My Cat's Eye is Irritated
September 8, 2017 7:42 PM   Subscribe

My cat's eye is a little irritated. Her upper and lower eyelids are red on one eye, and she's closing that eye a bit more than the other. Normally, I'd probably just wait and see, and take her to the vet if it got worse or did not improve. But I'm in an area that is about to have to (probably) ride out hurricane Irma. My vet closed today. Is there anything I can buy or do that might help my cat in the short term, from grocery stores or pharmacies?

I will try to call around and see if any other vets are open or might be able to help me. I'm in Saint Petersburg, FL. It's probably nothing, but if I can acquire anything that might help if it gets worse, I want to do that while the stores are still open.

I feel a little silly as it will probably have cleared up by tomorrow, but if it doesn't, I just want to know if there's anything I can do, if I can't track down a vet that is open tomorrow.
posted by ZeroDivides to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Best answer: My cat gets this frequently; one thing my vet suggested was to rinse his eye daily with water. I was skeptical, but it's worked really well so far. I use this one, but I think any pure water eyewash you could find at the local drugstore would work.
posted by rhythm and booze at 8:12 PM on September 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had a cat who had minor eye infections several times over the years. The first time she was treated by the vet, but after that I found that a few days of an eyewash/saline solution would clear it right up. They may sell pet specific products at pet stores but I used a Bausch&Lomb sterile saline solution from the drugstore, found in the section where the contact lens products are. My vet said this was fine to use.
posted by cilla at 8:23 PM on September 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Ditto the sterile saline solution, which was recommended to me by an emergency vet.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:14 AM on September 9, 2017

Best answer: there's a chance it's something more serious than an infection.. i hope not though! but just to share - i had an elderly cat with failing kidneys and similar symptoms in one eye; my vet put a tracer in her eye and examined it under black light. then she referred me to an opthomolagist (sp?) for critters.. the specialist had a gizmo that checks the pressure in each eye. that part is key - it's good to know that the pressure is normal, that way you can rule out glaucoma; glaucoma is a common corollary to kidney disease in cats. there were a few options for Rx eye drops that could help prevent the pressure getting too high. Also they wrote for eye drop antibiotics. Hopefully your kitty is younger and spry and this is nothing systemic, though! Odds are it's all less involved than it was for my geriatric kitty..

In my cat's case she had some issues in the musculature around her face/eye that kept her from closing it all the way - that was why she was partially closing it (it was the best she could do).. not being able to cover the eye with the film that usually functions that way left it vulnerable to infection so i was given saline also.

one thing you can check for: does the pupil in the affected eye react to light normally still? if so, that's a good sign. and, i wish i had known about the black light test much earlier so i could have asked for it at the vet.. she waited too long to do that so some things were quite bad before i knew what was going on.

if your nervous about getting her seen before the storm, maybe there's a blue pearl or similar 24 hour place ya'll could go?
posted by elgee at 7:39 AM on September 9, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you all for your advice. We ended up evacuating to north Georgia. I will grab some sterile saline solution, but the vet situation here should be better.

The kitty is young and in fairly good health, but I'll be sure to mention it to the vet if her eye doesn't improve, or at her next checkup.

Thank you again, it's been a wild week and just knowing there is something I might be able to do for my cat was reassuring.
posted by ZeroDivides at 3:19 AM on September 10, 2017

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