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What is Eye Discharge?

While occasional eye discharge may not be a great concern, chronic or long-term recurring eye discharge should be addressed with your veterinarian. Many of the diseases and conditions that cause eye discharge can cause blindness or systemic infection and seeking early veterinary attention can help save the sight of your cat.

Eye discharge in cats is typically a symptom of an underlying condition and not a disease in itself. Eye discharge is usually an indication of an infection, injury, or other problem and can cause serious discomfort for your cat. From seeping discharge to scratching, pain, or irritation, eye discharge is an uncomfortable symptom for your pet. 

Eye Discharge Average Cost

From 559 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Eye Discharge in Cats

Eye discharge in your cat can vary in consistency, frequency and irritation levels. In some cats, eye discharge may occur on its own. In others, it may show up in connection with one or more additional symptoms. Signs of eye discharge and conditions related to eye discharge in your cat may include:

  • Substance accumulating around edges of eyes ranging from thin and watery to thick and mucus-like
  • Crusty formations around edges of eyes indicating dried discharge
  • Cat itching eyes or continuously rubbing face against humans or household objects
  • Red, swollen, or irritated-looking eyes
  • Excessive wetness to tear area on cat’s face
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Causes of Eye Discharge in Cats

Eye discharge in your cat may be a symptom of a number of different conditions. Some of the most common causes of eye discharge may include:

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Eye infection
  • Upper respiratory infection that has blocked tear ducts
  • Allergies
  • Foreign object in eye
  • Injury of eye
  • Ulcers of the various structures of the eye
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Diagnosis of Eye Discharge in Cats

Since eye discharge is a symptom shared by a number of underlying diseases and conditions, diagnosis of your cat’s medical issue will begin with a process called a differential diagnosis. This is an investigative technique in which your veterinarian will attempt to rule out the most common causes of the condition until he or she finds an underlying cause that most accurately fits the entirety of your cat’s symptoms. This type of diagnosis will require cat owners to provide as much detail as possible regarding the cat’s condition at the initial veterinary visit. You should inform your veterinarian of when the symptoms first began, whether there has been any worsening or improvement, and whether there are additional symptoms besides eye discharge that may help your veterinarian narrow down the specific underlying cause. 

During your initial visit, your vet will perform a thorough physical exam. Your vet may check your cat’s temperature, check them over for any sore or tender areas and also request a standard blood panel. All of these procedures will help your vet determine whether your cat is suffering from an underlying system-wide infection, or perhaps is having an allergic reaction or suffering from seasonal allergies. 

The most definitive diagnostic tool for determining the underlying cause of eye discharge in your cat will be an exam of the eye using a tool called an ophthalmoscope, the same device used in human eye exams. This will allow your vet to see a magnified view of the eye. Your vet may also want to look at your cat’s eyes under this same microscope after application of dye in a procedure known as a fluorescein eye stain test. In this test, harmless eye drops are applied to your cat’s eye which will react under certain lights. This allows your vet to see the contours of your cat’s eye and to check for ulcers or other injury.

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Treatment of Eye Discharge in Cats

Treatment of eye discharge in your cat will depend on the cause of the symptoms and the underlying condition. In the case of conjunctivitis, your vet may prescribe prescription drops or eye ointment to help fight off infection. They may also prescribe oral medications to help support your cat and fight system-wide infection. 

Eye Flushes may also be performed at your vet’s office to clear the eye of any debris or foreign material. In many cases, this procedure can be done while your cat is awake and alert. Depending on the location and severity of any foreign bodies, sedation may be required in order to completely eliminate the material from your cat’s eyes.

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Recovery of Eye Discharge in Cats

Depending on the underlying condition, the prognosis for recovery from eye discharge is very good. Your cat will need supportive home care in order to alleviate symptoms as they heal. Regular cleaning of the eyes should also be performed in order to eliminate as much of the eye discharge as possible and help your cat be more comfortable. In cases of infection, it will be important to closely follow all veterinary instructions regarding drops or ointments as these conditions may recur if not completely healed.

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Eye Discharge Average Cost

From 559 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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Eye Discharge Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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?

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss, Fur Loss, Gunk In Eye

He is losing fur quickly, he is really skinny and keeps having his eye shut by gunk coming from the eye, doesn't run around like he use to sleeps alot

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry your dog is not feeling well. Unfortunately, without being able to examine him I can't say what might be going on with him, but he sounds quite sick. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as they can see him, examine him, and see what might be going on. Once they know more, they will be able to give you a better idea as to what treatment he might need so that he is healthy again. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 7, 2020

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Maine coon

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One month old

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eatting

My kitty has his eyes closed and he cannot open them, when i opened his eyes to clean them their is glue- like white mucus, what can i do?

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question . Kittens can get severe infections of the eyes at a young age that can affect their vision for the rest of their lives. If you are noticing a thick mucus that is keeping him from opening his eyes normally, it would be best to have the kitten seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine the kitten and see what might be going on, and get medication for him. I hope that all goes well for him!

Aug. 4, 2020

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Domestic shorthair/tabby

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Discharge

Yesterday he threw up a hairball in the morning along with some stomach bile and threw up again a few hours later and his poop was a little wetter than normal not quite diarrhea though. Today he ate a little bit not normal amount though and now his left eye is watery and boogers

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, so sorry to hear about your cat. This can be a hairball causing him to vomit or gastroenteritis. if he is not eating or lethargic it would be best to see a vet. You can try some hairball medication for an upset stomach. You can clean the eye with saline that is used for contacts in your cat's eye. If you see any green discharge from his eye, this would be a sign of infection that would need vet attention. I hope your cat gets to feeling better soon.

July 31, 2020

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Maine coon

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Sixteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss, Fur Loss, Eye Infection, Drooling, Black Nose Discharge

We noticed our cat changing behavior several weeks ago when he stopped sleeping with us and would hide under the bed. He now hides in the back of the closet. For the past 2 weeks we've noticed he has lost weight and fur, and today we've noticed he has puss coming out of his eye, black discharge coming out of his nose, he's drooling, and his breath smells like sewage.

July 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello I'm sorry that your pet is not feeling well. Weight loss, eye and nasal discharge, and bad breath are definitely symptoms that are concerning. I recommend that you take him to a veterinarian for an exam. They will be able to run some diagnostic tests to figure out what is going on, and hopefully send home some medication. Hope your kitty feels better soon.

July 28, 2020

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Kitten

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2 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Green Gunk In Eyes , Coughing , Irregular Urine , Dehydrated

What does the green gunk mean could it be from a respiratory problem? I think he has mange from the hair loss on his face & ears , which has progressed to the rest of his body & I can’t explain what the urine looked like I do have a picture. I got him @ sometime around 2:00 07/21/2020 and it is now 3:40 in the morning and his belly is still full. I scheduled an appointment for next Thursday but I don’t know if I should push for sooner ? He also won’t fully open his eyes but I’ve been cleaning out his eyes with Q-Tips

July 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question . The green color means it is infected, and from your description, I think I would push for a sooner appointment. Explain how sick the kitten is looking and that you are not sure that he will make it and that the mange is worsening. I hope that he is okay.

July 22, 2020

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Nebula

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Domestic Shorthair/Calico

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Itching
Discharge
Squinting
Conjunctivitis
Excessive Tearing

About a month after our newly adopted blind kitten and Nebula had been introduced, they were playing frequently but then Nebula took a kitten nail in the eye. This resulted in a visit to the vet and the comfy cone while the eye healed. We were giving her Prednisolone Acetate for the pain. Then about a week the signs of conjunctivitis started appearing in both eyes. Another visit to the vet, and then she was put on Terramycin, which seemed to help but not completely so after another 10 days back to the vet and added Cidofovir to the list of meds. At that point we were almost a month into trying to get her eyes to heal. The original cause (kitten scratch) had healed within the first 5-7 days mind you. It has now been almost 2 months and her eyes are still infected, more one than the other. One is almost in the clear and the other is still showing all the symptoms. She has another vet appointment early next week, but this is getting to be worrisome. The duration of this infection is why I labeled this as "serious".

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Loki

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Maine coone mix

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Discharge

My 5 year old part Maine Coon cat has been having some gunk in his eyes. We had a case of fleas about a month ago and that’s when I noticed his eyes. It seems to have gotten better, he’s eating fine and no behavioral concerns. I do have to clean his eyes out every few days and have noticed some blackish spots around his lids and I just wipe with a warm cloth. I have started to notice about once a week, he’s get a a big clear glob in his eye that I have to clean. Is this something that I should be worried about? I can’t really afford a vet bill right now, any suggestions? We also recently moved back to a drier climate (South Carolina to North Carolina).

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Peter

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Black and white

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7 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

My kitten has green “booger’s” coming from both eyes. Eyes have been swollen. He also sneezes quite a bit. And his back legs twitch almost like he is having a seizure but it’s not a seizure it’s just twitching but why?. He still eats and drinks and goes potty normally. I also don’t have allot of money to spend on a vet right now before he goes to his new home. Any ideas??

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Pumpkin

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Orange tabby

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Watery Eyes
Green Discharge

My cat has been getting green discharge and has watery eyes and has gotten to a point where he can barely open his eye. We haven’t gone into the vet yet but we are making an appointment on Monday. This has been happening for 4 days and trying to treat it by wiping the discharge out with a wet rag or wet q-tip. None of this seems to be working and his eye is getting worse! I have cleaned everything to make sure she won’t get sick. Is the any other treatments we could do before his appointment? Please anything will help!!

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Kirry

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DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

Six Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Discharge

My cat lives outside and came back one day with her left eye watering white stuff and she keeps trying to close the eye. She's not showing any discomfort but she's not allowing us to clean or flush the eye with warm water. Please what can i do to help my cat so she doesn't loose the eye.

Eye Discharge Average Cost

From 559 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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