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Dealing with blocked tear duct

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My seven months old kitten has been diagnosed with a blocked tear duct. He had a URI when I got him at about 3 months and it's probably this that caused it. We've tried several different antibiotic drops and ointments but it hasn't helped. So now the vet says that it's a blocked tear duct. According to him it can be fixed with surgery but that would only be for cosmetic reasons and that the blocked duct and the discharge that it causes is not harmful or uncomfortable for him. However from what I've read online it can be harmful and uncomfortable.
Does anyone here have any experience with this issue? If so, how have you dealt with it? Is it worth having surgery done on the eye or is it better to leave it the way it is? How much is the surgery? Is there any other treatments that could help my guy?

Thanks for the help
post #2 of 11
My Wellington has just surgery for this, and the vet found that actually he did not have a proper tear duct at all, so there was nowhere for the tears to go. He got some dirt in his eye and it caused an ulcerated infection. He is fine now, but I have to wash his eyes out regularly to ensure no infection recurs. The vet procedure was simple.

Wellington always had 'dirty eyes' that I cleaned almost every day, but everyone just said that it was a normal condition and would not cause trouble. So I would do it if you can - at least then you know if there is anything extra beyond just a blockage, and prevent problems in the future.
post #3 of 11
Our Whisper has a blocked tear duct and has had it for years. When we first got her inside and noticed it, our vet said that it was blocked. They could unblock the duct and clean it out, but he said that it would be painful for Whisper. And he couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't block up again.

Turns out that BooBoo, her son, also has a tear duct problem, and in his left eye, too. Maybe it's genetic. Again, the vet explained that he could unblock it, but there's no guarantee it wouldn't block up again. Since the cats are geriatric (Whisper will be 16 and Boo just turned 14), we take them to the vet every six months for physicals and the vet checks their eyes, too.

We couldn't see putting them through the pain of unblocking it, esp since it could block up again. It doesn't seem to bother them, so we leave it alone. We keep their eyes as clean as we can; there are no infections or anything like that.
post #4 of 11
Ootay (rb 5/09) had a blocked tear duct most of her life. Not all the time, just periodically her eye would start to water. I simply kept her eye clean until it stopped.

Usually it went away after a few days. If it went into an infection she went on antibiotics.

When she was 11, she had a lymphoma removed (in her hip). All went well until the stitches were removed, and she developed an abscess at the site. She was on massive antibiotics for a couple of weeks, and the blocked tear duct problem seemed to go away completely after that for 8 years, and then came back in her last year of life some what.

Unless your vet thinks there is some serious health issue, I myself, would not have anything invasive done.

There is, however, the possibility of your kitten carrying the herpes virus, putting him on l-lysine will help, if this is the case.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
Ootay (rb 5/09) had a blocked tear duct most of her life. Not all the time, just periodically her eye would start to water. I simply kept her eye clean until it stopped.

Usually it went away after a few days. If it went into an infection she went on antibiotics.

When she was 11, she had a lymphoma removed (in her hip). All went well until the stitches were removed, and she developed an abscess at the site. She was on massive antibiotics for a couple of weeks, and the blocked tear duct problem seemed to go away completely after that for 8 years, and then came back in her last year of life some what.

Unless your vet thinks there is some serious health issue, I myself, would not have anything invasive done.

There is, however, the possibility of your kitten carrying the herpes virus, putting him on l-lysine will help, if this is the case.
That's fascinating! My white, deaf cat, Clyde, has had a blocked tear duct for a long time. It would get crusty on his skin and dirty, but he didn't like getting it wiped off. Then, recently, he got an abcess from playing with Smudge and had to go on antibiotics. Suddenly, his eye cleared up. It's still a very tiny bit watery, but not the goopy down the nose anymore!
post #6 of 11

Yes.  Cyrano has that - has had for a long time.  I clean his eyes morning and night with a warm, soft cloth.  He's very patient.  Would like to know if something would clear it up.  Vet says no.....Judy

post #7 of 11
We found out today that our kitten Grady has blocked tear ducts in both eyes, after bringing him to the University of Florida's Small Animal Clinic to see why his eyes profusely tear all the time.

Grady was a shelter cat we adopted four months ago at 8 age months and will officially turn a year at the end of this month.

Like other members here who have mentioned the crusting and staining of the skin to the eyes of their cats that conjunctivitis can cause, th blockages have also led Grady to scratch his eyes raw at times, as well as it has left the area right under the corner of his eyes hairless, pink and super-sensitive. That's why our regular vet thought it best that we bring him to the University of Florida's teaching hospital an hour from our rural home.

After we got there, the hospital vet ran the eye staining test, and nothing came out of his nose (as it should have), meaning that tear ducts in Grady's eyes are blocked, she said. She has put Grady on Terramycin eye ointment and said they will get back with swab test results in about a week. She further said that after the test results come back, I will have to schedule to bring Grady back in so they can anesthetize him and unclog the ducts.

It's been a long day for all of us and I was alright with everything.. until, that is, I came home and read here on the Cat Site that this eye duct blockage could come back after the procedure to open them was done. Really? So then why bother putting him under and putting him through such an ordeal if this is what the situation is going to come back down to? They never mentioned that it could.come back at all.

Now I'm really concerned. And worried even more so about my cat's future health. What a depressing thing to find out that even after all they will do to correct his eyes that, he may well wind up the same boar again now or sometime in the future.

Last September we lost our cat Alex after a heartbreaking 11-year bout with bowel disease (also found in kitten-hood). My husband and I were so looking forward to having a healthy kitty--at least for a little while--when we adopted Grady. Of course we both realize that every animal (or person, for that matter!) comes with the possibility that unbeknownst to anyone an adopted animal currently is, or will become ill. But for my husband and I it's been nothing but vet bill after vet bill with no end in sight for going on a dozen years now. *shrug*

My husband Joe and I love Grady with all our hearts and would never give him back. And we wouldn't have not adopted him, even had I known he had this condition. It's just that it seems that so many of our shelter animals are not well from the get-go. It sure makes for a lot of heartache and expense for all animal lovers. Oh, well. I think I'll go watch a movie and try to unwind from the day.

Thanks all who read this for putting up with sad about my forever-dirty-eyed kitty rant, ohwell.gif
post #8 of 11

Dealt with a few of these over the years. The veterinarian said surgery is effective less than half the time and its best to just keep it clean. Found that a tiny bit of petroleum jelly helps prevent the build up.

post #9 of 11

Thank you for sharing that, Chromium Blue. I will let everyone know how things go after test results come back and all vets involved confer.

post #10 of 11

When I got Tiny from the shelter as a kitten 16 years ago, her left eye was infected and runny. I had a really good vet at the time, and he tried different topicals for about 3 months. The infection cleared, but the eye never quit running and he was forced to concede that it was most likely a damaged tear duct. It's run ever since, but it usually isn't a problem. She wipes the excess herself as part of regular grooming, but if she's been sleeping and hasn't cleaned it recently, I usually just wipe the excess with my finger. I did have one time about eight years ago when she got stressed, and the infection came back. When that happened, she got conjunctivitis, and it spread to my other cats. Luckily, I was able to get all of them treated, and none of them came away with any damage to their eyes. I think the infection would have popped back out whether I had the tear ducts repaired or not, but since her eye always had some discharge, it meant that it took a little longer for me to recognize that something was out of the ordinary.

 

Tiny never had the type of problems you describe with scratching her eye raw though. If she had, I might have considered the surgery. If you do, just make sure to ask lots of questions like how likely is it to work, will it relieve the scratching, what are the risks of long-term side effects, etc. Hopefully you can do that by phone so that you won't have to drive back out there if you decide not to go through with it. Best of luck!

post #11 of 11

My cat was diagnosed with a blocked tear duct today.  He has had watery eyes since he was a kitten.  This is the third doctor he went to. Unfortunately, the other doctors assumed it was bacterial and a "cold" of sorts and gave him antibiotics.  However, this new doc did a stain test and sure enough it is a blocked tear duct.  She said it is just something we will have to live with.  No antibiotics can help it. It is mechanical, unfortunately.  Some days it is really bad and just drips and drips.  Then he can go a few days and it will be dry.  It's unfortunate. He looks really unhappy when he's have a "drippy" day.  Poor guy.

 

I feel for your kitty. 

 

S

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