Ask the Veterinarian/allergies?



I have an indoor only, 12 years-old, female (spayed) cat. She is all current on her vaccinations (she is due this June on everything). About 1 1/2 months ago, Megan's eye began to water. It's a dark brown color. She had no other symptoms to start. A few days later, she began to sneeze and then had dry "boogies" on her nose. We took her to the vet. The vet said it was an upper respiratory infection and prescribed Clavamox. After 3 doses, Megan had a really bad reaction to it. The vet advised to stop giving her the meds and see how she is doing on Monday (this happened on a Saturday night) and if she was still not better, they would give her a different antibiotic. She seemed better by Monday so we didn't worry about it. By Thursday that week, her eye was running again. Only a few sneezes but no more nose boogies. The eye continued to run. It would stop for a day or so but then pick back up. After a month of her eye running, we took her back to the vet. During that month, Megan had a couple of coughing attacks but she has never had any open-mouth breathing or loss of appetite or anything-same old girl just a runny eye. The vet felt she had allergies and gave us an over the counter allergy med to give to her. Megan was good and took it for a couple of days (crushed in her food is the only way to get her to take meds) and her eye stopped watering. But, she began refusing to eat food with her med in it. She kept trying to steal her sister's food (sister has not been sick at all). Once Megan stopped taking her meds, her eye started watering again and now she sounds congested in her nose. I can hear whistling and a little congestion. I was concerned I was doing more harm than good by not letting her have food without her med in it. She went a whole day without eating because she did not want the med. We have been giving her l-lysine crushed in her food (500mg daily) and she eats it right up so we at least have that going right now. The vet didn't seem concerned about Megan while we were there but I worry about her because of her age and this "cold" has been going on for over a month. The vet said there is no bacterial infection because there isn't a green or yellow discharge and Megan does have a history of runny eyes this time of the year. Am I being too over-cautious with Megan? Should we make a third visit to the vet for the same thing again or is there something I can do for her at home? She gets super stressed out going to the vet so if there is no reason to take her back to the vet, I would rather help her at home. We put a humidifier out for her by her favorite chair, she is eating like a champ (as long as there aren't allergy meds in it), and we have a feliway diffuser plugged in near her chair, too. We've also been giving her diluted tuna juice to push the fluids a little bit. I hate seeing her not feeling well but I don't want to annoy the vet by bringing my cat in because she has allergies. Some days she is great. Her eye looks awesome, she is social in the house, she plays with our other cat and then she'll have a day or two where her eye is running a lot and she stays upstairs on the bed and only comes down for meals. Is this normal for allergies in a cat? I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I apologize for so many question. I really love my cat and just want her to be ok.

Well Holly,
I'm not a vet, so I cannot diagnose anything with your cat, but there are a few things here to think about.
It doesn't seem that she has a "cold" at all, but a virus of some sort that is being stubborn about leaving.

At 12 years old, cats immune systems aren't all that they were at a younger age, so it's not a surprise for her to catch something. Many feline respiratory viruses are airborne or can be brought in by us.

It sounds almost like she has an obstructed tear duct more than an actual virus. Most cats will have both eyes watering from a virus or a bacterial infection. She has one running. The stuffiness as well can be caused by a sinus that is plugged up.

This would explain the clearing of her symptoms as well when she is on the meds. Is there any way you can manually pill her and not put the pill in her food? Perhaps you could try to give her an antihistamine every couple of days instead of daily.

But I would ask the vet about her tear duct and sinuses being clogged up- whether or not the virus is causing it or a foreign object is doing it. Something as simple as a grass seed or a hair can cause this.

If this is normal for her to have runny eyes this time of year, it could also be something in your house that she is having issues with. Maybe the air conditioning, or new rugs or covers on the furniture.

All of these things are worth investigating. It's good that you are getting a lot of fluids into her. She needs those regardless of her eyes.
What are you feeding her? Does her diet change with the weather? Does she go outside more now?

Take a look around and see if there is anything that comes out of storage etc. this time of year that could be causing this.

If all else fails, call the vet and ask about her tear duct possibly being clogged up.

I hope you can find the answer soon. Please let me know how she does.

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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