How to give eye medication to a cat

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn. I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my
series of practical skills for pet owners. I’m here with Lancelot to show you how to administer eye medications to a cat. Now before we get going please remember to hit like and subscribe below. And don’t forget to squish that Bell notification icon so that you get updates on all my future videos and livestreams. So giving medications to a cat is- it’s always a little bit intimidating to owners, and Aww look at those squints I think Lancelot approves of being here. Giving eye meds can be a little bit scary mostly because we’re all a bit- kind of touchy about the eyes,
you know they’re such a fragile organ but really giving eye meds is not that hard. I would say it’s probably easier than
giving oral medications to felines and like with anything else like any other skill around pet handling or medicating it’s just a question of practice
the first couple times you do it are difficult and then it gets to be easy. Now before we get going, let me talk to you a little bit about the kind of indications where you might use eye medications. Typically in cats we use them for infections, cats can also get allergies that are expressed in the eyes. Occasionally if your cat gets an eye ulcer they can use medications to treat those. That’s probably the most common indications and of course they’re also used for the treatment of glaucoma. Now if you have a dog the technique is exactly the same as it is in the cats. I think you will find watching this video to be quite useful because you can certainly do the exact same thing. And one more thing I’d like to say before we get going here is- and this is a bit of a plug for animal welfare. Most eye problems need to be treated as emergencies. But there’s one particular thing that if you see that you really, really should go see a vet about right away and what that is- is one eye squinting. if one eye is squinted shut and I’m not just talking about a slow blink that cats will sometimes do when they’re falling asleep and they
kind of blink with one eye really slowly. That’s just a cat being really relaxed around you and affectionate. But if an animal is looking at you with one eye squeezed shut or just one eye kind of obviously squinting relative together that is typically interpreted as a sign of pain. And should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. It is also a presenting sign of glaucoma, which is a very painful eye condition. And so if you see one squinting eye on your pet you really should get to a vet. Treat it as an emergency. Because these are very- particularly glaucomas, are very time sensitive. You really just have- It’s really just a question of hours for you to intervene to save vision in that eye and potentially save the eye itself. Lancelot is getting a little too relaxed here. Don’t worry mate. We’ll get to you in a second. So please watch out for those squinting eyes, you know otherwise people usually come with eye problems with animals have discharge from the eye or kinda crustiness or redness and that’s all– that’s all well and good but if it’s one squinting eye that you really want to watch out for. Right? All right, so to demonstrate here I have some just eye lube. This is going to be our proxy eye medication. Now, you can get eye meds either as drops or as gels. Gels typically work better because it stays in the eye longer and more reliably. Drops are typically easier to administer in a really contrary patient. So I always try to use gel medications. And there’s very, very few cases where the owners can’t give them and then I’ve used eyedrops. I know a lot of vets will prescribe eyedrops. But from my training that phlebologist I trained under always preferred eye lube, and he made a really rational case for it. So I think it’s a really good idea to use gels for eye treatments if you can and if not, then drops will probably do but there you have it. Eo we’re gonna use this eye lubricating gel as a proxy for a medicated ointment to put into the eye. I guess when I say gel I mean ointments or gels or anything that’s gonna gummy and just stays in the eye for a while. And we’re gonna position ourselves for success by having Lancelot in our cat administration position or a cat medication administration position. That’s a very awkward mouthful, but essentially facing away from you. Maybe like, I’m right-handed, so he’s tucked a little bit into my left arm. I can squish him if need be. And I’m just gonna gently position my hand under his chin. I’m gonna give him a little chin tickle. He thinks this is just me being really affectionate. I’m gonna guide him to look up. Now you have to be a little bit careful doing this in older cats cats with neck pain or osteoarthritis in the neck. You really don’t want to crank their head up like this. You got to be really careful and those cats you just have to kind of reach- reach forward and kind of strain a little bit to get the medications in the eye, but in any cat with a comfortable neck you just tilt the head up like that with one finger under the chin just a little gentle tickle. Really kind of taking it easy, but be gentle but firm. Good idea to have the cap off your meds first. Hey Mr. Lancelot. and then we’re just gotta squeeze this directly into the eye. Now a lot of people like to put medication on their finger and then squeeze into the eye. I used to do that when I was just starting out as a student. Honestly putting meds directly into the eye is actually much, much faster and honestly I think safer and more effective because if you just put it on your finger you’re not really gonna touch the finger to the eyeball. You end up smearing it around their eyelids most of the time. So just tilt the chin up for the medication. And just squeeze it right into the eye. And you can expect that kind of reaction and if it goes all over the place you can give it a little- smear around, then into the other eye. Boop just like that. That’s– that was an ideal administration. Notice, feels a little funny, it’s a little cold in the eyeballs, but that’s basically how you do it. You’ll notice how the second time the second eye I just got it right on the eye there good little dollop of medication, you know the label will often say one quarter-inch or give you some specification, but really you just want to squeeze some gel or some ointment onto the eyeball and your job is done. It’ll go all over the place and get to everywhere it needs to be. Hey Lance, I’m so sorry. *smooch* So yeah, so you see you can see if you get a close-up on his eyes that the ointment is just gonna melt it on the eye and it’s kind of all over the place. This whole eye is lubricated. It probably feels really nice right now. I mean, though obviously there’s a little bit of a startle there. But that’s how you do it. And I recommend doing this right before you put down a cat’s food. If you’re going to do this for several weeks twice a day just do it right before you give them a little kibble or whatever their favorite food is that way they start associating the medication with the food. It’ll make your life a little bit easier going forward. But you know, I think just making, you know, sometimes with eye medications you’re giving them four or five times a day and that’s not possible. But if you can associate it with a positive thing like getting food or giving your cat a tiny little treat. That’ll always make things a little bit better for you and the cat. But I think just positioning yourself for success is so important in these cases. Just getting that posture where you’re really comfortable and then getting the cat positioned and you can just get the medication right into those little cat eyes. Well, I hope you found that to be educational and helpful if you’d like to see more videos like this I would really appreciate your support which you can express by joining me on patreon where I have a wonderful community of patrons already or by getting some “squish that cat” merchandise like this t-shirt. I also have mugs and a bunch of other stuff. So please support me. I look forward to making more videos like this and until next time have fun with your pets and I’ll see you again.

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