When Ed Hodges noticed that his new kitten, George, had weepy eyes, he trusted his instincts and booked a vet check-up straight away. Here he shares how that made all the difference to his pet’s sight.
Ed Hodges, and his wife Kitty, took their kitten George to the vet for his vaccinations and a routine check-up when he was just a few weeks old. They had noticed that their little cat had slightly watery eyes, and the vet confirmed there was a problem.
‘As soon as he saw George, the vet diagnosed him with feline chlamydophila,’ Ed says. Chlamydophila is a relatively common condition in cats, and causes conjunctivitis (inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that covers the front of the eye). It is often passed from the mother to her litter and is also frequently seen in kittens from multi-cat households.
Ed and Kitty were devastated to hear that George had a really bad case, and that his eyesight might be affected as a result. But, because the vet was able to diagnose it so quickly, it could be treated swiftly with eye drops.
‘It wasn’t an easy job to put the drops in George’s eye, as no cat likes being restrained or having something near their face,’ Kitty recalls. ‘But, otherwise, he was very kittenish and is still the loveliest, most affectionate cat,’ she adds. Thankfully, George made a fully recovery and even took to sleeping with the family dog in his basket. ‘It just took a while for the symptoms to disappear,’ says Ed. ‘In all the photos of him as a kitten, George has weeping eyes.’
George is now a healthy and much-loved family cat, but the Hodges know that they were lucky to have caught it when they did. They suggest that fellow pet owners should act quickly if they suspect that something isn’t right with their pet.
Clare Hamilton, a vet at Hamilton Specialist Referrals, agrees: ‘We always recommend early check-ups, especially with a new kitten, as there are problems that you can’t always see and your pet can’t tell you if there’s something wrong. For example, even a vet wouldn’t know that their own pet had a heart murmur unless they listened with a stethoscope.’ And Clare adds that, nowadays, many conditions are treatable, or in some cases curable: ‘especially if they’re found early’.