Recurring eye issue and nothing seems to help?

kay9108

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Hi everyone,

I stumbled across this forum and went deep down to see if someone has had similar issues and posted something about it, but I couldn't find anything and I am really desperate. Also bear with me please, it is quite a long story, but I don't know how to keep it shorter and what info might be important or not... :(

My cat Panpan is about 1.5 years old and around the beginning of August, we started to notice that her eye keeps twitching. At this point there was another cat in the household (around the same age) and they are very playful together so we thought she just hit her head or her eye is a bit irritated. However, it didn't stop. Also, one day the right eye would twitch, a few days later it would be the other eye. Her usual behavior is normal to this day - she plays around, eats normally, uses the litterbox like she always did, no balance issues etc. Then around the middle of August, my boyfriend saved another kitten off the streets (we did everything by protocol - got it to the vet, quarantined, introduced it after vaccination to the other cats etc.), but Panpan's eye kept twitching throughout the whole time. The kitten is playful but very friendly, and the two adult cats have completely accepted him.

At one point, I brought her to the vet - disclaimer: we live in Shenzhen, China, and finding a good vet that doesn't want to make money off your cat is HARD, also finding someone who speaks English is the next big issue - who did some tests but couldn't find anything, also keep in mind that whenever we take her out of the apartment, her eye gets instantly better. Her eye pressure and cornea were perfectly fine. We put a collar on her so she wouldn't scratch her eye and kept watching. Then one day, we came home from work and her whole eye had flared up and was very watery and swollen. We took her to the vet downstairs of our place, even though they don't speak English (I made do with my Chinese...). The same day we had a trip booked out of town and left her in the care of the vet over the days - they did virus and infection tests and said she has pink eye. When we picked her up 5 days later she had gotten injections, pills, and eye drops and we were told she was fine but should continue the eye drops for a few days. Everything seemed fine, but then one night we came home from work and her eye was even worse than before. We took her down again, and the doctor said that she had a virus that the test didn't show. It will never go away and we need to make sure she has a clean environment and need to boost her immune system because that virus is dormant and flares up when her immunity is low. We were given more eye drops and an ointment - the vet told me in Chinese to give that like toothpaste (literally making the movement of brushing his teeth), but two days later when my boyfriend brought her for another round of injections (she got another five...), they told him that it is for the eyes. So clearly the vet gave me false information and when I asked them about it they blamed it on me and my Chinese being too bad to understand them (which is a whole other story but showed me they had no clue what to do and I vowed to never go back to them again).

We still proceeded with the eye drops and ointment. We also cleaned out the ACs in our house and bought an air purifier. We constantly clean the floor from dust and dirt. I also have been mixing some nutritional paste into her wet food to boost her immune system. And NOTHING helps. So we went back to the first English-speaking vet, who examined her and couldn't find anything either. This woman said it might be possible that she has an allergy but referred us to an "eye expert" across town and said this doctor should take a look first before we try the allergy-related treatment. This expert (again, not an English speaker) did the same tests with her and could not find anything either (which I have been saying all the time to them but I feel like nobody ever listens to me). So she gave us another round of eye drops (one I had to buy at a normal pharmacy, so it is a medicine for humans?) and more pills (3.5 pills a day). It worked well for the first two days and we dared to take off the collar. But yesterday, I saw that she has a weird film over her eye and now the area under her eye is swollen and the skin around it is a little red, just like always. Now the doctor is telling me to come back for a clean-up of her eye.

So this is where it is at. I don't want to put her through any more testing, and taking pills, and putting eyedrops and ointments that all don't seem to help. Also, all this medicine is really expensive here, we already paid around 600 USD (excluding the taxi drives). It is not so much about the money for me but it is frustrating to see Panpan suffer and nothing we do helps her. She is completely stressed out every time we come close to her and runs away. She hides whenever she can as well so we have to literally drag her out of her hideaways for her treatment. I don't want to keep doing this to her not knowing it will actually help her.

Does anyone have any idea what else we can do or has a similar experience and can share what helped in the end? I feel like I can go to all the vets in this city but everyone will just keep prescribing weird eye drops and the actual issue will never get addressed. I have attached two pictures for reference, the first one from yesterday and the second one from a few weeks ago after her first treatment when the eye was really bad. Usually, her eye is like this but less severe, slightly swollen, and a bit watery. You see its both eyes, so it is definitely not an issue of just one eye. It is really strange. And I am getting more and more desperate each day, I am not going to lie. :(
 

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Penni B

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My Burmese female had the same issue with her eyes, reoccurring conjunctivitis. First she would start squinting an eye and the eye would tear, then the eye would become swollen. The inner eye lid would swell closed and look inflamed.
I would get alarmed when it looked like the whole affected side was swollen, until my vet pointed out it looked worse than it was because her head is so small.
The vet diagnosed it as a herpes infection, common for kittens to get from their mother. Usually the immune system keeps it in check. My vet is a cat only veterinarian. My cat also appeared to have allergies as well that caused her eyes to tear a lot and caused sneezing. The vet prescribed eye ointment that had an antibiotic (to prevent secondary bacterial infection) and a steroid. The vet also prescribed an antihistamine once a day as needed. When an eye would flare up I had the ointment on hand saving an unnecessary trip to the doctor.
What ultimately worked for her was boosting her immunity with feline lysine treats, 250 mg twice a day. I actually give the whole dose at night when I do treat time for all of my cats. For allergies my vet prescribed 5mg (which you can get in the children’s dose or half the adult dose) of cetirizine, once a day as needed. It is so small I can put it in her wet food. There are a few antihistamines that are ok for a cat but not all, so don’t just give any unless you know it is ok. Plus you need to know the right dose.
The lysine treats have worked, it has been years since she has needed prescription eye ointment. Her eyes get teary, like a river of tears running down her face when we miss a few days of treats. Of course being a cat, it took a few tries to find one she liked. Not easy to find lysine at a pet store, you have to order online.
I of course can’t diagnose your cat or prescribe, but Lysine treats may be worth a try.
Given your situation you may want to gather all of your cat’s history and test results and consult with an online vet.
 

Penni B

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Addendum rereading your post it sounds to me like the first vet was on the right track, but there was a language barrier. When you put in ointment you need to do a thin strip along the bottom eyelid, just like for humans, then rub the closed eye gently, that may be the tooth brushing movement the vet used when explaining. Stress will cause the herpes to flair,
this includes changes to the environment like a new kitten in the home.
Maybe you do need another round of eye ointment, but my vet suggested to give it a day or two to resolve on its own, and give the ointment only if the eye was swollen and inflamed. The film may just wash itself out. Watchful waiting is sometimes a good idea.
One flair up my cat had, the vet said that stress may have caused the flair. I told her there was no stress, and she replied did you move a chair, it’s a cat and any change in the home can stress them.
Relax yourself when you have to put in the eye ointment, cats react to your stress. Talk gently lots of praise. Follow with a favorite treat or some play time. Recently I found a pet brush my cats love so much that I use brushing as a treat for claw clipping!
At the risk of using a brand name, my cats love Greenies dental treats.
Good luck hope this long reply is helpful.
 

fionasmom

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Welcome to The Cat Site to both of you!

The toothbrushing gesturing almost made me wonder if you had been given was Enysil paste which is lysine, but later it sounds as if it was an eye ointment. The eye drops from the human pharmacy would be used for human care, but that does not mean that they could not be used for an animal. This has been narrowed down to a viral infection? No chance of other causes of the conjunctivitis....tbh I think that if there were, someone would have stumbled onto it as well. Is it still true that when you leave the apartment it clears up?

I also think that the first vet was the most correct, despite the language barrier. When one of my cats has had an eye issue, the general protocol is much like that described by P Penni B and it has always resolved itself which is what makes me wonder if there is another angle to this. While not everyone agrees that it works, lysine is very popular and I was not sure if you had tried it. Do you know what meds have been used?
 

tarasgirl06

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Echoing fionasmom's thoughts. Also welcoming you to TCS! Don't forget you can use your computer's search engine to input drug names and obtain information about them; also, if you have a diagnosis, you can input that and see what information there is. I'm not suggesting this is a professional diagnosis or treatment; I'm only suggesting that you may be able to become more informed on what is going on with your sweet cat, and perhaps make a more informed decision for Panpan's wellbeing. Please do keep us informed as to her progress and care!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I agree that this does sound like Feline Ocular Herpes. Does your paperwork state that at all?

Many people do use L-Lysine to try to boost their immune systems for this issue, but when they are in a flare-up, eye ointments are definitely needed, as well as an increase in the amount of L-Lysine (IF you are using it at all). And some people also add Lactoferrin to the mix to help with immunity.

Here are a couple articles that may be helpful:


Stubborn herpes infection? Add Lactoferrin in addition to Lysine This thread also discusses different brands of Lysine and doses, etc.
 

di and bob

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I had a similar problem with an older cat, I tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked, finally getting the ointment from the vet worked. The way to apply the ointment is to gently pull down on the lower lid until a pouch forms under the eye, apply the ointment in the pouch and it will wash over the eye when she blinks. the problem is, if it is viral, such as with feline herpes, antibiotics do nothing. A steroid shot may help. L-Lysine works for some cats and not for others. Stress causes the herpes virus to flare up, or an illness. my cats have leukemia and have to have their immune systems kept built up. I researched and started giving them DMG for cats twice a day for a few months, then once a day for maintanance. It has worked very well for two years now, and though one did get sick again it was mild compared to what they had experienced previously. You might try it. It is available at many sites online. I hope this helps.
 

Sarthur2

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A steroid shot may help with inflammation, but will not last forever. Definitely try the L-Lysine and other remedies suggested in these posts. They are excellent suggestions! Best of luck finding what works for your cat. It sounds like she’s been through enough tests for now.
 

hopscotch

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Hello, I looked at the first photo and wondered if it has developed into a corneal ulcer. That can happen. Have you had a vet use fluorescent stain it to see if there is a corneal ulcer? They are painful and can cause the behaviour you're seeing. The standard treatment for winky, blinky, pink or weepy eyes is an antibiotic drop or ointment several times in the eye for at least a week and then a recheck. Some eye ulcers can be stubborn and last longer.

I've been dealing with recurrent eye ulcers in a senior cat for many months now. They may have started from an eye scratch, but there is also some dry eye in one of his eyes. This dry eye test can cause ulcers to happen all on their own, just by friction with the eyelid. To test the tearing ability and dry eye I think you'd ask for a Schmir tear test. For dry eye I am using Optimax eye lube gel daily in addition to antibiotic eyedrops. I had used Tobramycin antibiotic drops, but have since changed to Vigamox since Tobramycin stopped working at one point and the ulcer got infected.

At first I also thought my cat's eye issue was from kitty cold resurfacing in a senior cat, but I eventually got him a PCR test and every respiratory virus they tested him for was negative. So it looks like it was from scratches that would sometimes get infected and from dry eye. I am now keeping my other cat's claws trimmed.

*If there is an ulcer in the eye, DO NOT use a steroid drop in the eye (eg. Tobrex). That will make the ulcer worse. Antibiotics are the way to go.
 

hopscotch

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I just realized there was a typo in my message.

The correct sentence should read:”This Dry eye test can cause ulcers to happen all on their own, just by friction with the eyelid.” A test does not cause dry eye.
 

ElevenFurbabies

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Hi everyone,

I stumbled across this forum and went deep down to see if someone has had similar issues and posted something about it, but I couldn't find anything and I am really desperate. Also bear with me please, it is quite a long story, but I don't know how to keep it shorter and what info might be important or not... :(

My cat Panpan is about 1.5 years old and around the beginning of August, we started to notice that her eye keeps twitching. At this point there was another cat in the household (around the same age) and they are very playful together so we thought she just hit her head or her eye is a bit irritated. However, it didn't stop. Also, one day the right eye would twitch, a few days later it would be the other eye. Her usual behavior is normal to this day - she plays around, eats normally, uses the litterbox like she always did, no balance issues etc. Then around the middle of August, my boyfriend saved another kitten off the streets (we did everything by protocol - got it to the vet, quarantined, introduced it after vaccination to the other cats etc.), but Panpan's eye kept twitching throughout the whole time. The kitten is playful but very friendly, and the two adult cats have completely accepted him.

At one point, I brought her to the vet - disclaimer: we live in Shenzhen, China, and finding a good vet that doesn't want to make money off your cat is HARD, also finding someone who speaks English is the next big issue - who did some tests but couldn't find anything, also keep in mind that whenever we take her out of the apartment, her eye gets instantly better. Her eye pressure and cornea were perfectly fine. We put a collar on her so she wouldn't scratch her eye and kept watching. Then one day, we came home from work and her whole eye had flared up and was very watery and swollen. We took her to the vet downstairs of our place, even though they don't speak English (I made do with my Chinese...). The same day we had a trip booked out of town and left her in the care of the vet over the days - they did virus and infection tests and said she has pink eye. When we picked her up 5 days later she had gotten injections, pills, and eye drops and we were told she was fine but should continue the eye drops for a few days. Everything seemed fine, but then one night we came home from work and her eye was even worse than before. We took her down again, and the doctor said that she had a virus that the test didn't show. It will never go away and we need to make sure she has a clean environment and need to boost her immune system because that virus is dormant and flares up when her immunity is low. We were given more eye drops and an ointment - the vet told me in Chinese to give that like toothpaste (literally making the movement of brushing his teeth), but two days later when my boyfriend brought her for another round of injections (she got another five...), they told him that it is for the eyes. So clearly the vet gave me false information and when I asked them about it they blamed it on me and my Chinese being too bad to understand them (which is a whole other story but showed me they had no clue what to do and I vowed to never go back to them again).

We still proceeded with the eye drops and ointment. We also cleaned out the ACs in our house and bought an air purifier. We constantly clean the floor from dust and dirt. I also have been mixing some nutritional paste into her wet food to boost her immune system. And NOTHING helps. So we went back to the first English-speaking vet, who examined her and couldn't find anything either. This woman said it might be possible that she has an allergy but referred us to an "eye expert" across town and said this doctor should take a look first before we try the allergy-related treatment. This expert (again, not an English speaker) did the same tests with her and could not find anything either (which I have been saying all the time to them but I feel like nobody ever listens to me). So she gave us another round of eye drops (one I had to buy at a normal pharmacy, so it is a medicine for humans?) and more pills (3.5 pills a day). It worked well for the first two days and we dared to take off the collar. But yesterday, I saw that she has a weird film over her eye and now the area under her eye is swollen and the skin around it is a little red, just like always. Now the doctor is telling me to come back for a clean-up of her eye.

So this is where it is at. I don't want to put her through any more testing, and taking pills, and putting eyedrops and ointments that all don't seem to help. Also, all this medicine is really expensive here, we already paid around 600 USD (excluding the taxi drives). It is not so much about the money for me but it is frustrating to see Panpan suffer and nothing we do helps her. She is completely stressed out every time we come close to her and runs away. She hides whenever she can as well so we have to literally drag her out of her hideaways for her treatment. I don't want to keep doing this to her not knowing it will actually help her.

Does anyone have any idea what else we can do or has a similar experience and can share what helped in the end? I feel like I can go to all the vets in this city but everyone will just keep prescribing weird eye drops and the actual issue will never get addressed. I have attached two pictures for reference, the first one from yesterday and the second one from a few weeks ago after her first treatment when the eye was really bad. Usually, her eye is like this but less severe, slightly swollen, and a bit watery. You see its both eyes, so it is definitely not an issue of just one eye. It is really strange. And I am getting more and more desperate each day, I am not going to lie. :(
Veterinarians typically prescribe L-lysine supplements because of a long-held assumption that the amino acid eliminates the aforementioned symptoms of the infections and also prevents future flare-ups from occurring; nearly 90% of veterinarians recommend the use of L-lysine to treat these conditions. Veterinarians were of the thought that L-lysine interfered with the replication of the FHV-1 virus by preventing the uptake of a second amino acid, arginine.
 
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