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eye infection

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't think this is going to go well.

My little Scaredy Cat 17 week old kitten has come down with an eye infection. After taking it to the vets last week for shots, I had used up any good-will I had made with the cat. Taking it today was a complete ordeal... it took me two hours to catch the kitty. This is a former feral kitty that still, after a month, has never let my wife touch it. I had gotten to the point it would let me pet it, but only on its timeframe. That's all gone after today. It sees me and runs.

I'm supposed to put ointment in its eye three times a day. It took the vet five tries. I just gave it my first shot at home and the cat went absolutely beserk as soon as I picked it up. Needless to say, I never got anywhere near the cat's eye with the ointment.

It's a really frustrating situtation to know that I have to destroy all the progress I've made with this kitty and the odds of me ever getting ointment in its eye once, let alone three times a day for a week, are essentially zero. It's a real catch-22 because the more I try, the worse it gets.
post #2 of 10
A calm and firm approach can help keep a cat from getting too upset during medicating. I suggest you keep him in the bathroom until he's well so he can't hide, and that you wrap him in a towel so he can't struggle.

Alternatively you can skip treatment and watch and wait and hope it resolves on its own, but you have to be careful that scar tissue or worse doesn't occur.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I hope it doesn't come to locking her in a bathroom for a week. It might, but taking her away from playmate kitten isn't going to go well, either.

After eight hours today, I was successful in getting a big glob of the ointment in or near her eye. I've taken to just carrying the ointment in my pocket looking for an opportunity. I got her scruffed and gave it a pretty good shot. Missed the eye by this much (darn!), but hit her lower lid. I was able to then take my finger (which I had just washed in preparation) and push the big blob up into her eye. Picture perfect? No, but I probably got some ointment in the eye at least once today. You just have to do what you can do.

Three times a day isn't even in the realm of possibility. I'm hoping for twice a day. We'll see.

I wish a cooperative kitty would be the one that got sick sometime. My last two "do this three times a day" events have been with kitties that will not tolerate being held or restrained even on the best of days.

This one is killing me because now instead of coming up and rubbing against my legs as it had been doing, it's visibly recoiling when it sees me coming. I have to be sure to alternate medicine attempts with some sweet talking/purring time when I don't try to grab it.
post #4 of 10
when i was medicating Firefox's eyes, i kept the ointment [actually, had 2 tubes - neosporin-types] in the bathroom & on the side table in the den.
i captured her 1st, then took her to 1 of those places for treatment.
after treatment, she got a treat of some kind - usually meat baby food [she loved it!] to end the experience w/a good thing.
i do the same thing after clipping her claws, which she really despises - she usually growls &/or hisses at me the entire time.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
That was my original plan. Leave the ointment next to a bar stool at the right height. But, the transporting the kitty to the bar stool was eating up precious seconds of opportunity!

So, I've gone around and pulled all the dining room chairs back from the table and generally made as many sleeping spots accessible as possible to a quick-strike, scruff n' go ointment attack! I just carry it in my pocket and wash my hands before I do a lap looking for kitty.

If I am successful at doing this nonsense once a day, I'll count it as a victory. If that's not enough, it's not enough and we'll rename Scaredy Cat after an old blues singer: Blind Lemon Johnson or whatever.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yippee. I got a second dose of eye ointment in (or near!) Scaredy Cat's eye tonight. This actually went OK.

I got her up on a tall stool for some petting and purring and scratching her arched back. After a few minutes of that, I ambushed her with a quick scruff, tilt her head back, a glob of ointment (on her eyelid again, drat!), and then push it into her open eye with my just washed finger.

I wish I could get her head tilted back more and actually dribble the ointment into her eye, but doing this solo, scruffing her is the only way to control her. If I use two hands to tilt her head back, she wiggles her body out of my grip. Oh, well. At least I'm getting some ointment in her eye -- twice today -- which is a hell of a lot better than I expected!

The key, it seems, is to just wait until an opportunity arises, then move quickly. Take your best shot and be done with it. Feed immediately after as a treat. From the moment I ambused her while petting, to letting her go, was no more than fifteen seconds or so.

I can't believe she's giving me the opportunities.

The vet did show me one good trick. Put the heel of the hand with the tube of ointment up against her face. That way, if she jerks her head, your hand moves with it instead of her poking herself in the eye against the stationary ointment tube. It's also another hand to tilt her head back as much as possible.
post #7 of 10
It's perfectly ok to put the ointment on the edge of the lower lid and then massage the lids closed and open to distribute the goop. You do not have to put the goop directly in the eye, and in my area twice a day is the normal protocol.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that's good to know.

It was funny. The vet showed me how to put a beautiful ribbon of ointment directly across her eyeball.

As I was leaving, the "nurse" called me aside and said, "Now let me tell you how to do it in the real world... Washing your hands really well, glop some ointment on your finger, and rub it across the eye right at top of the lower eyelid..."

I'm finding that I can't put a glop on my finger ahead of time because that requires catching and scruffing the cat one-handed. But, redistributing the glob from her lower eyelid appears to be working.

I'm going to focus today on getting the glop in place quickly today and spending a little longer massaging the eyelids open and closed.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Not so good today!

Scaredy Cat is on to my tricks now. She no longer responds to being scruffed by the neck, but immediately tries to beat a retreat, taking away the ten second window of opportunity that I need before she recoils. After two failed attempts I caught her nice and mellow napping on a chair. So I tried putting the ointment directly on my finger. I was able to rub it along her eye. Probably got it in her eye, but no visual confirmation of that as I had to do it without tilting her head back.

Oh, well. I can only do what I can do. If that's good enough, it's good enough. If it's not, it's not.

I'll go for another attempt later tonight.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK, so I got a second dose Sunday night...again, just a quick rub with the ointment on the fingertip.

Then, two doses on Monday...the only time I caught the cat stationary. Only one on Tuesday.

It appears that the ointment has done the trick. As of today, Wednesday, the eye is wide open and has been for more than a day. I haven't pinned the cat down to take a close inspection (she is REALLY done with me messin' with her eye!), but no more visible discharge. No visible redness. No blinking.

I'll probably try to get one more dose of ointment tonight if I get a chance.

Otherwise, just breathing a sigh of relief that this ordeal is over and that the kitty responded to a less than optimum course of ointment treatment.

I did what I could do and I guess it was enough!

I'm going to hang on to the leftover ointment and hit it immediately on the first signs of a closed eye or discharge in the future. My guess is that it was probably the very first dose of ointment the vet put in the cat's eye that stemmed the tide and killed enough bacteria for the cat to start recovering. The vet did say that they should improve in a matter of days.
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