:45:10 AM »

lesliek has a great and economical solution to your eyewash problem.
 
I've had problems with one of my cat's eyes before and I purchased an eye wash from the pharmacy. Had to look quite hard to make sure it was just an eyewash and not saline solution for contacts. The one I bought is called an "Eye Wash, Eye Irrigating Solution".  It's contents are 99% purified water. It is the same thing as the veterinary eyewash that can be purchased at the pet stores.
 
I'm not a vet but since the solution is 99% purified water, I would feel safe using an eyedropper with a few drops of plain purified water to wash out the eye.

More frequently than using an eyewash, I saturate a cotton ball with warm water and gently wipe the eye (as bug suggested). My kitties always close their eye when I do this and I gently wipe the area. It has always seemed to be quite soothing for my kitties and sometimes completely eliminates the problem.  Smiley
 
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Sandi K
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 07:29:54 AM »

noisymouse, you dont have to apologize for your situation, you can tell you just care about your kitty very much.  I have nothing to add to all of the other good ideas, just please let us know how its going with her eye.
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catbird
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2011, 08:13:02 AM »

Ditto what others have said about the allergies.  If you have seen her rubbing the other eye, this may be the same.

At one time or another in our lives, many of us have been where you are in relation to money.  You are definitely NOT a bad pet owner.  You obviously care very much.  Sending many {{{hugs}}}.
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noisymouse
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2011, 08:29:37 AM »

Uh... what gives? I swear that I posted an update this morning, and now it's nowhere to be seen.......



Thank you all so much for your suggestions. It was so frustrating feeling like there was nothing I could do, and it's so easy to work oneself up into a panic when you have no one else saying hey now, calm down a bit.

Well, for the moment all is well. I made up some of the home-made eye solution suggested are carefully wiped her eye a bit with it. Not sure how much that helped... heh, when we first got Sophie, we ended up having to give her eye drops for several weeks, and she hated it with a fiery passion. So now, anything that I have to do to her eyes is Horrible and Pure Evil, and she squirms like I'm trying to kill her.

I'm not so sure of the allergies. Although it's starting to melt, we still have snow on the ground and freezing temperatures up here, and I don't really think there's much pollen around at the moment. That's not to say there couldn't be dust or something in my house giving her troubles, I guess?

Anyways, at the moment, her eye is clear and bright, I haven't caught her rubbing it, and she doesn't really appear to be blinking it, at least not like last night. I'll keep an eye on her through the day of course, but for the moment, things are looking OK. Cautiously optimistic!


That low-cost-free vet list mentioned is a great idea, but unfortunately I'm from Canada and they only list places in BC, which is not my area. However, it seems to me like there would be comparable organizations where I live, so I'll be searching the crap out of that. Plus, once I calmed down a bit, I realized that it makes sense that the humane society would want to help us out as much as they can before taking her back; then not only would they have to vet her anyways, they'd have to feed her and board her until she could be readopted, if she ever did get readopted, and she would take up a space and a potential adoptive family that could go to another cat, when here they have a family already who (desperately) wants to keep her.



This has been so stressful though. I'm thinking, hoping hoping hoping, that Sophie is going to be ok, but I know that in the crappy economy, there must be other people who have ended up having to give up their pets in similar situations. How sad. When we're back on track with our finances, I'm going to make a big donation to our humane society, because this sucks so much.
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petslave
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2011, 09:34:53 AM »

I use basic saline eyewash for people on Dutch (little dog) every day and it works well for his goopy eyes.  It's not too expensive, I get the store brand that has the same ingredients as the more expensive brands.  As mentioned above, make sure to get saline eyewash, not a contact lens cleaning formula.

Tessa has had 2 eye incidents in the past year - first was a scratch on the cornea from one of the other cats, second was probably my fault - she was at my feet when I was adding powdered laundry deterg to the washer and she started squinting afterwards.  After 2 days, I took her in to make sure it wasn't scratched.  The vet stained her eye both times to check for scratchs on the cornea.  Both cases she gave me eye ointment, I think the same one, something antibiotic. 

The main thing with scratches is not to use a steroid cream.  They do have antibiotic eye ointments at pet stores, but I would be careful choosing one of those so you don't make things worse.  I hope you can find something that works for her, or find a way to get her to the vet. 
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shadowmice
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2011, 11:02:11 AM »

I'm in Canada as well and I noticed at our vet's office that they had pamphlets for one of those petcare card plans for emergency care. You may be able to find something like that to use if your vet's office accepts them. The vet would be paid in full and your payment plan is with the card company instead. Maybe someone here has more experience actually using one of these types of cards to explain it better. Hopefully it was just a bit of dust or fluff in her eye and she'll be fine.
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