When I shifted one of my cats became very nervous and got a stress bug, then gave it to my other cat. I’ve gone to the vet, given them antibiotics, but both were left with runny eyes (especially in winter). What can I do about this?

It’s not uncommon for cats who get an upper respiratory tract infection, to then be left with ongoing weepy eyes (and sometimes runny noses too). In most cases this is because they still have a viral condition – the most common cause is herpes virus, and less common is calici virus. Sometimes these cats need life-long management of their weepy eyes and/or snuffles.

It’s important to make sure the weepy eyes are healthy- i.e. there no inflammation or ulceration, and that there are no eyelash or eye lid abnormalities which could be causing the weepy eyes.

It can be difficult to treat these cases, but anti-viral medication can help, and in bad cases definitely should be tried. In the case of herpes, lysine (an amino acid) is also thought to help. A healthy, balanced diet is essential and added probiotics to improve overall immune health may help too.

Stress can absolutely cause worsening of signs, so needs to be avoided where possible.

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Chat soon,

Dr Claire