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Old 02-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to do about eye goop?

Little Athena had a goopy eye when I got home from work today.

It's my understanding that greenish-yellow eye goop is cause for concern, as that indicates infection, and needs to be seen by a vet, but what about other eye goop colors?

Athena's is mostly white/clear, maybe tinged a little pinkish. Is that color any cause for concern? She's always been a bit of a sneezy cat, though the vet has never seemed concerned about that. Her eye isn't squinty or stuck together. Her vision seems fine, and she's acting playful and has a normal appetite.

After gently cleaning off her eye with a tissue and warm water, it seems completely clear, and not bothering her at all. It hasn't started gooping up again yet.

My boyfriend keeps reassuring me this is nothing to fret about, that this happened occasionally with his cats growing up, and as long as she doesn't get worse, she doesn't need to see a vet. But I am a chronic worrier when it comes to my cats so I figured I'd get some input from you guys.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All my cats have the herpes virus, and two have constantly slightly goopy eyes. It's clear and turns brown when it dries. I just wipe and don't worry.

When they are having a flare up (caused by stress) the goop turns green/yellow. We treat with BNP eye ointment (from the vet- they let us just go get some as necessary) as well as giving supplements to boost their immune systems. A not-so-bad reaction will get just L-Lysine, extra few drops of fish oil daily and maybe some taurine. A bad reaction will get L-Lysine, extra fish oil, Taurine, Elderberry Extract and Vit C.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup hers is turning brown when it dries too.

Would her periodic sneezing/sniffling be a sign of the herpes virus? As the vet never seemed concerned about her sneezing (since it never gets worse or lasts for long), I never pursued the issue further. But from what I understand, the herpes virus is only a serious/dangerous concern in young kittens, right? It just causes on-and-off cold symptoms in older kittens/adult cats?

I know she was extremely sick (had to be tube fed) as a very young kitten, before we adopted her, and from what I recall her foster said it was due to some kind of URI infection.

Just wondering if this is something I should have her tested for, or if it's something not to worry about at her current age (she's about 8 months old now).
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Egypt has the herpes virus, too. Usually the very first flare up is the very worse and after that, they usually only exhibit milder flare ups (cold like symptoms) when stressed. At this stage, I wouldn't worry about it. My vet never tested Egypt, but was able to diagnose her based on an eye infection followed by a really bad URI she had when I first adopted her. It took a good month to get rid of it. She's had 1 or 2 mild flare ups since (no eye infection, just goopy eyes and lots of sneezing). It will be a year in June since I adopted her.

L-lysine works great when they are having flare ups or you can give it on a regular basis just to be safe, but unless the eye becomes red, inflammed or you can see the third eye lid out. Other than that, I would just wipe her eye as you have been doing and just wait it out...most likely it won't get any worse.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

My boyfriend mentioned he also noticed a little watering/goopiness yesterday and wiped her eye off (forgot to tell me, but he wasn't concerned since he's had cats with this before) so it looks like it's been going on for two days.

But she actually seems much better already. It's not gooped up again since we last wiped it off when we got home from work. So I'm feeling much less worried now.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Been doing some reading on the feline herpes virus so I can be better-informed. I am now fairly convinced this is the cause of Athena's problem. It makes a lot of sense. She had the severe URI as a kitten, and has had periodic fits of sneezing since we adopted her, complete with occasional watery eyes and projectile snot (there are few things quite like being projectile snotted on by a cat!).

Her flare-ups seem fairly mild, and usually last a few hours to a day or two at most. She rarely seems to be in much or any discomfort from what I can tell. Just sneezes here and there and then goes about her business with her usual good energy levels. Obviously it's never been a big enough issue before that I've thought to mention it to the vet as anything more than a passing comment.

Would you guys recommend I talk to my vet in the future to get a confirmed diagnosis and managing her occasional symptoms with something like lysine? Is that something I would need veterinary guidance to do safely?

She's due for her 1 year checkup in August and barring any medical emergencies I had been hoping to avoid any more vet visits for a bit considering how many we've had the past few months. Considering how mild and infrequent her symptoms are, could I wait until then to discuss this or should I bring her in sooner? I don't want to prolong her discomfort if I'm somehow underestimating it, but so far she seems less concerned about her symptoms than I have been.

Last edited by saitenyo; 02-26-2011 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have read somewhere (here??) that something like 90% of cats have the herpes virus. My cats NEVER go to the vet for it. Natural remedies at home (minus the BNP for the one guy who has really bad flare ups when stressed as he stresses easily), and some extra loving.

In all honesty, I would buy some L-Lysine at a human health food store, and some fish oils if you don't already have them and start giving them to her. We use one capsule per day per cat during flareups, and a few drops of fish oils. Her flareups seem very mild, so I would likely stick to just that. Our newest kitten has had the sneezes the last 7-10 days (got pretty stuffed up for a few there) and for her we used the full arrangement of homeopathy.. but lucky little Athena shouldn't need all that yet. Just keep an eye on her.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup, that's what I was reading in my research. In fact I'm betting Apollo has it too since he had a mild URI as a kitten and gets the occasional watery eye (not nearly as bad as Athena).

Thank you for the advice. I'm relieved to know a very visit isn't necessary. Athena's food contains fish oil. Do you think she needs any additional fish oil on top of that? Also, how much Lysine do you give during a flare-up?

Her eye continues to look perfectly clear today. She just had a little sneezing and some boogers, so this flare-up seems to be running its course without issue.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As far as the L-lysine, you can safely give 500 mg daily, which is what most pills have anyways and during flareups you can go up to 1,00 mg daily if it's really bad. I don't supplement with additional fish oil since they get it from their diet so I can't comment on that one.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I forgot to add, L-lysine is usually quite cheap. You can crush the pills into powder and add them to her food in order to avoid the drama of having to feed her a whole pill. They do sell powdered L-lysine, but it's much more expensive and they even have flavored pills sold through vets which are way more expensive.

I just buy them from Target:

Origin L-Lysine 500mg Tablet 100-pk. : Target

The cheapest kind they carry doesn't have any preservatives or additives so I just get that and crush them at home.
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