Removing the cone of shame

melissa

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Our cat has had a two month long bout of herpes related conjunctivitis. After trying lots of meds we finally had success with Famciclovir. Today marks day 21 of that med and his symptoms had been completely clear for the last 3-4 days. He has been wearing an e collar for 4 weeks now to prevent him from damaging his irritated eye. We have been giving him some supervised breaks the last couple days with success, but keeping the collar on while not home to watch him. Today he got it off while I was at work and his eye looks a bit irritated. Nothing horrible but not clear like it was. I’m hoping he just got overzealous with face washing. I can’t keep the collar on forever and have to trust him at some point. Anyone have experience with this that can offer guidance during this transition? My vet didn’t even know what Famciclovir was when I requested it for him so has been zero help with what I should be doing as far as weaning him off of it or just stopping after the 21 days. Help 😕
 

alysker

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Ah yes the cone. My cat has one now for allergy related scratching. I would personally take it off when you're at home first for longer periods of time to see what he does. And maybe after a while of seeing it's alright trust him with a few hours unsupervised. And test that out for like one or two weeks to see how it goes. Better to go slow than to go too fast!
 

silent meowlook

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Do you know if there was a corneal abrasion?
If there was any damage to the cornea, I would keep the cone on until the eye is stained at recheck and is clear of any damage.
 
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melissa

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He was checked twice with dye stains, no abrasion or ulceration either time. His eye is clear, no redness, swelling or discharge but he’s still squinting a bit. He is acting completely normal otherwise. Maybe some remaining sensitivity to light? This has been such an ordeal 😢
 

silent meowlook

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Have you asked your vet about it? I would think that if there wasn’t an actual injury, there wouldn’t be light sensitivity.
 
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melissa

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I haven’t asked the vet about it yet. Without getting into a lot of detail this whole experience with the clinic has been a nightmare and I am currently looking for a new vet. We have a major shortage of vets in my rural area and I’m on a waiting list to be approved by two clinics. I just thought I’d throw it out there to see if anyone here had thoughts or advice on it in the meantime
 

lisahe

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I agree with alysker alysker 's suggestions on trial periods without the cone. That's what we did when a cat was post-op. She was also very skilled at taking the cone off: once I woke up in the middle of the night to see her sitting and staring at me, with the cone right next to her.

Our other cat has had a couple flareups off (apparently) herpes-related eye irritation. When we brought her to the vet last year, the vet prescribed eye drops called Rich's MSM Water. I still don't quite understand what MSM water is but the drops cleared up Ireland's eyes within a few days. I'd been using MicrocynAH (cat ophthalmic gel) that I bought at PetSmart. The gel helped a lot but the drops were even better. This year, when Ireland's eyes got a bit runny, I've alternated between the two (she hates the drops but tolerates the gel) and her eyes never got very bad as the flareup ran its course.

I'm sorry your vet has been of so little help and hope you're able to see a new vet soon.
 
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melissa

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Thank you for the suggestions! This is his 4th flare up in his year and a half with us. This was by far the worst bout but it’s good to be prepared for the possible next one with as much info as possible.
 
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