Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Sore eyes?

Thursday, February 14, 2019
                                                                                                                                                                       Poor Mali has cat flu, very common in young kittens when they face a new home, new people, and travel. Stress later in life may bring on another bout - or it may not.

Herpesvirus, one of the causes of cat flu, hides in the nerve root behind the eye and comes out when kittens and some older cats are stressed. In mild cases, and particularly when the cat has been vaccinated, they only suffer a few days of a watery eye and sadness.

In severe cases the virus causes ulcers on the eye and occasionally loss of the eye. The eye is squeezed closed and the discharge thickens. The cat may go off her food and hide.

Whether the bout of flu is mild or severe the kitten or cat needs treatment. The eye is painful and the virus makes them feel unwell.

Fight wounds, Chlamydia and Mycoplasma infections, and trauma also cause sore eyes in cats. Any eye disease must be treated promptly to avoid loss of sight or the eye.

We prescribed lubrication drops for Mali's eyes, pain relief and an antibiotic because we suspected a Chlamydial as well as herpesvirus infection. If he has another bout we will consider an antiviral drug as well.

Sore eyes

Thursday, November 22, 2018
                        Poor Mali's eye started running within days of arriving in his new home. His carers noticed that he was squinting and sad so they brought him in for a check.
It is very common for kittens and even adult cats to get one or two sore eyes when they are stressed. Mali had left his mum and brothers and sisters as well as his first home. Despite lots of love and care his new home was strange to him and he was understandably a bit stressed. Cats don't like change!
The feline herpesvirus behaves a bit like the human herpesvirus except that it hides out in the nerve to the eye. When the cat is stressed the virus is activated and moves to the window of the eye, the cornea. Human herpesvirus usually moves to the lips causing cold sores. Both human and feline herpesvirus lesions cause a lot of pain.
The feline herpesvirus produces ulcers on the surface of the cornea. The eye becomes red and watery, and the cat squints in pain. With veterinary care the ulcers usually resolve but occasionally they may rupture the eyeball or produce brown scabs on the cornea disrupting vision.
Mali's eye responded to treatment and he settled into his new home very well. Occasionally if something new comes into his environment his eye runs again but his carers know what to do and the virus rarely gets out of hand.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


mass conflict sore ears cat fight dymadon biopsy stiff introduce runny eyes cat cat worms heavy breathing furball drinking a lot computer moving rough play blocked cat stare into space weight control skin cancer examination kidneys cat vet rigid head cage flea prevention sick indoor cats holes panamax best vet outdoor cat diuretics FIV behaviour pred euthanasia not eating hearing snuffles hunter massage insulin exercise changed jumping holidays bad breath runny nose client night paralysis tick restless physical activity thyroid cat enclosure attack blood pressure learning hypertrophic cardiomyopathy sucking wool fabric information night pancreatitis panadol gasping cough prednisolone pheromone tapeworm noisy breathing xylitol dental check senses anaemia poisonous plants bladder hunting salivation poison corneal ulcer kitten play vocal kidney prey eye infection panadeine love constipation thirsty obese polish petting cat new cat cat containment bump home feliway allergy fits hospital introducing toxic paralysis sudden blindness visit painful feline enteritis pill dementia sneeze unsociable scratch abscess,cat fight urination flea treatment diarrhoea feline AIDS plants calicivirus desex appetite pain killer poisons checkup fat asthma urinating obesity revolution gifts renal disease hard faeces cancer fear liver ribbon lily diabetes breeder open night competition hole snot old allergy, lump introduction yowling thiamine deficiency overweight collapse cranky eye ulcer in season litter wool sore eyes snakebite fleas permethrin cognitive dysfunction Hill's Metabolic ulcerated nose best clinic blood blockage Canberra check-up appointment lilly enclosure heaing twitching furballs skinny hunched over face rub hiding ulcer abscess off food change drinking more cat history echocardiography urinating outside litter whiskers weight loss IBD new kitten sun rolls wet litter ACT rub worming nose scabs socialisation blind christmas stress annual check flu when to go to vet inflammatory bowel disease string slow snakes weight desexing tooth brown snake return home kitten hairball dilated pupils training cta fight nails FORLS depomedrol cat behaviour dental anxiety diet fireworks wobbles skin enemies worms poisonous feline herpesvirus AIDS lame scratching post pet insurance mouth breathing carrier cat friendly kitten deaths pain arthritis mental health of cats vomiting spey eye pain relief old cat aggressive pet meat holes in teeth itchy blindness on heat bite health check panleukopenia urinating on curtains or carpet intestine best veterinarian odour head birthday groom seizures grooming holiday teeth antibiotics eyes scratching mince vaccine comfortis plaque African wild cat hungry snake high blood pressure vet visit food puzzles strange behaviour fluid pills kibble straining herpesvirus antiviral litter box sensitive tumour home visit sense of smell cat flu goodbye headache roundworm photo competition lymphoma sensitive stomach vomit house call adipokines touch marking scale toxins behaviour change spraying ulcers catoberfest aerokat spray senior dry food dental treatment heart disease radioactive iodine sore body language train poisoning hyperactive pet panleukopaenia cystitis mycoplasma cat enclosures enteritis aggression best cat clinic hunters vision decision to euthanase hyperthyroidism tick pica lilies signs of pain urine blood test fever virus rash tablet castration sick cat crytococcosus microchip hypertension fight lick chlamydia opening hours kittens foreign body new year paralysed kidney disease aspirin open day grass breathing difficult cryptococcosis paracetamol tartar award snuffle tradesmen cortisone activity blood in urine free bed advantage Canberra Cat Vet bladder stones snake bite vaccination New Year's Eve urine spraying unwell blue joints meows a lot introductions


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions