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Kitten's eye is sealed shut.

Species: Cat
Breed: American Shorthair
Age: Less than 3 mon
My kitten got either calici virus or the herpes virus and it affected one eye. For the past 4 days, the conjuctiva has been swollen and the lower and upper conjunctiva has been sealing itself together. I gently unseal it and water, maybe tears (clear fluid) comes out from under the seal. I have been using Idoxiuridine and terramicin for 5 days. Should I keep unsealing the conjuctiva or leave it to seal and when it heals, will it unseal. The vet I took her to said not to unseal it. I fear it will grow together and stay that way. The eye itself is excellent.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Aww...poor little kitten.

This is a tough question to answer! Normally I would agree that you shouldn't need to separate the eyelids. (They will not stay sealed together). However, if you can't open the eye then you won't be able to get the medicine into the eye.

It won't hurt to apply a warm wet cloth to the area a few times a day to help to loosen up the debris that is sticking to the eyelids. I don't have a problem with unsealing the debris as long as you are not causing discomfort to Holly.

If things are not improving within 24-48 hours then you may need to see the vet for additional or a different kind of antibiotics.

It may also help to put Holly in a steamy bathroom (i.e. run the shower for 10 minutes and close the bathroom door). This can help to loosen up the stickiness on her eye.

I hope she feels better soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:



Customer reply:



Customer reply:



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm so sorry Linda! I launched a new site design yesterday and there are some bugs! The reply function should work now!



Customer reply:

It is not the out eyelids crusting over and sticking, it is the inner conjunctiva that is sealing together. When I open the seal, clear fluid comes out. It is not the third eyelid either. It is the inner tissue that is red, swollen and sealing up. The outer eyelids are clear and debris free.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your patience with my new software!

I think I understand what you are saying. I still don't think that the eye will seal together though.

How old is this kitten? If it is only a few days old then it is possible that this is a birth defect. But if she is older than I would still stick with the plan outlined above.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

She is 10 weeks old. Everything was fine until the virus. It seems like the fluid coming from the eye after I break the seal is like tears. So, you don't think it will seal up and close off the eye. You recommend I do not break the seal?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yes, I would say to be patient. You can apply a warm cloth, but there is no need to keep breaking the seal.

However if the eye medications can't get into the eye then you may want to consider breaking the seal occasionally so that you can properly medicate her.

It will eventually heal though as long as the infection is taken care of.



Customer reply:

Thank you so much. I am a breeder and have seen alot, but never had I seen this type of eye issue. It was just so strange. I have had the crusty, sealed outter eyelids, but never the conjuctiva sealing off the eyeball. It is almost like nature is providing a bandaid for the eye. Selt protectant you might say.

Again, thank you so much. You have given me peace.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.