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Help - cat with conjunctivitis (long)

Has anyone had a cat with severe conjunctivitis? My heart is breaking and I just want to know this course is normal.

Linus started having sneezing fits last week. Got over it in a couple days. Gracie seemed to catch the same thing and her inner eyelid was starting to show. She didn't get over it and wasn't eating. I took her to the vet Friday and she got an antibiotic shot and Gentamicin Sulfate drops. She almost immediately got better while Linus seemed to get sick again on Saturday. A little sneezing but mostly his inner eyelid was showing with discharge.

(I know I shouldn't have done this but I used a new bottle on him.) I gave Linus a couple eye drop doses on Saturday and Sunday. It just seemed to get worse and his eye lid was swelling. I told him to the vet yesterday and they confirmed conjunctivitis. Antibiotic shot and the same drops as Gracie had. But this morning, his eye is slightly worse. By lunch time, way worse. 1/2 covered and more discharge.

I called the vet around noon. They said that worsening is expected but we should see some leveling before his follow-up appointment on Friday. They gave me an artificial tears ointment to apply several times a day in addition to the drops. I got home tonight and his left is is almost closed. His right eye looks how his left eye was on Sunday. I can't take looking at him... it looks so awful and I can't stop crying.

Re: Help - cat with conjunctivitis (long)

  • Try not to worry so much- they probably aren't nearly as bummed as you are.  As long as the vet has determined that there isn't a foreign body, it's along the lines of a cold that you and I get.

    Many cases of conjunctivitis are caused by feline herpesvirus, which is nothing like human herpes.  It's extremely common among shelter cats and can be easily spread.  My cat Bert was diagnosed with FHV after several bouts of conjunctivitis, mostly caused by stress.  Ernie, my other cat, has managed to not have symptoms. 

    Long term, we decided to use Lysine gel, which has stopped the recurrance of the conjunctivitis for almost 2 years now.  We have considered stopping it, but Bert actually loves the stuff, and it's now a part of our daily routine. 

    For comparison, this was how Bert spent pretty much the first year of his life.  He was always squinty and watery-eyed. 


    And this is Bert now.


    Keep us updated! 


  • Thank you. Bert looks so much better now. I'm trying to talk myself down and Linus's eyes are opening more. I think it's just so hard to look at because it's the inner eyelid that is showing because it's so swollen. (That's what is taking up about 1/3 of his eye.) I need to be thankful that he isn't in a life-or-death situation. Just some discomfort.
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