Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue with Ash

My sister, Amy, recently had an issue with her Ragdoll cat Ash’s area above his eye.  I asked her to write a post about it and include what the vet had to say, in case it might help someone else.

Cat Scratch Above Eye

Amy wrote, “I noticed that Ash started scratching his eye in late January, and it was getting progressively worse.

Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash

On January 30th, Ash could barely hold his eye open one night, and that is when we took him to the emergency vet (we posted about it on Facebook):

Amy thought his eye was healing nicely and posted a live video of him playing at home:

Live Video of Ash

Cat Eye Problems

But the next day, that wasn’t the case.

Our mom kindly took Ash to his regular vet, KC Cat Clinic, and Dr. Gloor explained that the ointment prescribed by the emergency vet could potentially get into the eye and possibly damage the eye/vision. After looking closely at Ash’s eye (repeating the corneal stain that the Emergency Vet did)…


Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0908
Ash at KC Cat Clinic
Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0909
Ash at KC Cat Clinic
Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0910
Ash at KC Cat Clinic
Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0911
Ash at KC Cat Clinic

Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0912Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0913

Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0916


…Dr. Gloor prescribed Ash to be given an antibiotic eye drop, and the results were pretty quick.

Email from Dr. Gloor:

From: KC Cat Clinic
Date: Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 1:02 PM
Subject: Ash
To: Amy

Hi, Amy!
I’ll try to be thorough but brief (hah!) about Ash’s visit here today. Based on the pictures that your mom showed me, his eye and skin look worse today (correct me if I’m wrong).

Ragdoll Cat Eye Issue Ash IMG_0914

I repeated a corneal stain today to be certain there was no corneal ulcer present (there isn’t) and I switched eye medications to an antibiotic eye drop instead of the antibiotic ointment in case he was having a reaction to the erythromycin ointment–sorry, the drop has to go in more often.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIOID4o2b2s[/embedyt]

I also want you to discontinue the Vetricyn topical on the skin in case it is accidentally going into his eye, as non-ophthalmic medications can damage the eye quickly if they make contact with it. Skin wounds, abrasions, and irritations in cats don’t respond as readily to topicals as they do in people, so if the skin irritations persist, we will want to do an oral antibiotic (or there is the long-acting injection).

The most common reason we see eye issues in cats is a very common herpes virus that causes upper respiratory infections in cats. This virus is all over our environment and is extremely easy to pass from one cat to another without direct contact. About 90% of cats in the world have been exposed to this virus before being vaccinated for it, and most of those cats end up as chronic carriers of the virus. Usually, the cat’s immune system can keep it under control. Still, if the cat is stressed or sick with something else, the virus can become active, and the cat can develop symptoms of upper respiratory infection like sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (like Ash), and/or corneal ulcerations. Because it is a viral issue, it has to run its course, but we use antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections that can commonly exacerbate the viral issue (that’s what we are doing with Ash’s eye).

I sent home samples of an amino-acid supplement called Lysine. This amino acid likes the same places in the body that the virus likes, so if the lysine gets there first, the virus is less likely to become active. It depends on the kitty, though–sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn’t make a difference. If he likes the chew treats or the powder mixed into canned food, let’s use it for at least a few weeks to see if it helps.

If his eye is not at least 50% better tomorrow, I want to add an anti-viral eye drop that we will call into Georgetown Compounding pharmacy. If his eye worsens, we will probably send you to the ophthalmologist.

I also think we can keep the E-collar off of him unless he is going at his eye. If he is, we need to do pain medication, not necessarily the E-collar. Give us an update tonight via email and tomorrow as well, either via email or telephone.

I was going to suggest a pain medication until his eye is better, but with the gabapentin for his visit, I was afraid that adding buprenorphine into the mix would make him loopy! (By the way, the gabapentin was fabulous for him!!) Again, let me know if you think he is still uncomfortable, and we can dispense some buprenorphine for a few days.

Sorry for the long email, but I wanted to cover everything I talked with your mom about–I hope I did. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Take care!
Dr. Gloor

We gave the eye drops for several days, and it slowly started showing healing progress. From the time that I started seeing Ash scratch above his eye to when it was almost healed up, the time span ended up being around 15 days.

How to Put Eye Drops in a Difficult Cat

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tl31Rn-JDI[/embedyt]

Dr. Gloor explained that the virus can flare up in cats when they are under stress. I had my parents dog, Parker, over for an extended period 4-6 hours and he was really curious about the cats (except the cats weren’t thrilled that he was there). That was the only thing that had changed in Ash’s environment, so I am pretty sure it was the cause of the flare-up.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Amanda Carr says:

    Thank you so much for posting this…I think it is exactly what is happening to my cat Dusk. Vet tomorrow to confirm.

  2. What a kind and thorough email from your vet! My 25 year vet retired recently and I’ve been floundering since then trying to find a replacement. I wish Dr. Gloor had a clone in the SF Bay Area! So glad Ash’s eye is doing better. Emily occasionally has a “pirate” eye but it typically clears up within the day. Nice to know this post is here to refer back to if she ever flares up and it lasts longer!


  3. ABarletta says:

    This was great Jenny. Thanks for sharing this info. I had a cat, Sebastian, who we adopted from a shelter. When we got him he had lots of seepage from his eyes. He also had a ferocious head cold. But we decided to take him home right away thinking our vet would be the best one to help us out. And we were right. Of course we didn’t know he had scratches on his cornea or that he had herpes so he must have also been in pain poor thing. Anyway, after antibiotics, taken internally, and applied to his eyes, and a long course of lysine, he was healed. Although, we had to administer lysine from time to time as the herpes never does go away. So we ended up giving him lysine treats daily to avoid flare ups and it really did prevent them. He did get a few flare ups and we never understood why. But we knew what to do when they occurred. Rush off to the vet!! He was no where nears as cooperative as sweet Ash! He saw me coming with the dropper and ran! Unfortunately, Sebbie ended up having cardiomyopathy so his life with us was short. That cat was the love of my life. Anyway, thanks for the info I will archive this video for future reference. xoxox

    1. i think amy might need to start lysine too. sorry to hear about sebbie and the cardiomyopathy…you had him when you first started following floppycats, right?

  4. Super pawesome post, pics & videos, Jenny!! Poor Ash and poor Amy!! What an ordeal! But so glad Ash is on the mend! YAY!! Dr. Gloor is AMAZING!!! Lurve the demo video by Amy on how to dispense the eye drops!! Brilliant way to contain Ash for the dosing of the drops! 🙂 <3

    I really learned a lot from you post, the vids and Dr. Gloor's very thorough e-mail to Amy! 🙂 <3

    Hoping and praying that the Ever Adorable Ashman continues to improve and will be completely healed very soon!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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