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Swollen eye.

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed spca find
Age: 2-5 years
Hello dr. Marie. I have had my male cat since he was 8 weeks old and i adopted him from the spca. He had a minor respiratory infection when i brought him home and he's been a healthy cat since asides from a short spell with fleas. For a few days now his eye has been swollen and tight with clear teary discharge. He is eating normal, using his litter box as expected, and his behavior hasn't changed. He allows me to feel around the swollen area. I believe after playing with my much younger sister that cat nip got in his eye. I can't get his eye open enough to get much sterile eye wash in it though. I tried 2.5 mg of diphenhydramine thinking it could be allergy to the cat nip but he's not shown any sign of improvement. What can i do? Could it be a strange case of pink eye without the usual symptoms? What else can cause such sudden swelling? Your advice is appreciated.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your cat has a sore eye. There are a few possible reasons for this.

When I see a cat who suddenly has a sore eye I get concerned that he may have scratched his eye. A scratched eye, otherwise known as a "corneal ucler" can be very serious. The eye stays closed because it is painful.

Whenever I suspect a corneal ulcer I recommend a vet visit right away. Your vet will likely do a fluorescein test which is a simple test where they put a fluorescent green dye on the eye and then look at it with a blue light. If there is a scratch on the eye it will be visible with the blue light.

If a corneal ulcer goes untreated it can lead to serious problems including losing the eye!

Some animals can have a swollen eye because of an allergic reaction but this doesn't sound like the case with Jeckyl.

Sometimes we can see swollen eyes because of an upper respiratory virus but this really should affect both eyes.

I would highly recommend having a vet see Jeckyl. Hopefully it is nothing serious!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.

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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.