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Author Topic: Goopy eye infections in cats and red-brown tears  (Read 11391 times)
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anna_2007
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« on: September 12, 2007, 10:51:48 AM »

The little kitty had a mean eye infection, which cleared up on Terramycin ointment, then the 12 y.o had a minor weepy eye a week ago ... so I treated with the same, but then stopped since it cleared up ... that was the enema week, and I figured he "had enough"... yesterday I had to rush him to the vets... His eye blew up, swollen, red and brown conjunctiva ...phlegm lines over his cornea... a watery goop dripping like a bucket of tears - which I tissued off and it had reddish brown and yellow colorations ... immediately interpreted this as blood and pus... and then I proceeded to freak out as I thought they might be worms - those waving worms - which sometimes come through eyes (been watching way too many scary movies)

Vet told me most of these eye infections appear to be viral, so there's no real treatments except to make sure the cat itself has a healthy immune system... they give antibiotics/treatment only to control the always opportunistic secondary bacterial infections which would also sap the immune system...  the viruses are often the herpes virus which since kitty was a rescue the Vet thinks that likely it...

As for the discoloration that looked like blood, the vet said that cats and dogs tears often have a brown or other color in them, that's why they have these streaks on the tear line from their eyes... and that it wasn't likely blood... since he's so dark brown that's what was in his tears...


I never knew that... she said to just put him back on the Terramycin... and she did not want to put him on other stronger antibiotics for which I am grateful... I had an acquaintance whose kitty was put on an antibiotic, then had a rare bad reaction to it, where the antibiotic so destroyed the kitty's insides the kitty began peeing with blood in it, and then she went blind...(color test litter is something I will use whenever the cats go "off" or are on meds for sure)...
« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 10:55:27 AM by anna_2007 » Logged
catbird
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 12:56:01 PM »

I have a cat, also a rescue kitty, who has a similar issue.  I have found that I can lessen (but not eliminate) the tears and accumulation of dried "stuff" by keeping the environment as dust-free as possible and feeding her the best-quality diet that she will eat.  This kitty also has slight asthma, so I am sure that allergies are a factor for her.  She also has some apparent old (healed) eye injuries that I am sure are also part of it.  (Not surprising since she went through a hurricane.)  I check her eyes closely for signs of bacterial infections on a daily basis.  So far, so good.  It's improved in the approximately 2 years I have had her.
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anna_2007
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 01:10:29 PM »

Catbird,

The question also occurred to me, do you know if cats can cry tears like humans if they are having physical pain? So if I were to see my 12 y/o male with just tear trails in both eyes ... could it mean he was crying for some reason ... course, the other related question is about emotional pain...

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catbird
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 01:24:57 PM »

anna,

I don't know if they cry tears the same way we do as a result of pain, either physical or emotional, but I do know that stress seems to make it worse for my cat.  Most of the time it seems to me that it is more like our eyes watering than emotional tears.  But they are such sensitive beings, who knows?

catbird
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IheartRufus
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Posts: 53



« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2007, 09:08:20 PM »

Anna, sounds like your kitty most likely has a herpes infection in his eye.  Rufus was a feral kitten that I nabbed out of my yard and when we brought him in, he had a TERRIBLE eye infection.  The vet I was seeing at the time gave me Panalog to treat it.  The worst of the infection (the secondary part) cleared up, but he has corneal scarring and still had the goopy eye just like yours, sometimes better & sometimes worse.  My new vet immediately recognized it as a herpes infection (just like in humans, it comes & goes) and suggested that I give him lysine as a supplement, which has helped *a lot*.  He still gets the occasional goopy eye (red/brown discharge, sometimes jelly-like) but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.  You can get lysine (try to find U.S. made!) in health food stores, or I get a powdered version from my vet that you can mix with food - I mix it with meat baby food and Rufus thinks he's getting a treat  Wink  I hope this helps!
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anna_2007
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 11:25:18 PM »

My new vet immediately recognized it as a herpes infection (just like in humans, it comes & goes) and suggested that I give him lysine as a supplement, which has helped *a lot*.  He still gets the occasional goopy eye (red/brown discharge, sometimes jelly-like) but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.  You can get lysine (try to find U.S. made!) in health food stores, or I get a powdered version from my vet that you can mix with food - I mix it with meat baby food and Rufus thinks he's getting a treat  Wink  I hope this helps!

Thank you so much IheartRufus for the information on lysine... yes, that sounds exactly what the both of them have...  it will be a lifesaver, I have been so worried about their eyes. You have a great vet - vets stocking nutritional supplements isn't anything I have seen in my neck of the woods... I just searched and think the lysine powder your vet might be stocking is VIRALYS... or something like it...

http://www.calvetsupply.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=804

Product Highlights:
LARGER, 600 GM. SIZE BELOW
Revolutionary Lysine powder - Lysine is recommeded by ophthalmologists to help manage FHV-1 (Feline Herpes Virus) symptoms - reduces viral shedding and decreases severity of eye symptoms associated with Feline Herpes Virus infection...

there lots more at the site, and I've copied the mechanism of how lysine powder helps fight this here:

Viralys Powder contains: 250 mg. L-Lysine per 1 rounded scoop. Scoop provided in container. Approximately 310 doses per container. Oral L-Lysine is recommended by many veterinary ophthalmologists at a dose of 250-500 mg twice daily.

"Lysine competes with another amino acid, arginine, that herpes virus must have in order to reproduce. Lysine has been demonstrated to decrease the severity of ocular symptoms associated with herpes virus infection (1) and reduce viral shedding during periods of disease recurrence (2). Depending on symptoms, other medications such as topical antiviral drugs, topical polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or topical interferon may be used. In some cases the ocular diseases resulting from feline herpes virus may require surgical intervention. The key to managing the clinical signs associated with feline herpes virus is controlling the cat's environment. Cats exposed to multiple cats (indoor-outdoor cats), cats in multiple cat households, or cats that are frequently introduced to new cats are difficult to keep disease free. Reducing stress by maintaining a stable routine is helpful in preventing recurrences of disease. Keep in mind that it is the nature of the virus to see recurrences of the disease and periodic treatment is often necessary."


Given this warning which I have bolded, I see now that management of this situation is fairly impossible with out the lysine information. This always makes me wonder should I bring it up with the vet or not. Sometimes we are tempted to think that their idea is, without lysine, they get more vet visit$, but it strains credulity a good vet would not know of this, and if knowing, why would they not advise of this... 

Thanks again...









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anna_2007
Guest
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 11:42:49 PM »

  But they are such sensitive beings, who knows?


Catbird,

If anyone in the house is upset, the cat wakes up from another room and universe and is licking their hands, and brushing his silken fur against their leg. He's stressed because my bags have been packed for two weeks, he sleeps on each of them, and when I hug him, he makes a throat sound like a human crying ever so softly. So with the goopy eyes from the infection, it's all designed to break my heart and make me question the tears... Cry

After searching, found these links.  At least anecdotally, some cats do cry real tears... from emotional and real pain if certain of the cat owners who reported in here are to be believed (some experiences sound very credible)...

http://cats.about.com/b/a/257386.htm

It appears the standard accepted view on the matter is : "While cats certainly do have emotions such as grieving or depression, they express them in different ways other than crying (lethargy, withdrawal, disinterest in food are a few examples.)"

For some reason I can no longer believe that... perhaps Itchmo can do a poll here?
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Orange Fuzzball
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Posts: 1022


We miss you KD


« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2007, 09:49:24 AM »

KD gets this from time to time - a reddish-brown goopy glob or crust in the corners of her eyes. Seems to go along with a dark snot buildup in her nose. When we first got her (at age 6, from a shelter), I asked the vet about it, and he said she likely had an infection as a kitten that wasn't treated properly or just didn't clear up very well. It hasn't been a problem; I just clean out her eyes and nose when they need it.
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IheartRufus
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Posts: 53



« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2007, 11:20:58 PM »

Anna_2007, Viralys is indeed the product I use.  It is a powder with a "palatable flavor base" (I don't even want to ponder what that is!) and is kinda stinky.  I've been using it for about a year now with good results.  I think a lot of vets don't like to get into recommending what some might consider "holistic" remedies (not that I think lysine would be considered holistic; when I was a teenager I used to get cold sores all the time and my doctor told me to take lysine then -- and that was 20 years ago!) so I woudn't necessarily fault your vet for not recommending it.  Funny thing, the quote in your comment about reducing stress -- my husband and I think Rufus has the most stress-free life imaginable (he's an "only child" and has two humans who dote upon him ridiculously!) but the infections were still pretty bad until we started the lysine, so I think you can only do so much with improving the environment.

Orange Fuzzball, your kitty may just have some residual allergies, maybe brought on by a kittenhood infection?  My mom's 3 cats get the occasional crustiness/goopiness/snottiness but it's nowhere near what we've seen with Rufus - her vet said their issues were probably "seasonal allergies" (I personally think they're allergic to the cleaning solutions she uses on her carpet twice a year but what do I know...).
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IheartRufus
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Posts: 53



« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2007, 11:33:16 PM »

p.s. regarding the Viralys:  a few months ago, I freaked out about the lysine supplement and called the company who manufactures it.  They put me through to one of their scientists (?), who I talked to for quite a while.  He was aware of the recalls and was interested in what I had to say about the idea of contaminated supplements possibly being the problem.  (This was around the time Canada banned some feed additives containing lysine which had shown postive for cyanuric acid (or maybe melamine, in the midst of this madness sometimes I can't remember what's contaminated with what).)  I told him about the Canada situation - which he was unaware of- and gave him some website information, and he said he was going to check it out for himself.  He did say, though, that the lysine used by this particular manufacturer was "pharmaceutical" grade (i.e. what would be sold to humans) as opposed to "feed" grade (for feeding livestock).  He said he didn't know where it was sourced, unfortunately.  Anyway, he seemed pretty upfront and honest about what he knew (who knows, maybe I am just gullible) but anyway, thought you might find this helpful.
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anna_2007
Guest
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 09:54:31 AM »

  He did say, though, that the lysine used by this particular manufacturer was "pharmaceutical" grade (i.e. what would be sold to humans) as opposed to "feed" grade (for feeding livestock).  He said he didn't know where it was sourced, unfortunately.  Anyway, he seemed pretty upfront and honest about what he knew (who knows, maybe I am just gullible) but anyway, thought you might find this helpful.

That is very good backup information - because every new thing we offer to the kitties is something we need to do deep research on, and that's why this board is so important.

Our experience with the vets is they are woefully uninformed about the pet food issues, or contamination issues, and seem stapled to the hip of the Science Diet people, to the point one vet told me, "the vets got hit too, no one was spared"... and what's sad is of course I agreed with her, most "traditional" vets seem to be the last to know... as good as they are, they don't get it regarding corporate chicanery... orperhaps, are too caught in the middle and concerned for their livelihood...

BTW another vet (on Fri) told us (unasked) about Viralys and sold us some... I was very pleased to have had your prior heads up on this... so thanks again.
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