Jan 30, 2012

Sore eyes

Mus be the season for it - this morning I saw Zoe, a half grown girl with very sore eyes. She's had red and watery eyes on and off since she came home from the cat shelter at 8 weeks of age.
Mostly she's a happy little cat, but today she was very miserable. She  and sneezed a glob of snot right at her nurse! One eye was almost closed with swollen conjunctiva and the other was very mucusy.
Poor Zoe! With her history of intermittent sore eyes and snuffles we suspected feline herpesvirus, probably complicated by a chlamydial or mycoplasma infection.
Most cats are infected with herpesvirus as kittens but only a few have signs later on. Zoe's family moved house a week or so ago and the stress of the change, strange noises and people probably brought this bout on. Any type of stress brings the herpesvirus out of hiding and causes sore eyes and snuffles in cats like Zoe.
Treatment for chlamydia and mycoplasma is reasonably straight forward but herpesvirus is variably sensitive to the antivirals we have available. Hopefully Zoe will respond to the Famciclovir we have prescribed.
Her family will have to nurse her through the worst of it. They will gently clean her eyes and nose with salty water on cotton balls and take her into the bathroom with them when they shower to loosen up the nasal and sinus congestion. Strong smelling foods like canned fish will stimulate her appetite and help get her back on her food.

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