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Suggestions about shelter cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am considering adopting one of the cats at the shelter I volunteer at. The animals at the shelter are very well cared for and it is a lovely place. The cat in question was from a collector or hoarder. All the cats were white and all of them had what they are calling 'chronic eye discharge.' There is a note on his cage stressing that he is not sick and it is not contageous. His pupils often seem dialated as well, I've noticed. For the record, one eye is brown and one is blue, though I doubt that has much to do with anything. He seems to see very well and is quite playful. The discharge is clear, but constant. His caregiver said he just needs his eyes wiped once or twice a day with a warm cloth, but that there is no cure.

I'm just a little concerned that something may have been overlooked. I have two cats at home and worry about the possibility of it being contageous. Also, I wonder if there might not be something that could help him. I've looked all over the internet and the only thing I seem to find is the herpes virus, though this doesn't quite sound like it because unlike herpes, which the descriptions say comes and goes, this is constant. I did find a vague reference to a birth defect which is inherited. That would make sense since the cats most likely were interbred. Does anyone have any ideas or help? Thank you very much.

post #2 of 8
It sounds to me like they have blocked/partially blocked tear ducts, or were born without tear ducts. If the liquid is clear or slightly colored, there is no worry. Eye discharge caused by an infection is yellow/green and very noticable.
post #3 of 8
I agree as long as it's clear I would not worry. Jordan has Herpes in his eyes and when it flares up I just give him some L-Lysine for a few days and it clears right up. However, if it is constant I would say tear duct problem or some cats even have eyelashes that are turned in and constantly rub against the eye irritating the eye. In those cases there is a surgury, but I would guess more a tear duct proplem.
post #4 of 8
My girls have eye issues.. But since it clear, I wouldn't worry..

I'd adopt the furbaby, and enjoy... You'll give him a great home.. I'm sure of it!!
post #5 of 8
One of the cats I fostered had that. The vet's first though was irritation or blocked tear duct. It didn't seem to bother him, and varied in intensity. We're pretty sure now that it's herpes, and he's being treated with a daily dose of l-lysine (mixed into his food). the lysine inhibits the virus replication process, and over time decreases the outbreaks. My friend adopted this cat and the watering has almost all cleared up thatnks to the lysine.
post #6 of 8
Deborah..first, thanks for considering adopting from your local shelter. I always recommend that when someone brings home a new cat, that the new cat should be isolated from the existing cats until it has been checked over by your own vet. This should occur within 7 days of bringing him home. Some cats show latent URIs and it is best to make sure that if he needs any medicine at all or special attention to adjust...that you get that done before you start the introductions.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your insightful comments. I think I will specifically ask if he has been tested for herpes or if there is a specific reason that they know it is NOT herpes. It's not that I would not adopt him for that reason, but I can't put my two healthy cats at risk. The more I read, though, the more it looks to me like an inherited blocked tear duct. The poor guy has never been looked at by a family in his entire first year! And he's such a sweetheart. Hopefully I can bring him home and spoil him rotten. Thanks again!

post #8 of 8
Once your vet figures out for sure what it is, talk to him about flushing the ducts out. This can help unplug them and make them feel better, although if it's chronic it might need to be done every few months. Tear ducts with chronic problems can get secondary infections, but this is often minor (from what little I know anyway) and can be treated with an inexpensive prescription eye ointment.

I hope you can bring him home! Thanks for looking into adopting a "special needs" cat!
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