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Can I use Neosporin to treat my cat's eye infection?

Can I use Neosporin to treat my cat's eye infection?

Always speak to your vet before using medications meant for humans, on your cat. Many over the counter first aid treatments or medications could cause your cat to experience serious, or even life-threatening side effects. Today our Charlotte vet explains why you should never use Neosporin to treat your cat's eye infection.

What is Neosporin?

Neosporin and Neosporin Ophthalmic are common treatments frequently found in first aid kits across the country.

  • Neosporin topical ointment is a common treatment for human cuts and scrapes which found in many people's first aid kits. Neosporin topical ointment and similar triple antibiotic ointments contain 3 active ingredients; neomycin, polymyxin B, and bacitracin. 
  • Neosporin Ophthalmic eye drops are formulated to treat bacterial eye infections in people and contain gramicidin, neomycin, and polymyxin B ophthalmic.

Both of these treatments are very effective in treating humans but are not recommended, or approved for use on cats.

Why not use Neosporin to treat my cat's eye infection?

The fact is, that cats are biologically different from humans in countless ways. Many medications that people reach for on a regular basis are extremely toxic to cats. Not only that, their compact size means that even small amounts of a toxic substance can cause severe reactions in cats.

Polymyxin B (one of the active ingredients in Neosporin and other triple antibiotic treatments) has been linked to anaphylaxis and death in cats. While such reactions are rare, most cases have been linked to the ophthalmic products administered to cats to treat eye infections. 

Caring for Your Cat's Eyes

When it comes to your cat's eyesight, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If your cat is showing signs of an eye infection call your vet to book an examination. There are a host of causes of eye issues in cats, getting the right treatment for your cat as quickly as possible can help to prevent complications from occurring down the road.

If your cat is experiencing an eye emergency, visit our emergency animal hospital for urgent care. The emergency vets at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte are here to help with 24/7. If your cat has been showing signs of a serious eye condition, we can refer your pet to a veterinary ophthalmology specialist.

Pet Care in Charlotte

Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte accepts all clients for our 24/7 emergency service. Our specialty services accepts new clients by referral only.

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