My Cat Has Eye Problems: Personal Story

Sunday, February 26, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 7 Comments

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.

My Black Cat

The Problem

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.

VibraVet Doxycycline paste

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.

My Black Cat

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. Laughing out loud 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!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.

7 comments:

  1. it looks like he does not know what is wrong with your cat so he gave you a kill-all medicine

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  2. True, that. Actually, he just tried to "push" the drugs even though they weren't warranted. Tsk.

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  3. I've been bringing my kitties to Vets in Practice (VIP) in Mandaluyong for almost 3 years already. I used to bring them to 3 different vet clinics before that, and had no luck finding the "right fit." When I brought them to VIP, I never looked back. They have different vets (it's an animal hospital that's open 24 hours), but we go to Dr. Riza Zunio and Dr. Nielsen Donato. They have recommended herbal medicines and home remedies to us, so you know that they don't push products for profit. They really take care of your pets and even make follow ups (text/FB). They've played heroes in the lives of Qish and Rue, because they have saved my kitties' lives when I thought I would lose them already :)

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  4. Thanks, PAWsome Cats, for the suggestion! I'm also visiting your site right now. I'm glad that you left recommendations because I've been having the hardest time looking for good vets for my cat. It seems that most vets are only familiar with dogs!

    Thank God for blogs; they bring animal lovers together. :)

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  5. Did you ever find a good vet for your cat? We will be moving to Manila from the US in a few month with two cats, one which is "special needs". I'm going to need a very supportive vet.

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  6. Let me know. I'm doing this extra note as I forgot to check the "notify me" box.

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  7. Hi, Janet! Give my regards to your fur-kid. :) Yes, I did find a few clinics with awesome vets. There's Vets in Practice (in Boni, Mandaluyong) and Dog and Cat Clinic in Makati.

    I like how the vets in Vets in Practice don't try to sell me meds which I can buy outside anyway. (To say in doctors' lingo, they are not "drug pushers", hehe.)

    But the vets in Dog and Cat Clinic might be a better fit for you if you have a cat. They were recommended to me by a cat person, too! Try both clinics, just for size, and let me know which one you prefer.

    I hope my recommendations are of help. :)

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