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Cat Health

Cat Conjunctivitis


Dr. Coughlin,

I am having a problem with my Siamese and conjunctivitis. We are going on 6 weeks now. He’s been to the vet 3 times. They did an eye stain to rule out ulcers and put him on terramycin and then after about 2 weeks added clavamox and Lysine. The redness has not gone away and the runniness sometimes comes back.

Most recently I had idoxuridine compounded for him, but this does not seem to be knocking it out either (or maybe they just look really irritated from the medication). My kitty seems in pain when I put the drops in and I know they can be a little stingy, but what is normal?

Also, I rescued two kitties down on the wharf where I work and he liked them well enough when they were little, but now seems really irritated by them (They’re about 6 months old now and always want to be around him). I know that stress is a big factor as well.

Can you tell me what my next step might be as far as treatment or managing the stress of my cat?


Hi Pandora,

I’m sorry you have had such a long struggle with this. If he does not have an ulcer, your vet may want to try him on an eye medication with a steroid in it for the inflammation and irritation (gentamycin with betamethasone or a tobramycin with pred acetate are possibilities). Just make sure there is no sign of an ulcer or erosion to the cornea, as the steroid drops can aggravate to the point of losing the eye. The kittens may be causing the eye issue to be on going if indeed it is more viral than bacterial or trauma-induced (possibly an eyelash growing in towards the eye). Has a veterinary ophthalmologist taken a look at is eye?

You don’t mention the age of your Siamese – is he older? The kittens, even though they have each other to play with, can certainly aggravate him especially if he’s older.

Feliway, a facial pheromone analog that can reduce stress, discourage urinary marking and encourage scratching on appropriate surfaces, may help ease some of the tension.  Bach flower essences has come out with Bach Rescue Remedy for pets- Rescue remedy can help calm the cat with flower essences and it has no alcohol like the human version. You may also want to look at LICKS for Cats ZEN Liquid Supplement. This is an all-natural formula that you can either place on your cat’s paw (and allow them to lick it off) or just give it to your cat in food. We found that most cats love the taste.

Good luck – I hope your kitty feels better soon and learns to love his new little brothers!

Lori Coughlin, DVM

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