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Brown Cat Eye Discharge

by B V
(San Francisco, CA )

Reader Question: Is My Cat's Eye Discharge Contagious?


My Son's cat has had this for some time. She is an 11 year old Siamese. She has a history of eye problems. Several years back when she was younger they took her to the vet regularly

She was treated and healed. She's a house cat, never goes outside, is taken good care of in a clean loving environment except they no longer take her to the vet, can't afford it, I would if I could, but I can't. Every time I see her I clean her eyes but now she has brown runny discharge and it makes me crazy they don't take her to the vet anymore, just say she's fine, always had it but it seems to be getting worse. She is not very

Friendly, doesn't like to be messed with but allows me to groom her. She is otherwise healthy, eats’ well but stays to herself. I am afraid she's going blind. What can I do? They now have a new kitty; can she catch whatever is wrong with the older cat's eyes? Is it cancer? Thanks.

B V

Vet Answers Reader Question Regarding Brown Cat Eye Discharge

Hi,

You mentioned that your son’s cat has a history of eye problems – do you know, was she diagnosed with herpes virus infection? In some cats, this can become a chronic problem that leads to symptoms like those you describe (but other disease can do so as well).

I suspect that the brown runny discharge you describe is an overflow of tears from the eyes. Feline tears contain a pigment that turns a reddish-brown when exposed to air. Normally, the tears should drain through the tear ducts, but if a cat is making more tears than normal or if the drainage system is blocked, they can overflow onto her fur.

A diagnosis would require a trip to the veterinarian for an ophthalmic examination. If that is impossible at the moment, wiping her eyes with a warm, wet washcloth should help her be more comfortable and can also prevent secondary problems from developing.

Regards,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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