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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My cat has a discharge near his eye but the eye is ok

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My cat has a discharge in the corner of his eye but the eye seems to be ok and it does not seem to bother him. Is it possible to upload a picture of it?

Hello Andrew, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about your cat hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

A picture would be extremely helpful. It's not always the easiest thing to do on this site but the following link walks you through it.

I have a few other questions to ask as well, if you don't mind:

1. How long has the discharge been present?

2 Any rubbing of the eye? Any squinting? I assume not but just want to confirm.

3. Any sneezing (now or in the past)?

There may be a delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you and I may be offline at the time you respond. But I'll get back to you as soon as I can since I'm on the computer some part of every day.

Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Discharge has been there for about 10-14 days with no rubbing or squinting or sneezing. It seems to vary during the day.

Thanks for the answers to my questions. I'm assuming that you were unsuccessful in posting a picture to the site. One additional method would be to post it to an independent website such as Photobucket (which is free) and then share the URL link with me.

But, regardless, the fact that he's not rubbing his eye or squinting with it is a good sign. We can most likely rule out any scratches or injuries to the cornea as well as uveitis (inflammation to structures in the eye).

And, no sneezing might possibly rule out an upper respiratory infection although having said that, cats with previous herpes virus infections can often have issues with their eyes down the road. So, depending on his age and circumstances under which you adopted him, this may be a possibility....the herpes virus has settled in his eye and is causing a flare-up of ocular issues.

Other possible causes of a discharge (depending on the color) include:

1. Conjunctivitis which is a bacterial infection especially if the discharge is green or yellow in color. If this is the case, then he may need topical antibiotics before improvement is seen.

2. Mild irritation secondary to allergies, for example, or anything which might irritate the eye(s). Often flushing out the eyes with sterile saline will be helpful in these cases. Avoid contact lens solution, though.

3. If the discharge is clear, then it's possible that the lacrimal ducts which drain the eyes into the mouth are partially or completely obstructed. In these cases, the tears overflow the eyes and dust/debris can adhere to the tears and cause black "gunk" to be seen.
Unfortunately, these ducts would have to be flushed under anesthesia and recurrent problems can be seen.
I usually advise owners to gently clean the face of the debris which accumulates once or twice a day with a warm washcloth.

I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply to you. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for that. I'm Still trying to upload some photos, watch this space, Andrew
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, Can you see the pictures?

I'm sorry that I was off my computer when you responded back but, yes, I'm able to see the picture posted so thanks for sending them.

It looks as if there might be slight yellowish color to the discharge and it looks a little thicker to me than might be seen with #3 above. There also seems to be a more profuse amount than I usually see with a blocked tear duct.

If you lift up his upper eyelid and it looks a little red or the blood vessels are more prominent (compare the right eye to the left one), then #1 or #2 seem more likely.

It certainly won't hurt to flush out the eyes as I mentioned to see if there's improvement but if there's a low grade infection present, then this may not be sufficient to resolve the problem. He may need topical antibiotics which, unfortunately, aren't available over the counter. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Deb. Thank you for your advice, it would seem that a trip to the vet is needed. Best, Andrew
You're more than welcome and thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

Unfortuantley, it does sound as if a vet visit may be prudent under the circumstances.

Please keep me posted if you have the chance.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck with him. Regards, Deb