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Goopy Eyes? Stuck Shut? Read Here First!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
When kittens are in the process of opening their eyes, it is very common and normal to see a little bit of goop or even crust that essentially sticks the eyelid closed. It can happen for many reasons; siblings can inadvertantly scratch a newly-opening eye with little sharp kitten claws while trying to get into position to nurse (you see this a lot more in larger litters), Momma cats lick bottoms and then lick faces, debris can enter the eye ... just to name a few. It is knowing when to seek the professional opinion of your vet and when you can treat it at home that makes all the difference.

Let's talk about eye goop. *grin* Eye goop can range in color and consistancy from clear and watery to thick, green pus-like discharge. In order to determine whether or not you should attempt to treat the problem yourself, you have to examine the eye goop. If it is anything but thick, yellowish-green, pus-like discharge, the chances are very good that you can treat it at home, but if it is thick, yellowish-green, pus-like discharge, immediately seek a vet's professional advice and treatment, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

OK, so you have now examined the eye goop and it is not thick, yellow-ish green, pus-like discharge. You can attempt to treat it at home, but you have to have a few things on hand first, so make a list and run out to the nearest store to collect what you need:

Antibacterial Hand Soap
Cotton Gauze (NOT Cotton BALLS)
One Deep Bowl - Wash before use, preferably in dishwasher with heat dry setting
8x8 inch Ceramic or Pyrex Casserole dish, washed in dishwasher with the heat dry setting
Large Bottle of Alcohol

Wash your hands all the way up to your elbows in hot water (as hot as you can reasonably stand) and the antibacterial hand soap. Leave the soap on your skin for at least 3 minutes and rinse then dry thoroughly with a clean paper towel. Place the scissors in the 8x8 dish so they lay flat and pour alcohol in to cover the scissors completely. Soak for 10 minutes, remove and dry thoroughly with a clean paper towel. Using the clean, dry scissors, cut several small pads of the cotton gauze, approximately 3 inches by 3 inches. Fill the deep bowl with warm, NOT HOT water. Dip a piece of the gauze you have cut into the water and lightly wring. You don't want it to be dripping, but you don't want it to be dry either. GENTLY, dab the eye, do not wipe or rub, just dab the eye with the wet gauze to soften the crust. Repeat this several times but DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PRY THE EYE OPEN. You just want to soften the crust and remove it gently with the gauze.

Repeat this process twice a day for several days or until the eye is completely open and free from any further discharge or crust.

If, while cleaning the eye, you notice that the discharge has turned yellow-ish green and is thick or pus-like, stop treating the eye immediately and call your vet for an antibiotic eye ointment as well as instructions on how to administer it to your kitten.

Hope this helps,

post #2 of 19 may want to make this a sticky to avoid it being overshadowed by other posts.

post #3 of 19
How long should the eye infection go on for? My little siamese kitten has had the infection for five days. It seems to be doing better. The eye is still stuck shut when he wakes up, but as soon as I dab it with the cotton swab it starts to open.
Also, is it ok to gently wipe off the crusty when it is outside the eye?
post #4 of 19
Also, just something I learned the hard way once. If your cat or kitten is fighting herpes virus, make sure the ointment the vet gives you contains no steriods. Steriods cause herpes virus to mulitiply rapidly and is a real mess.
post #5 of 19
I hope this isn't a stupid question but what do I do in the case of a feral cat?

One of the two babies has one eye stuck shut. Does not look pus, green or yellow. I did this entire thing through a squealing kitten, a very upset and squealing sibling, Mom locked out of the crate while I sat inside. She was pacing and crying and very upset. The other feral in the garage was upset as well. When I let Lacey back in she hissed and spit. I love her but know she would have attacked if I continued pushing my luck.

In addition to the delicate trust that I am trying to build and hoping that I am not / have not shattered as a result.

Surely that isn't going to be good for all every night?

They are a little over a week old.

post #6 of 19
Stacy keep doing what you are doing, wrap the baby in a thick towel with just the face exposed while you are administering the meds. Keep mom locked out while you are putting the ointment in. When you leave, leave quickly and don't look the momcat in the eyes at all, avoid glancing at her.
post #7 of 19
I do not have ointment but was doing the dab with warm water as per the first post in the thread. I have all sorts of other things (saline and other stuff) but was just doing what the first post said.
post #8 of 19
The eye has (as of today) opened by itself.

Thanks for the replies.
post #9 of 19
geee.. i looked all up an down the thread page and didnt notice this

what if the discharge isnt yellowy green but sort of off white? like a booger?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
It should be OK, but if you have doubts, it is always best to have your vet take a look.
post #11 of 19
wow.... how did I miss this thread? Haha...
This is exactly what is going on with a kitten I am taking care of. He is 2 weeks old, so gets quite annoyed when I remove him from his littermates. I first noticed the hard crusty black crud on his eyelids on Monday, and tried to gently wipe it off, but it was too hard. Then Tuesday it was worse, so my mom and I got very warm water on cotton balls and soften the crud til it could slide off and Mo could open his eyes. I also noticed a thick white goop on Tuesday. Today, his eyes were hard and crusty with black crud again, so we removed it again. But he also had a lot of the soft gooey white gunk seeping out of the little crack of his left eye. When his eyes are clear and open, the left eye is extremely swollen and red, (especially in the 'after' pics from Tuesday). We are calling the vet tomorrow to ask about drops or ointment and we are hoping it is just an eye infection, and not very contagious. Any suggestions on how else to treat it or how to get the hard gunk off every day?
Thanks so much!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
You can talk to your vet but a little mineral oil around the eye will make the goop a little easier to remove.
post #13 of 19
thanks so much! I am hoping to be able to get whatever our vet recommends tomorrow. The poor little guy can never see a thing and his eyes are all swollen and red.
post #14 of 19

thanks for the advice will do it when i get home...wavey.gif

post #15 of 19

I had a new born Flame Point/Colorpoint Siamese Bobtail with this problem...

Tried the water several times a week, couldn't afford a vet but got some safe triple antibiotic ointment dabbed a lil bit of it on his eyelids a couple times a week for two weeks and it went away and he seems to be seeing perfectly fine too.

post #16 of 19

Thank You soooooooo much you are a hero, my cats eye just opened a little, its doing better and better thanks alot. you saved me money and my car:angel:

post #17 of 19

I just purchased another antibiotic for her eye in conjunction with her antibiotic for her dental situation. At the moment she is taking 25mg of Clindamycin hydrochloride liquid by mouth, 1mL twice daily. And tonight I will be giving her with this current antibiotic, 3mg of Tobramycin Ophthalmic Solution, USP 1 drop in eye. This medicine was more money than the oral antibiotic. Also I was very upset to hear that my vet does not accept kitty magic with conjunction with anesthesia for procedures, but that is another topic to be discussed.
    Was wondering if anyone agreed with these antibiotics working for kitty ailments. Her vet already has seen her so the vet took it to her best interest in prescribing what was necessary for her. I just hope she's right cause I dont think I am using this vet for the procedure. Since she is unsure what else may be going on with my cat.
    Thank you,  

post #18 of 19
Thank you so much! This is exactly the information I was looking for clap.gif
post #19 of 19

i found a baby kitten i had to bottle feed it it is eating on its own now but i am having problems with its eyes i have been washing them with warm water as often but it is still not helping can you help me with this

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