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Cindy and Feline Eye Ulcers

It may not be obvious in my photos but Cindy has a rather flat face and with it, comes the usual problem of the occasional weepy eye. Back in May 2009, we noticed that Cindy’s right eye seemed to be especially weepy. So much so that it seemed to be sealed closed with gunk. We wiped it clean but the eye wasn’t right so I took her to see our vet, Raj, down at Companion Care.

After putting some stain on the eyeball, we could immediately see that she had an enormous ulcer on her eye and it looked really really painful. Raj immediately gave her an injection of antibiotics and pain relief. He then prescribed Cindy eye drops and said she would have to wear an Elizabethan collar for the interim.

what are you looking at
What are you looking at?

The next 10 days seemed to drag. With the collar on, Cindy’s movements were severely restricted and she clearly felt sorry for herself. Walking, eating and drinking were all huge issues and I felt terrible! I so wanted to remove the collar but didn’t because I knew it was for her own good. She took her eyedrops gracefully but I suspect that the collar had much to do with this.

After the allotted time had passed, Raj pronounced her eye to be completely healed and that the collar could be removed. I’ve never seen a happier cat!

Fast forward to September 2010. We noticed that Cindy’s left eye was gunked closed. Suspecting another eye ulcer, I whisked her off to see Raj again. My suspicions were correct. Cue more antibiotics, painkillers and eyedrops. This time however, she didn’t need a collar. Administering the eyedrops was not at easy this time but we somehow managed.

Tonight, I came home from work and noticed that Cindy seemed to be having problems coming down the stairs. It was almost like she was stuck. After a couple of minutes, she finally made it into the kitchen and began to eat her dinner. As soon as she had eaten, she headed for her Felix cushion. I expected to see her knead but she didn’t. Instead, she squeezed herself under the barstool bar and half lay on her cushion. That was when I saw her right eye. It was half closed and her third eye was immediately visible. Cindy wasn’t behaving like her normal self. She seemed extremely wary and when she walked, it was more like a scurry. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

Companion Care was closed so I rang the emergency vet who suggested that I bring Cindy down to be examined. Jim, the attending vet confirmed that she had an ulcer on her right eye. I couldn’t believe it. It was just over 4 weeks ago that she had an ulcer on her left eye and now she had one on her right eye! She was given a dose of pain relief and some eyedrops. These ones were different from her usual prescription but Jim assured me it was fine and told me I should see Raj the following day just to see how she was progressing.

I watched Cindy very carefully that evening. Her eye showed none of the usual signs of almost immediate improvement and she was very skitterish. It was almost like she couldn’t see out of her right eye at all. At bedtime, she refused to come to bed, choosing instead to hide as if she was scared of me.

October 6th – This morning, there was still no discernible improvement, so I called Companion Care and made an appointment to take Cindy down to see Raj. He had the day off so we saw a lady called Amy. Amy was suspicious as to the cause of the ulcer due to the frequency of recurrence but cat flu was immediately ruled out on the basis that both Bella and Cindy are up to date with their vaccinations. The dye used showed that the ulcer was covering the entire pupil thereby impairing Cindy’s vision and explained why her behaviour was different. We decided to put Cindy back on her normal eyedrops and see if that would help. She was also given a shot of antibiotics and pain relief before we left.

Cindy seemed perkier and friendlier when we got home but her eye was still not as open as I would have liked and she was still not back to her normal self.

Tonight, David helped put her eyedrops in. It was quite difficult as she was all claws! As soon as she was free, she proceeded to rub the bad eye. I managed to stop her twice before she gave up. For a few minutes, her eye actually seemed worse for the drops but that seems to have cleared up now.

Here’s to hoping that there will be a marked improvement in the morning.

October 7th – woke up to an empty bed. Once again, Cindy had chosen not to sleep with us. A quick search around the house and we found her hiding again under the spare bed. We decide to leave her alone for the day. When we eventually got home at around 11pm, Cindy was less nervous and her eye seemed to be a bit better. Our joy swiftly turned to concern however, when I went to clean out the litter tray – there was signs of blood in the urine. I won’t go into the furbabies’ toilet habits, suffice to say that I knew it was Cindy. I googled the symptons and didn’t like any of the search results that came back so resolved to call Raj in the morning.

October 8th – To my surprise, I woke up to a dead weight on my legs – it was Cindy curled up asleep. I was loathe to disturb her so I asked David to grab my phone for me so that I could ring the vets as soon as they opened. Raj was reluctant to prescribe more medication for Cindy and suggested that I watched her when she went to use the litter tray. Based on what I saw, I should call him back and he would decide what the next steps should be. If we were lucky, the blood we were seeing would simply be down to stress and not a urinary infection. We got lucky!

October 12th – it’s been exactly one week since we discovered Cindy’s new eye ulcer. Her eye is recovering nicely but it still has a glassy look to it. Her behaviour is 99% back to normal but as she is still being medicated, her slight timidness is to be expected. I’m due to take her back for a follow-up checkup tomorrow morning. Here’s to a clean bill of health!

October 13th – so we went to visit the vet and Cindy was given a clean bill of health. The ulcer is all but gone but we’ve been advised to keep administering the eye drops for a further 3 days. Cindy and I were both very relieved!

Cindy perched on sofa arm

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