FIV+ Cat Bleeding From Her Eye

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Norachan

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I'm looking for a bit of advice or any shared experiences from people who have FIV+ cats.

Happy was a feral kitten that I found in a parking lot when she was about 6 months old. She tested positive for FIV. She has always had chronic eye issues. Her eyes were completely gummed shut when I found her, which is how I was able to grab her and get her to a vet. She has had to have all of her teeth removed, but has been spayed and vaccinated and is generally pretty healthy.

I've had her for about 6 years now. She was on a L-Lysine supplement for about a year, but it made no difference to her eye problems. Our vet prescribes an antibiotic eye ointment for daily use. Generally I clean her face with a damp wash cloth and use the eye ointment once a day, but if her eyes are very sticky I use it up to 4 or 5 times daily.

About a month ago she started bleeding from her left eye. This wasn't the brownish discharge you get with a herpes flair-up, this was thick, bright red blood. I took her to the vet. There was no sign of any injury to her eye, the blood seems to be coming out of her tear ducts. He prescribed a ten day course of antibiotics and two different types of eye cream. After that she seemed much better. I have been using her regular eye cream daily, but the discharge was clear/pale yellow and not as bad as it often is.

On Friday she started sneezing and sniffing. On Sunday she started bleeding from her left eye again, so we took her back to the vet. The vet has done a really good job of cleaning her up, prescribed a different kind of antibiotics and given me interferon eye drops, as well as the antibiotic eye drops she was prescribed last month.

The third eye lid is completely covering her eye. I don't think she can see out of it at all. Her right eye isn't affected at all.

Has anyone else experienced this with their cats before? I wonder if this is something FIV+ cats suffer from regularly or whether I can hope her eye will go back to normal.
 

di and bob

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Her immune system is compromised and her poor little body is reacting to everything it comes into contact with. I have cats with leukemia who are the same way. I see you have Seiyu stores, which are like our Walmart. If you can order from them, or another pet supply store, I have found that building up the immune system does wonders in helping these little ones. I have my cats on DMG by VetraScience and LifeGold for cancers. They have been happy and healthy for 18 months now since the diagnosis. They were sick very often before it. You could try it. I just add it every morning to a shared packet of Delectable Lickables treat, by Hartz. they lap it right up. I feel for your little Happy, I hope she finds some kind of answers here.......
 
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Norachan

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Thank you di and bob di and bob It looks like I can get the VetraScience over here. Do you give your cats both VetraScience and LifeGold at the same time or alternate between the two?

She seems a little better today, her third eye lid is gradually going back. She's not too keen on the meds, but she's always been very tolerant of me cleaning her face and putting eye drops in for her.

Here's a recent picture of her looking content.

Happy99.jpg
 

di and bob

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What a beautiful girl! Yes, I messaged both companies and asked if they could be given together, and they said yes. It can also be given long-term, like a supplement. since she is FIV+ , it wouldn't hurt. All I know is that my FeLV cats have done very well on them, that and keeping them away from strange cats who may be carrying something. When cats are so immunocompromised, even a kitty cold can be very dangerous......
 

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I just wanted to send :vibes::vibes::vibes:and ((((hugs)))) to the gorgeous Happy.
She was so lucky to have found you.
 

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Happy was a feral kitten that I found in a parking lot when she was about 6 months old. She tested positive for FIV. She has always had chronic eye issues. Her eyes were completely gummed shut when I found her, which is how I was able to grab her and get her to a vet. She has had to have all of her teeth removed, but has been spayed and vaccinated and is generally pretty healthy.

I've had her for about 6 years now. She was on a L-Lysine supplement for about a year, but it made no difference to her eye problems.
Hi Norachan, sorry to read about the story of this beautiful cat.
I have read that you used the L-Lysine on her without much success.

I recently came across a webpage where they say that L-Lysine might be counter-productive in cats with an immunocompromised system.

Cats with FIP, those that have been exposed to and have the coronavirus and those who are at risk of developing FIP should never be given L-lysine. The reason is clear. Arginine is necessary for a good, healthy immune system. As explained above L-lysine prevents arginine from being taken up in the body. But, because FIP is an immune-mediated disease and you want your cat's body to have its full arsenal available, then it is clear that arginine is crucial for a healthy, functioning immune system.
( L-lysine for cats )


That webpage is about FIP cats, but I wonder if the same applies to FIV cats.
 
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Norachan

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I messaged both companies and asked if they could be given together, and they said yes. It can also be given long-term, like a supplement. since she is FIV+ , it wouldn't hurt
Thank you. The Life Gold was going to take over 30 days to get here, but I've ordered the DMG. It should be here in 5 days, so I'll start her on it as soon as I get it.
I just wanted to send :vibes::vibes::vibes:and ((((hugs)))) to the gorgeous Happy.
Thank you. She's still eating like a little champ, but she's not her usual feisty self.
That webpage is about FIP cats, but I wonder if the same applies to FIV cats.
Ah, that might be right. I've been doing lots of reading about how to manage FIV and some articles claim lysine is helpful and others that it does nothing at all. There's a lot of very dense veterinary reports that are taking me a while to read through. I'm still unsure about what will work the best.

She's looking a bit rough today. :(

Happy100.jpg
 
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Norachan

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Thank you. I think it must look a lot worse than it feels. She's very patient when I give her eye drops or eye cream, so I don't think it's too painful.
 

ratjamz

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I'm looking for a bit of advice or any shared experiences from people who have FIV+ cats.

Happy was a feral kitten that I found in a parking lot when she was about 6 months old. She tested positive for FIV. She has always had chronic eye issues. Her eyes were completely gummed shut when I found her, which is how I was able to grab her and get her to a vet. She has had to have all of her teeth removed, but has been spayed and vaccinated and is generally pretty healthy.

I've had her for about 6 years now. She was on a L-Lysine supplement for about a year, but it made no difference to her eye problems. Our vet prescribes an antibiotic eye ointment for daily use. Generally I clean her face with a damp wash cloth and use the eye ointment once a day, but if her eyes are very sticky I use it up to 4 or 5 times daily.

About a month ago she started bleeding from her left eye. This wasn't the brownish discharge you get with a herpes flair-up, this was thick, bright red blood. I took her to the vet. There was no sign of any injury to her eye, the blood seems to be coming out of her tear ducts. He prescribed a ten day course of antibiotics and two different types of eye cream. After that she seemed much better. I have been using her regular eye cream daily, but the discharge was clear/pale yellow and not as bad as it often is.

On Friday she started sneezing and sniffing. On Sunday she started bleeding from her left eye again, so we took her back to the vet. The vet has done a really good job of cleaning her up, prescribed a different kind of antibiotics and given me interferon eye drops, as well as the antibiotic eye drops she was prescribed last month.

The third eye lid is completely covering her eye. I don't think she can see out of it at all. Her right eye isn't affected at all.

Has anyone else experienced this with their cats before? I wonder if this is something FIV+ cats suffer from regularly or whether I can hope her eye will go back to normal.
Yes, unfortunately 😢 twice. Willie, 6 years old, eventually vet just removed his eye and stitched it shut. Much better. My Ajax, 🌈, did not fair as well. He was so immune compromised and with thick discharges...he eventually died. I sure miss him. You are doing everything you can which is wonderful. I do recommend asking vet if eye removal might improve situation since ypur kitty seems visually compromised there anyway. Sending kitty love💜 and prayers.
 

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Hallo Norachan Norachan I am so sorry about Happy. I have nursed a FIV+ cat but his eyes were not the problem. He was a stray and I cared for him until he stopped eating and he no longer knew what was going on. He would sit outside in the pouring rain, although he had a shelter and could always come inside. Finally he was sitting on his own excrement on the cat tree. He was being treated with interferon which helped for a few months and I was dealing with his sores. He was also given pain killers. Although he wasn't my cat and I only had him for a few months he was very gentle and seemed to be thankful for having food and shelter. The vet came by to euthanise him but he was already far more dead than alive. He was buried in the garden with my own cats. I knew from the beginning that it was a hopeless case but I'm glad I was able to do something for him even if only for a few months.

I hope Happy is not yet at the final stage of FIV and that you and she can have more time together. :vibes:
 

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Hi. Been following this thread and have really nothing to offer. But, I was wondering if the vet has checked Happy's nasal/sinus passageways? I know, in humans, there is a duct network from the nasal/sinus area that connects to the tear drainage system. I can't imagine a cat's eyes are that structurally different. I am thinking an ongoing infection in that area, perhaps? A tumor or lesion growth (including some benign conditions)? Sorry, just thinking out loud...
 
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Norachan

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I do recommend asking vet if eye removal might improve situation since ypur kitty seems visually compromised there anyway. Sending kitty love💜 and prayers.
Sorry to hear your boys were in a similar situation ratjamz ratjamz Yes, I'm keeping the thought that she might eventually lose her eye at the back of my mind. We'll see how it goes.
:crossfingers:
I hope Happy is not yet at the final stage of FIV and that you and she can have more time together.
Thank you gilmargl gilmargl I hope so too. She seems very healthy apart from her eye problems. So sorry to hear about the poor boy you lost to FIV. I've had two FIV cats before. Both former feral tom cats who were much older than Happy and had struggled outside for many years before they came to live with me.

For Harvey, Five Years Gone.

I Guess It's Time.

I like to think they enjoyed being loved and cared for in their final years.

I know, in humans, there is a duct network from the nasal/sinus area that connects to the tear drainage system. I can't imagine a cat's eyes are that structurally different.
Funny you should say that. Last night I was talking to one of my students who is a Nephrologist. She was explaining what happens when people who have a compromised immune system get an infection. Apparently bleeding is common as the body can't flush out the infection by sending white blood cells to bind to the bacteria and form pus. Instead spontaneous bleeding occurs as the body tries to flush the bacteria out.

I guess that's what is happening with Happy.

She's looking better today. A little discharge but no bleeding and her third eyelid has receded a tiny bit.

:crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
 
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Norachan

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So, here's a bit of an update and some more recent photos.

This was taken earlier this month. (She'd been rolling in the hay, which is why she's all covered in grass seeds.)
Happy107.jpg

These pictures were taken a few days ago.
Happy108.jpg
Happy113.jpg


I think overall she's looking better. She still bleeds from her left eye occasionally, but she also has up to a week in between where her eye is just watery rather than bleeding.

She's getting her face washed daily and eye meds about 3 or 4 times a day, as well as the supplement. Her third eye lid hasn't receded any further though. I don't think she can see out of that left eye at all. I don't think it hurts her, but sometimes she shakes her head or flinches away from her left side. I'm not sure if that's because it's uncomfortable or because she can't see and is moving away from something she perceives on her left side.

I'm wondering whether she'd actually be more comfortable if she had the eye removed. Would she do better without it constantly weeping or would it be too much to put her through surgery?

I'm going to talk to my vet about this, but I just wanted some opinions too.

It was her sixth Gotcha Day on June 23rd! Happy Gotcha Happy Cat.

:cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:
 
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Norachan

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Bit of a sad update I'm afraid.

Happy has been taking her supplements and having daily eye medication all summer. She seemed to be doing OK. Her eye didn't improve but it didn't get any worse either. This past week it's been bleeding a lot, so we took her back to the vet today to get it checked out.

The vet says there is a tumor on her third eye lid. She's scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. They are going to remove her eye and the tumor from her eye lid, then put in a latex eye and suture the eye closed. The vet isn't sure if it's cancer or not. We won't know until they do the surgery. In the mean time she has a steroid eye medication, which already seems to have stopped the bleeding.

So, fingers crossed for a successful surgery. Hopefully it won't be cancerous or, if it is, hopefully it won't have spread.

:crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
 

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Sending SO much love to Happy and to you. It's so not fair that on top of being abandoned, these kitties have to deal with such dreadful issues. Happy is SO lucky that you found her. I'm another cat rescue "mom" that's seen such tough situations and felt her heart break. Know that you are not alone in this and that so many people are sending their love and support.
 

neely

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I'm sorry I missed your earlier posts but going forward I wanted to send special thoughts for Happy, Mr. Husband and you this Wednesday. :vibes::vibes: We'll be thinking of her and hoping for the best possible outcome. :grouphug:

It was fate that Happy found you that day in the parking lot when she was 6 months old. She knew you would give her a forever home and look after her. :hugs: Fingers and paws crossed she pulls through the surgery and it's not cancerous.:crossfingers: :bluepaw:
 
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Norachan

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Thank you for all your support. Tomorrow is the big day and I'm worried about the outcome, but at the same time anxious to get her eye removed and the surgery over with, because I know she's going to be more comfortable.

She's just had her last meal before going to the vets, so I gave her an extra large helping of her favourite canned food. She's enjoying a snuggle with her sofa buddies right now.

Happy114.jpg
 
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