Gin and his eye problem plus a little rant about vet and med prices

It’s been a pretty frustrating day. Gin started having a little eye problem in his left eye, he kept blinking it on Thursday. It hadn’t been the first time this has happened. It had started clearing up by Friday and then it had started up again on Saturday. He had been pretty irritable during the evenings, snapping at us, whacking his tail in annoyance, attacking Cookie and not relaxing. So we booked him in for a vet appointment today. The problem seemed to have cleared up but before the appointment, his right eye swelled up a tiny bit and went pink on the outer eye rims.

At the vets I had explained my concerns as my previous cat went blind from high blood pressure and old age (18 years old when he lost his sight) and she had  a good look at the back of gins eye, with and without eye dye. The vet said she couldn’t find any problems and that there was no infection either. She thought it might have been an allergy to dust or pollen or irritability caused by stress.

The allergy reason seems unlikely, he only had this problem 2-3 times last year. Its been snowing heavily so pollen count can’t be high and we vacuum the house so regularly that excess dust is unlikely. So stress seems likely. But what? At first, the culprit would be the new cat Cookie, an adult cat. He can be quite mean to cats he doesn’t know but since Gin owns the house, Cookie has been extremely careful, stepping lightly around the older cat. Cookie never attacks Gin and puts up with the occasional back swipe that Gin hands him. Being a bit of a farm cat and having quite a good level of smarts (probably gained from living rough for at least half a year) he must have known hurting Gin was out of bounds. But Cookie has been living downstairs (not allowed up) for many months.

Ginger cat in snow

Confused, I went and said yes to eye drops to soothe his eyes from the vets. Now, thinking back, I felt a bit stupid. Any pet owner will know that vet bills are not cheap but this time, it seemed excessive to me. £47 broken down into £23 for consultation and £24 for the Sodium Hyaluronate. I know consultation fees have gone up since I first took a cat to the vets and I’m on a mission to find out if £23 is a normal fee since I have nothing to compare it with. But £24 for eye drops? Some places are profit establishments and some are not, I will always expect a mark up in price because vets have bills to pay too. She never told me the price and my sister paid so I never knew the price of the drops till later. A quick online check and the human equivalent is £6-£10, the same brand online is £15. I thought £9 was lot to add on top for these drops. We were left highly disappointed.

So, jumping back to the stress issue, I was left with the feeling that snow might be responsible for his unhappiness. His problem began on Thursday, the snow started Wednesday night. Gin really dislikes snow, we have to carry him to a toilet spot and clear a snow free path for him. He was more irritable at night which was when snow was falling and coincidentally, his eye was worst just after heavy snow. Is this theory even plausible? It is the only thing that had changed since last week.

The only thing I can think of doing at the moment is trying to help him de-stress. I have feliway diffuser on the way in the post and I’ve given Gin loan of my throw, an expensive one with a texture that he adores. Either his eyes get better with the snow melts and the feliway or I’ll have to try and figure out what could be the cause.

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