My Cat Has Eye Problems: Personal Story
In my previous post, I narrated about cat eye problems and how I tried to find a good veterinarian in Manila after my cat had purulent secretions in his left eye. My cat seemed to have conjunctivitis, and the veterinarian I found seemed to have lied to me. Read about it here. And to continue my story, let me tell you one more problem with the veterinarian I found.
When I got home, things got interesting. I checked the oral antibiotics and I found out it was a Doxycycline formulation. Doxycycline is usually given to treat many conditions, one of which is chlamydial conjunctivitis. But my cat’s conjunctivitis was not chlamydial in nature. It was not severe enough to warrant oral Doxycycline on top of ophthalmic antibiotics and steroids.
Besides, it had serious side effects. In any practice, may it be in treating humans or animals, giving antibiotics is done with due prudence. You have to weigh the risks versus the benefits. Giving a drug with a dangerous profile may be warranted in serious infections, but giving them in eye infections that may be treated with ophthalmic drops alone is unwise.
Unwarranted Antibiotic Treatment
The disadvantages of giving an antibiotic such as Doxycycline if it is not even necessary are the following:
- Possible development of drug resistance. In other words, the drug may not work as well in the future, if my cat develops a serious gastrointestinal infection, for instance. (This is why we discourage antibiotic therapy if you are suffering from the common cold, which is viral, not bacterial, in nature).
- Doxycycline carries with it a rather scary side effect profile. Its side effects include allergic reactions that may warrant emergency treatment, photosensitivity, liver problems, and kidney problems.
In a nutshell, I disagree with the proposed treatment plan for my cat. I know what you must be thinking: I’m a “person doctor”, not “an animal doctor”. But principles of antibiotic therapy are very similar. Dosing and preparation may be different, but principles of antibiotic treatment are basically the same.
I did not want to call the veterinarian and ask for a clarification. I felt that we had a very long talk and he had his chance. I already caught him with an inconsistency (he lied about what he thought caused my cat’s conjunctivitis, whether it was bacterial or viral in nature), and I didn’t want him to explain why oral Doxycycline was warranted when we both knew it wasn’t. It would have been an argument where nobody gets to win. It would have been a futile discussion, unless he was willing to admit that he just wanted to sell the drugs.
Or maybe I am being the typical emotional and stressed animal lover with a sick pet, worrying like a parent would for his child. This is why doctors can be such difficult patients: they think they know better. Of course, sometimes, maybe they actually do, but it will all be a matter of opinion.
In any case, I hope my dear cat gets well soon. By the way, when I got home, I picked a fight with my boyfriend, screamed a little, burst into tears, and bawled like a baby. Over my cat’s pink eye, at that! Hahaha. My boyfriend was nice enough to understand that I was just lashing out because I was sick with worry. I guess this speaks volumes about how much my cat means to me.
Secretly, I hope my cat lives forever. But then again, who would take care of my immortal cat after I die? Now, that’s great material for another blog post. I hope my dear kitty cat’s eye problems go away soon! And if you know of a good veterinarian in Manila that you can recommend, please do!