Q: I have a 4-year-old spayed female Persian cat. She has had clear but slightly red-tinged eye drainage since she was about 1. We have tried numerous eye antibiotic drops and ointments, but it always comes back. It doesn’t seem to bother her and her sight seems to be fine. I clean her eyes out daily with a moistened tissue. She hasn’t had any green-yellow or other colored drainage or any nasal problems. The local veterinarians do not know what else to do. Is this serious, or just a condition of the breed?
A: I often see this problem in Persians, especially white and red Persians. The white and red Persians tend to have a little more pigment in their eye secretions, and this makes it more noticeable. The conformation of the Persian skull and the increased exposure of the corneas lead to increased amounts of tear production. Although eye discharge can develop along with conditions like conjunctivitis, this is not usually the problem in Persian cats. This sounds like a benign case of excessive tear production, and is nothing to worry about. Persians require frequent brushing and face and eye cleaning. Keep cleaning the eyes as you’ve been doing, and don’t worry about it unless you feel that her eyes are truly bothering her.
Arnold Plotnick, DVM