Feline – Cat – Herpes of the Eye – Bacterial Eye Infection or Viral Eye Infection or Granuloma of the Eye

Treating my 2 year old female cat with a viral herpes infection of her eye.

Update: May 6 2021 – Feline Granuloma of the Eyelid

After 4 years of a constant battle with Millie’s eye with perpetual courses of treatment (see below), we finally figured out that she had neither herpes of the eye or a chronic eye infection, it ended up being a Granuloma of the eye. Two weeks of Prednisone and it cleared up.

If it seems that your cat is not responding to herpes or chronic eye infection treatments, make sure that you ask about feline granuloma.


Our cat Millie is less than two years old. She was living at our vet’s office before we adopted her. When she was at the vet and after we adopted her she has suffered with a couple of minor eye infections. But the infection she has now is persistent.

This latest eye infection started at the end of the summer with the sticky goo in the corner of her eye and the famous eye infection squint. We started with Ciprofloxacin and moved on to Ofloxacin, one drop, twice a day. After 14 days the infection seemed to be gone but a few days after we finished with the drops, the goo and the squint came back. We started a second treatment lasting 21 days, after about a week or so the goo and the squint came back again. We are now on the third go round.

Obviously, we had been warned that most likely her eye has a viral (herpes) infection but we were all hoping that it would be a quick one and that the antibacterial drops would treat the symptom until the viral infection went into remission. It seems the the viral infection creates the bacterial infection – or allows an environment for a bacterial infection. The antibacterial drops after a week makes the eye appear cured.

At the start of the 3rd infection, our vet ordered Famciclovir (antiviral) pills to be administered twice a day for two weeks ($140 at Walgreen’s). Millie would not take them on her own, (through the pill pockets or by the pill being crushed in her food). I do not have the stomach to shove the pill down her throat or shoot it in with the ‘pill giver’.

It is so incredibly frustrating and saddening that you read online that a herpes viral will last about 14 days and we are about to start the fourth month of this!

I will keep you informed, and I will continue this blog as to how long this first virus lasts and how long we stay in remission before it rears it’s ugly head again and what treatment works the best . Anything you have to add to this discussion would be greatly helpful, thanks!

This is a running time-frame from November – The original infection started in August:

Update, November 14, 2018: We’ve been staggering out the antibacterial eye drops Ofloxacin. Just trying to out ‘live’ the herpes. I am hoping that it will go away on it’s own. We started with two drops a day and went to 1 drop a day for a week and now we are only putting in one drop every other day. At the end of this week we are going to try one drop every three days for a week or so. Her eye still looks pretty good.

Update, Thanksgiving day, November 22, 2018: I thought we were ahead of this herpesvirus but two treatments after downgrading to one drop every three days, the bacterial infection in her right eye came roaring back last night. So sad. I guess we are going to have to return to the idea of shoving the pill, Famciclovir, down her throat or see if the vet will be able to get some kind of antiviral drops Cidofovir. It’s been almost four months since this began, it was just about the beginning of September when we started with the Ofloxacin drops.

Update, Sunday November 25th, 2018: I talked to the vet on Saturday and she ordered Cidofovir, antiviral eye drops. She said that they are as effective as the Famciclovir pills. We should have them from Stokes Pharmacy on Wednesday.

Update, Wednesday, December 12th, 2018: We just finished a 14 day course of Cidofovir. Last night was her last drop. There was a discrepancy on the length of treatment Online. Some papers showed a 14 day course with a post treatment of 10 days. Hopefully, the 14 days will be all we need. Millie’s eye looks great this morning. I’ll keep you informed.

Update, Wednesday, December 19th, 2018: A week has passed since we finished the course of Cidofovir antiviral drops. So far, it looks fairly good, there is really very little inflammation in her eye and the shape of the eye is mostly normal. She still has been getting a minor amount of goo and ‘sleepy dust’ in her eye at times. She still has bouts of of squinting, especially after a nap. This past Saturday evening, I thought we were going to have to start the drops again but later her eye looked fine. I assume that this is what I’ve read as ‘shedding’. In a few articles they mention some kind of 10-14 day post treatment along with the first 14 days of initial treatment to take care of the shedding, I assume to allow for the whole virus to complete healing. I would definitely bring this up with your vet if you are getting either the Cidofovir or the Famciclovir.

Update, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019: It’s been over 2 months since my last update. Millie has been doing great. She has some weeks (or consecutive days) where her eye gets a bit squinty and maybe a bit of goo and crust but nothing inflamed. I’m not sure if this is part of the Herpes or some symptom or scarring or minor irritation from the disease. Knocking on wood that this is it for a while.

This is a good article (pdf) written by J. Seth Eaton, VMD, DACVO
Veterinary Ophthalmologist, Ocular Services On Demand (OSOD)
Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis. He actually suggests to give the L-Lysine as a pill and not add it to food. Not sure if that would make things any better. Click Here.

Notes: Millie has a totally stress free environment here, so I assume that a herpes outbreak can occur without stress. I’ve read online where people are guilty for taking a vacation and coming home to a herpes outbreak.

Notes: I heard administering a pill could cause stress that could in fact prolong the virus. Luckily, giving the drops here has been easy, we’ve made a game of it, by playing before administering the drops and give a great treat after, either snacks or broth.

Improve Your Relationship to Your New Kitten or Cat

I just read an anecdote online today about a couple who got a new cat. In this scenario, I am the wife: The wife wanted a cat so badly and she finally convinced her husband to adopt. After all of that, to the wife’s dismay, the cat ended up bonding with the husband and was reticent towards her.

What we learned here is that cats see an overly affectionate human as being aggressive.

If you find your new cat is a bit reticent with you, still spend a lot if time with them, but go about your day as if the cat isn’t there. When you hear them meow or coo, throw out a few snacks with a few near your feet. Let them come to you and only reach out to pet when invited. Avoid direct eye contact or lower your eyes. And be sure to switch off with your partner feeding and litter cleaning duties.

A kitten will especially bond with one person in a household anyway, so be patient, all kittens grow up.

Good luck, and I love you for taking care of these wonderful creatures!


Why Taking Richard Kline’s Comedy Class was the Best Thing I’ve Done

My wife Anne and I just finished a four, Saturday comedy course with Richard Kline. The class study was about reading and reacting to both comedy scripts and comic setups. Basically an effort to learn to emote in a comic way using timing and emphasis on comic phrasing.

RichardKline_1840I have no goals or aspirations of being a comic actor but the experience was so fulfilling and interestingly enough, an incredibly valuable tool for many aspects of my working and social life. Who doesn’t want to be more interesting in the way they speak – as opposed to monotone. A lot of the study was about emphasizing certain words that could transform a seemingly mundane sentence into a funny one.

Just the performance aspect of learning short scripts and performing them was helpful for anyone who is shy in social situations or business meetings. And learning the comic ‘setup’, is helpful for any kind of writing by enabling a wider range for sentence structure and articulation.

Another fun side-effect of this course is that now, when I watch my favorite sitcoms, I see how hard it is. I used to see my favorite actors at face value, just as funny people in real life. Now, I can kind of dissect what the actors are going for and truly appreciate the nuance and the writing – good or bad.

I highly recommend this course with Richard, or something similar in your locale.

Tech Support – Should they Really be Called Techs?

Should ‘Techs’ at tech support really be called techs? How many of you after calling tech support with the question, “I’m having trouble with my [fill in the blank here __________ ]”, actually gotten a satisfied answer?  Ok, I’ll be gracious, maybe 10% of the time?

What we now calls ‘techs’  are really what we used to call ‘slackers’.  A bunch of newly employed kids at tech companies, probably making  minimum wage, with about 1 day of training, answering phones.  If you watch the movie Clerks, the character Randall is a good example of a ‘slacker’.

Our world has become so technologically complex.  We have people, the smart people, the engineers and coders who are just out of Stanford or MIT or Harvard.  They are hired to bang out code for whatever complex piece of software or weird new fancy device or something. These people are insulated by this society of what we call ‘techs’.  I’m sure in that 1 day of orientation before they are put on the phones, techs are instructed to never elevate a support ticket to a more ‘qualified’ tech. Ever.

Because of this structure, it becomes a full time job for someone with a buggy device or piece of software to ever be able to solve any problems.

Our Environment

Thanks greenbristolblog

I can’t believe that there is such a  big debate on global warming.

I was watching one of the last Bill Maher shows this season (Episode 190) where he had as guests, the wife of Carl Sagan and Seth MacFarlane.  Seth MacFarlane made the point that even if there is only a small chance that we (all people) are creating global warming,  that the problem should be addressed.  The conservative guest that night, Amy Holmes mentioned that the expense of changing to a cleaner energy source would be too expensive for us to bear with the government deficit.

First of all, I don’t think you have to be Carl Sagan to realize that sucking every bit of oil out from under the Earth and burning it on top of the Earth is bad for the environment. Let alone coal, gas and whatnot.  (Plus, I wonder what the side effects of removing all of the viscosity from the Earth by removing all of the oil? Are we going to have serious tectonic problems from this?)

Secondly, When Barack Obama was running for president he wasn’t talking about government paying for clean energy, he was talking about helping create an industry in this country at which we could have been on the forefront maybe better than our film or auto industry.  But Americans love having the Chinese make everything for us.  Now they are producing probably all of the solar panels.

If every home in the South and South West had solar panels on their roofs they could power not only their houses but their cars. That is like a third of the country.

The only environmental upside I can see is that oil is going be pretty much gone in the next 20 years or so.  Whatever little is left will be too expensive to suck out of the ground.  If by that time, rising tides don’t cause the displacement of millions who in turn will have be developed into areas where they then have to cut down more trees to accommodate them there by accelerating warming more… we’ll be in pretty good shape.

The Supermarket

At the supermarket today, I observed a new weird quirk with the shoppers that was pervasive and I figured that this must be a symptom of the bad economy.  Now, I’ve always had run-ins with shoppers parked in the middle of the aisles studying the ingredients of some product as if they were working on their PHD on Skippy peanut butter additives, but this is different. Almost on every aisle I landed on, there were people taking items off the shelves, tenderly holding them, squeezing them gently (not just the fruit – everything), gazing longingly at the product and then restocking them back on the shelf.  There was no label reading involved.  Very sad.