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Ziv's tearing eye (long)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ziv's right eye has been tearing since we adopted him in January. This is long, but I'm posting in the hope that someone here might have dealt with this before. Here's his treatment history:

He was diagnosed with a URI a week after we adopted him; we were given amoxicillin and sterile eye drops. This didn't clear it up.

After a month of his eye getting alternately more teary and less, we took him to a different vet (our current general vet for all three cats). We got more eye drops and clavamox. He was tested for any kind of corneal abrasion--there was none. The vet explained that some cats just have teary eyes.

About two months later (again, the eye would get better, then worse), we noticed that his eye was tearing more, and Ziv was squinting in pain. His eyelid was inflamed and the discharge from his eye was no longer just clear--there was brownish fluid collecting in the corner. He was also acting like he didn't feel well--sort of cranky, never comfortable. We took him to the vet (a different doctor at the same place) who prescribed more meds (I can't remember which, maybe clavamox) and terramycin in both eyes. The meds didn't seem to work, and the terramycin irritated his eyes more (his left eye starting looking inflamed and teary, when it never had before).

Three weeks later we were referred to an ophthalmologist (Ziv still had the brownish discharge). He was surprised that Ziv's condition was manifested in only the right eye, but diagnosed him with chlamydia. He prescribed a three-week course of Zithromycin, plus Lysine twice a day, in case Ziv had herpes. The Zithromycin eliminated the brown discharge, and Ziv started acting like he felt better. But, his eye still teared from time to time. Not as much, and without the squinting--but it still teared. The specialist wasn't quite sure what was wrong, but he thought that it was not herpes. He gave us eyedrops--prednisolone acetate to give to Ziv everyday for five days, then every other day if it seemed to be working.

He explained that some cats develop allergies--not the normal type of allergies, where they manifest in response to a particular stimulus. I didn't quite understand what he said, but it was essentially: something gets into their eye (bacteria, virus, whatever), and somehow becomes permanent. This might be Ziv's problem.

So, I think Ziv may have had chlamydia (or similar), as the Zithromycin definitely helped him. But, I think he may also just have the allergy condition that the vet described. His eye continues to tear (the fur around his eye is damp almost constantly). The drops seem to make him more comfortable.

The point is, does anyone have experience with this? At this point, Ziv seems pretty much comfortable and healthy. He doesn't squint very often, and if he does, the drops help. Is there anything else we should look into? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 7
As I was reading this post, the thought came to mind of a blocked tear duct. Then as I read along, you wrote about taking him to an opthamalogist. Which was exactly the right thing to do. Since, as it turned out, it was something else. Just goes to show...when a cat has an eye problem that stumps a regular vet, see a specialist!! Good for you -- I think your cat is in good hands, now!!
post #3 of 7
I don't have any suggestions, but I would like to say that I hope he gets better soon and stays better! Your cats are precious and have a wonderful momma!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you both. I noticed today that the brownish discharge is back in both of Ziv's eyes. The specialist never tested for Herpes, because the test is expensive and he thought it was unlikely, but I think I'm going to have to take Ziv back in for the test. He seems ok right now, but I imagine that he must be in some amount of pain/discomfort.

I know that Lysine is the most common maintenance treatment for Herpes. We've been using a (big) free sample from the specialist, but it's going to run out at some point--does anyone know where to order it online?
post #5 of 7
You can buy Lysine inexpensively at any health food store. Buy the kind that comes in a powdered form in capsules. Then just open the capsule and mix with or sprinkle on food. The dosage I've used is 500 mg twice a day.
post #6 of 7
Hi I am new To the forum and your topic caught my eye. My 10 mo old calico Daphnie (named by my grand son for the scooby doo character) has been tearing since we got her, I took her to the vet and she said that she tought it was congenital conjuctiveitis. She gave us an antibiotic ointment which cleared up her right eye up after 1 mo. The left eye is stil slightly pink with a little discharge, but I am wondering if after a month of treatment we are not dealing in part with irritation caused by the medication or even pollen allergies as she will sneeze several times in a row while sitting in the window on a high pollen day. I would appreciate any comments.
post #7 of 7
If you've been treating with an antibiotic for a month and it's not gone, then I don't think it's due to a bacterial infection. It still might be a viral infection -- most likely herpes -- or an allergy. You could try the lysine. You should see results inside of a week if it's herpes.
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