Question: I have a litter of baby kittens with red weepy eyes. Can I get an antibiotic ointment for them, or what can I do to help keep them comfortable?
Answer: At this time of the year we see many kittens with eye problems. Most of the eye problems begin when the kitten becomes infected with a virus- often a Herpes type upper respiratory virus. This virus typically causes inflammation of the eyes resulting in redness, irritation and discharge. We often see sneezing associated with this virus as well. If the discharge from the eyes and nose stays clear, it usually indicates that we are only dealing with a virus- which will need to run the course. Applying a warm wet washcloth to the eyes while they are irritated helps to decrease the inflammation present. The warm compresses also help to clean the discharge and keep any skin infections from occurring due to the excess moisture. If the eyes or nose develop a green or yellow discharge, I would recommend scheduling an appointment for the kitten as there is probably a secondary bacterial infection now present; this infection would need antibiotics to help clear. Even if the eye discharge stays clear, if it is not improving or worsens at any time I would also recommend examining the kitten as there are many other things which can cause red eyes such as corneal scratches or ulcers.