or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Hypertension? Overactive Thyroid? My beloved 38lb cat just went blind!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hypertension? Overactive Thyroid? My beloved 38lb cat just went blind! - Page 2  

post #31 of 96
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
the opthamalogist might be able to suggest a feline specialist GP you could take him to for his other issues, as well. sounds like they know what good care is!
The above is an excellent idea....
ask the specialist to refer you to a good vet for Cooper's non eye care.

More vibes going out to your sweetie.
post #32 of 96
bless you. you're a good kitty daddy.

many vibes
post #33 of 96
Best wishes to you and your kitty!! We just don't get enough education about eyes in vet school, so seeing a specialist is definitely a good idea!
post #34 of 96
Thread Starter 
This site is awesome! It's just good to see there are so many people that actually care about their animals and understand what it's like to actually care about something rather than just yourself. Anyway, I hope it's not renal failure because his blood pressure was wonderful. He was able to get his tests done with zero drama as he's incredibly tolerant and trusting most likely from me coddling him so much since he was just old enough to be taken from his mother.

I forgot one HUGE item of information that may allow some of you to help troubleshoot his blindness. Cooper is FIV positive. He has had it since he was about 2. There was this nasty old sickly cat that stayed over at my old neighbor's house and one day he attacked Cooper for going on his turf and I'm positive that's where Cooper contracted FIV. It's the only fight he's really been able to get into under my watchful gaze. I have been very responsible and kept him indoors 90% of the time and only taken him outside supervised closely by me.

Anyway, he hasn't missed a beat in 6 years, so maybe now his disease is starting to affect his system and cause issues. I've read blindness is connected to FIV in some cases. All I know is we're not going to stop going to the vet and/or specialists until we have a definitive diagnosis of why he is blind. Then we'll most likely start medicines and definitely start a more aggressive but realistic diet. He is down 4lbs to 34.4 which is good news.

Hopefully I've added a piece to the puzzle for you folks and thanks again so much for the genuine concern and well wishes. I'll check in after the ophthalmologist and let everyone know where we're going next in our journey to fix Coo-Bear's eyes.
post #35 of 96
As someone with only one kidney I can say with some confidence that if his blood pressure is fine than there is little chance of renal failure. The two go hand-in-hand.

Extra vibes for you and Cooper for a speedy diagnosis and recovery.
post #36 of 96
I don't know much about FIV, but I do know that it could be part of the problem. Hopefully if it is the FIV there is something they can do to help keep him healthy. I know people who's FIV positive cats have lived well over 13 years. Your a diligent kitty parent & that is what helps keep FIV in check.

Sending many many healthy vibes to your baby!
post #37 of 96
I'm just getting caught up on all this. Please do let us know what the new doc says.

My Seb is 12 years old (or so) and is FIV+. He is happy and healthy however, I know that when he begins to feel ill I have to get him to the vet right away. For URIs or UTIs, the meds work well and he is back to his old self in no time.

I believe he contracted his FIV from fighting, too. Even though he was neutered at about a year old (just after he came to me), he still defended his territory as an indoor/outdoor cat. So, fighting with area toms left him with FIV.

Sending lots of get well wishes for you all.
post #38 of 96
I don't have any good advice but just want to add my vibes for your beautiful big boy Cooper.

You have found a place where you won't ever need to feel weird about loving your kitty. Everyone on this site feels the same way, so you have found some friends.
post #39 of 96
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Just an FYI - Blind cats can live normal lives. Take a look at my Damita.

Please, update us as soon as you're back from the vet!
I'm not sure if you have read your "new cats on the block" thread lately, but I also wrote about having a blind cat. My Leya went blind after her spay surgery. Cats have an amazing ability to adapt. Loosing his sight should be the least of your worries. To be honest, you really couldn't tell the difference between a blind cat and a "normal" cat, once they have had the time to adjust. Leya hasn't even been blind for a year now and she adapted VERY well after only a few months.
post #40 of 96
I think people assume it's as hard for a cat as for a human; but it just isn't. Humans are sight-dominated creatures. We look at everything, and hardly use the other senses at all. We even look at someone who's talking to us, even though we really only need our ears to hear him. And of course, if you are blind you can't read normal print--and we're very dependent on things like signs, menus, et cetera. Cats, on the other hand, use their senses in a more integrated fashion--sight, touch, hearing, smell. Lose one of those, and you've lost just one of four--not, as with humans, the one sense you probably depend on most. And while blind kitties may lose some of the ability to communicate with other cats, they don't lose all of it--the touch, scent, and vocalization are still there. All in all, if the layout of the house remains constant, a cat without sight is just as happy and capable a cat as any other.

Re. Weight loss: 4 pounds is a lot... a bit much in my opinion... Is he drinking enough water?
post #41 of 96
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Re. Weight loss: 4 pounds is a lot... a bit much in my opinion... Is he drinking enough water?
I agree...
cats can become very ill if they lose wt. to quickly.
Have your new vet advise you and follow the diet closely.

We would love an update.
post #42 of 96
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the delay. So I took him to the ophthalmologist and the diagnosis was inconclusive. He has retinal scarring of some sort, and she thinks it's a very rare disease called Cryptococcus Gatti. It's a fungal infection that is only rampant in Australia and the Pacific Northwest. She doesn't know for sure yet, but it is more common in FIV positive cats because their immune system is weak. His blood pressure is great, so is his thyroid.

The next step is getting his blood tested for the disease. He's getting his blood drawn tomorrow at 9:00am and then I have to bring it in spun down form on ice to the testing lab that is located in Canada. They're pretty much the only place that can test for it reliably. If his test is positive he has to begin lots of treatment, but the good news is that it is somewhat treatable and there's a slight chance he could regain some or all of his vision and continue living a good life.

If the test is negative then he has to have an MRI which starts at $1,000. He'll also have to be referred to a neurologist. The good news is that the University of Washington is pretty close and I guess their feline neurological program is second to none. They have the best state of the art equipment, and tons of knowledge. While being incredibly expensive they still ffer the best care around, and that's all I want. Cost is a non-issue at this point.

It could even be a brain tumor, but the vet assured me brain tumors in cats are fairly operable and shuck out like a pea from a pod. Either way the costs are going to be significant. My guess is in the $5k-$10k range. At this point I don't really care if it's $100k as I'm fully committed to him! I just want him to have the best possible chance of recovering and continuing with his life. The only way I'll withhold the treatment is if it's going to involve him staying for a long time in a strange place, or if it's not guaranteed to help him but could hurt him. Then I'll be forced to let nature take its course and old Coo-Bear probably won't be around much longer. I will mourn him for a long long time.

Basically it's now a waiting game. I'll have the results from the Cryptococcus Gatti tests by Monday and will let everyone know what the deal is. The good thing is that he's perfectly comfortable and isn't showing any ill effects from his newfound blindness. I know eventually he will succumb to an FIV related illness, but until then my goal is to keep him as happy and healthy as possible. He is the best thing that ever happened to me and I owe it to him to wait on him hand and foot and stay by his side until he crosses. Thanks everyone for the concern and vibes; he needs them. I'll update as soon as I hear anything more.
post #43 of 96
Thread Starter 
Also, the ophthalmologist was wonderful! She was extremely smart and knew exactly what she was talking about. She showed me the retinal scars that were little gray spots. The level of care was just so much higher than my normal vet, and I'm really glad he was able to go. The price really wasn't that bad either. I got out the door for under $500 which is way cheaper than I thought. Then again, all she did was look at his eyes for 5 minutes, tellme what she thought it was, and then order the blood test.

Thanks to everyone who recommended that I see a specialist. He may be about to see a bunch of different specialists depending on the results of this Crypto Gatti test. She said he could just have gone blind, and everything is cool, but those gray spots indicate some sort of infection. We'll get him dialed in eventually haha. Thanks again everybody.
post #44 of 96
Thanks for letting us know!! Many mega and prayers coming his way. He's a lucky kitty to have you!
post #45 of 96
The eye specialist sounds very knowledgeable.
Did you ask her about a referral to a vet who could help you with Cooper's weight reduction diet?

Thanks for the update..
post #46 of 96
I am glad you had a great experience with the veterinary opthmologist - I've had to take my cats to one located down in Olympia, and she is superb.

I hope that this will be the easist of the options, a treatable fungal infection...please do keep us posted.

There are many like minded souls here who will go to the nth degree if it will return or maintain quality of life when one of our sweetlings becomes ill.
post #47 of 96

and best of luck to you two!

he is very lucky to have you indeed.
post #48 of 96
Hooray!! I'm glad you at least started on the road to getting some answers! I've been obsessively checking this post hoping for moderately good news, and I'd say thats about as good of news as you can get!

Best wishes with all the testing, and please do keep us up to date!
post #49 of 96
Thread Starter 
Yeah I guess a treatable fungal infection would be good news as the alternatives aren't pretty. I just hope treatable means some pills and general TLC rather than long stays in the hospital sedated and unhappy he's not at his home with his brother, me, and his food. I'm still undecided about taking him in for a major surgery if he needs it as I'm sure it would affect him deeply. It may end up being too much for him because it's a couple hour drive and that's a lot of time to have his adrenaline pumping and be scared. Not to mention anesthesia and possibly a long stay in a very strange place where he's not happy. I guess kitty Valium would help, but still. If I'm with him he's fine, but if he's not then he gets really spooked and worried.

About his diet. I'm aware that a change has to be made, but it's going to be hard. All I've done so far is cut his food back. It's worked a little though. He's losing about 1lb a month and is down to 34.4. I just don't want to change it up right now because this is a hard time for him and he needs all the familiarity he can get. He went outside today supervised and liked it a lot. He does really well for a completely blind animal though. Thanks again everyone I'm sure the good vibes are helping him out a lot.
post #50 of 96
You'll know what to do when the time comes, whatever path you choose. He WILL let you know what he wants. And you do what YOU feel is the right thing.
post #51 of 96
Lots more vibes coming your way!
post #52 of 96
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Lots more vibes coming your way!
Thank-you both so much! Chynna is gorgeous btw.
post #53 of 96
I'm a little late to this thread- but just wanted to let you know i'm sending tons of vibes that way!
post #54 of 96
I think that you, Cooper and Sampson make a fine team.
Sending Cooper lots of healing vibes.
post #55 of 96
Sending lots of vibes for the best possible outcome.

Any further decisions will be difficult, but you know him and will know the right thing to do when the time comes.
post #56 of 96
Thread Starter 
So he tested positive. In fact, off the charts. The infection is huge. It's going to kill him. I've decided against treatment only because of how hard it would be for him to deal with. In order to get treatment I'll have to take him into Canada for spinal tap, MRI, and crazy cocktails of drugs that won't make him feel good. Not to mention the costs would be insane; like $25k insane. Now if it would guarantee his recovery I'd go for it, but it's actually about the opposite. He probably won't recover as the infection is so massive, and his immune system is shot from FIV. All it could possibly do in best case scenerio is prolong his life a little while. I feel the negative aspects will outweigh the positives considerably.

Cooper is going to die. Unfortunately so is everything haha. I've been semi-preparing myself for this since I heard he had FIV, but it's not much easier. I can't stop crying lol. It's not even a terrible feeling. It's like a more understanding sad. I wish it wasn't like this, but this is how it's going to end. Now I don't have to guess anymore. At least this disease is relatively gentle compared to some others that he could have got. Basically his brain goes 1st. When it becomes down to him not being himself anymore or suffering; it'll be time to put him down. I'll have him put down here, so the stress of being somewhere unfamiliar isn't the last thing he remembers.

Thanks to everyone who helped on this and sent well wishes. This ended unfavorably, but at least you all have an answer and can hopefully learn from this somehow. Now it's time for me to grieve with my Cooper and get ready for him to pass away with dignity and ease. It could be any day now. Take care everyone.
post #57 of 96
I'm so sorry the news wasn't good. Many and prayers for you both.
post #58 of 96
I am so sorry. Now I guess the best we can all do is send vibes for a gentle passing for your sweet man. No matter how far in advance we know their time is comming, it is never easy. Feel free to PM me if you need a shoulder to cry on.
post #59 of 96
Oh, poor Cooper... My condolences. He has probably had the best possible life he could have, living with somebody who loved him. That might not make it easier for you, but it's true, and will probably make it easier for him.
post #60 of 96
I'm so sorry the prognosis wasn't better - but your Cooper couldn't possibly be more loved. My prayers are with you both.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
This thread is locked  
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Hypertension? Overactive Thyroid? My beloved 38lb cat just went blind!