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April 21, 2018

I often get phone calls about litters of kittens with “eyes full of gunk” and questions follow wondering what they can do to help the kittens.  These are usually kittens on farms with high numbers of other cats living on the farm. I call this condition Kitten Conjunctivitis.


The cause of this Kitten Conjunctivitis is usually a virus.  Herpes, Chlamydia, and Calici virus are the most common. Although these are viruses, veterinarians often prescribe antibiotics to treat and prevent secondary (opportunistic) infections.


If the kittens are thinner than normal, not eating well, have noses full of snot and sneezing a ton, then take them to your veterinarian as soon as you can as this condition can be fatal.  However, if they are full of energy and eating well, then my can try some things at home first.


There are a few things you can try at home before taking the litter of kittens to your veterinarian:

  • Make sure kittens (and mom if still nursing) are moved to a location that is not crowded with other cats as stress will add to the immune system stress and more severe symptoms.

  • Kitten location should be warm, dry, dust free and have plenty of fresh food and water.

  • Wipe the kittens eyes with a warm wet washcloth several times a day.  If any kittens eyes are glued shut due the the dry drainage then gently open the eyes with the washcloth.

  • In some cases, topical antibiotic ointment will be needed.  My go to eye ointment, which you can buy right at Farm and Fleet is Terramycin (oxytetracycline with polymyxin B).  You will want to put this in the kittens eyes three times daily for at least 5-7 days. Keep cleaning the eyes before placing the ointment.   Note of caution: some kittens can be allergic to the eye ointment. If eyes do not start to improve within 2-3 days or eyes get worse and kittens rub eyes then they may be allergic to the medication.  Call your veterinarian in this case.


If you have tried these suggestions and the kittens are not improving within 2-3 days, then it is time to take them into your veterinarian.  The veterinarian will likely want to test them for some contagious diseases (Feline Leukemia Virus-FeLV and Feline Infection Viremia-FIV) and prescribe oral antibiotics.

You can easily prevent your kittens from getting this Kitten Conjunctivitis by vaccinating all cats on your farm.  The vaccine is called a 3-way vaccine or “distemper”. The vaccine doesn’t guard against every single virus that causes Kitten Conjunctivitis, but, by preventing some of the infections, the kittens own immune system will be able fight off the rest much easier.  The 3-way vaccine that your veterinarian carries is going to be the best quality vaccine. However, farms often cannot afford to have the veterinarian vaccinate the cats.  In that case, head down to Farm and Fleet and get their cat vaccination Rhinotracheitis-Calicivirus-Panleukopenia.
April 23, 2018

Answers to common questions for PurpleCatVet:


My cat might be pregnant.  Will you still spay her?


When faced with this possibility, the first thing to ask yourself is: do I want kittens?  Can I and and will I be responsible for ensuring the kittens find a loving home? If you can be responsible for the kittens being placed in a home that will provide not only food and shelter but also vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, then yes, let her have the kittens and do not bring her to be spayed.


However, if you are not prepared to raise kittens, then you should consider having her spayed.  Your pregnant female cat will be spayed and have her uterus and ovaries removed along with any kitten fetuses.


Sometimes, we do not know that a female is pregnant until we start the surgery.  Because the anesthesia will potentially harm the kittens, we will go ahead and spay her.  This is clearly stated on your surgery consent form.


Cats are pregnant for about 62-63 days.  If you think she might be pregnant and want her to have the kittens, then wait on her surgery for 2 months.  During this time keep her inside exclusively to determine if she is going to have kittens or not.


I think my cat has fleas.  Can I still bring her?


All cats, whether they are indoor exclusively or indoor/outdoor or ferral, have the potential to have fleas.  All cats should be on a flea preventative. Please place a Frontline, Revolution or Bravecto on your cat 24 hours prior to his/her surgery if you think there are fleas present.  


In order to remove and prevent all fleas from affecting pets in your house, the following procedure must be strictly followed:

  • All cats and dogs should have a high quality flea treatment monthly for 3 months minimum.  (Veterinary exclusive products are the best such as Frontline and Bravecto).

  • All bedding (human and pet) and rugs should be washed in hot water and dried at high temperature.

  • All hard floors should be mopped with hot water.

  • All carpet needs to be vacuumed and the vacuum cleaner bag thrown away.  Canister-type vacuums should have the canister contents tossed and filters cleaned.

  • Consider the outdoor environment where rabbits and other small animals could be hiding/sleeping and dropping flea eggs.  These areas are a continual source of re-infection and should be blocked off from your pets. Treatment of these areas with insecticides is idea.


Can you be my regular veterinarian?


Purple Cat Mobile Veterinary Clinic is exclusively a low-cost spay/neuter cat only clinic at this time.  In order to keep costs down, it is necessary that the clinic only perform cat spays and neuters and select vaccinations.  


Our surgeon and founder, Dr. Angie Ruppel, works several days per week at the Northern Lakes Veterinary Clinic in Cumberland, WI.  Consider bringing your pets there to have her as your regular veterinarian.


This surgery is so much less than what my regular veterinarian charges.  How do I know this is a quality surgery?


Our surgeries are most certainly high quality and comparable to what your regular veterinarian would do.  We use the same anesthesia drugs and the same type of monitoring. There are several reasons we can charge less than your regular veterinarian.


The biggest reason we can offer low cost surgery is that we specialize in cat spays and cat neuters.  Working with only one species with only the need for sterilization surgery gives us the opportunity to become very fast and proficient.  This reduces the time needed to perform the surgeries and therefore we can perform more surgeries in a given time period for less cost.


The other most important reason we can offer low cost surgery is that we function with a very low number of paid staff members.   Because we have a very small mobile clinic and specialize in feline sterilization surgeries on, we do not need more than a few staff members.  We rely on word of mouth and the area shelters and humane societies to advertise for us.


Since you are not a regular veterinary clinic open 6 days a week, what do I do if my cat has a surgery complication?FA

If you have a concern about your cat following  his or her surgery at our clinic, and you think it is related to the surgery, please call the Purple Cat Mobile Veterinary Clinic phone number on your surgery discharge instructions.  We will return your call as soon as possible during normal business hours (8am-5pm) and often into the evening up to 9pm. If you have a concern outside of these hours, please contact the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic.  This includes Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service in Duluth, MN at (218)302-8000 and Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Oakdale, MN at (651)501-3766.

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