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7 year old might be going blind

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a 2002 model (about 7 years old) showing signs of hesitation and uncertainty about her walking. Im concerned, but far from certain that she may be going blind.

Im not planning to see a vet (yet) as I believe in non- interference (for the most part) and survival of the fittest. This cat lives with one of her male off spring (both fixed) who is about 3 years her junior, and acting very healthy.

Both Cats have access to the outdoors via a swing door. Both Cats were eating dog food exclusively for years, not withstanding what they might catch and eat outdoors.

I addressed this forum last July on this nutrition issue and have been supplementing hard cat food, but they still go to the dogs dish.

The eye sight issue concerns me....any comments?
post #2 of 14
My comment - time to make a vet visit. No way around it. If they really do not want to stay out of the dog food you may have to get creative at feeding time and feed the dog somewhere else.

Since you are seeing signs that your female cat is not well at this time, please keep her inside. If she can't see very well she could be injured by another animal, human, or run over - cause to be honest, I don't think most cats pay that much attention to all of the background sounds around them. Even if she can hear fine that sense may not be enough to keep her safe.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Im thinking about the vet.....but if all Im going to hear is "there is nothing that can be done" ...she will live the rest of her life as a comfortable cat, doing what cats do, and taking cat chances. We all have to die sometime from something.

Im really looking for someone who understands cat blindness. Surely there might be a Vet lurking here. Both eyes appear clear of cataract haze.
post #4 of 14
I'm not sure that we do, though there are vet techs. If it's harmless blindness, than yes - you'd have nothing to worry about. But 7 year old cats just don't start going blind. It could be a deficiency as you seem to have considered, it could be thyroid issues/high blood pressure. The thing is that you do not know. Both of the things mentioned can kill your cat, not just cause blindness.
post #5 of 14
Since the cats were eating dog food without supplementation for a long time, it is quite possible that your female is showing signs of retinal degeneration as a result of taurine deficiency:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790081/

This can be confirmed by the vet. The vet might also be able to determine whether the damage is reversible or not, and whether she has any vision remaining.

Also, the vet should be able to recommend a taurine supplement. Simply adding cat food probably isn't sufficient, especially if they are still eating mostly dog food. Even if the blindness is permanent, adding taurine can still help prevent dialated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease.

http://www.petngarden.com/cats/cats4.php
http://www.royalcanin.us/library/cat...d-to-dogs.aspx
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
ok.....I have a vet appt....
post #7 of 14
I had a blind cat. She was blind due to an unknown condition - and suffered from other health problems as well.

I'm pleased to hear you have a vet appt - if she has a "cloudiness" over her eyes that is different from retinal degeneration.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the Vet....He did the "shine the light in the eyes test " and found no real reaction on the left eye, slow reaction in the right. So there is vision loss. He saw no retina scarring and the heart sounded normal, both would be symptoms of taurine insufficiency. He doesn't believe taurine is the issue here. Interocular pressure is also normal.

So after $74, she is still blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
post #9 of 14
Since it was only $74 I'm going to guess no blood tests were done to check for thyroid issues or other problems that you can't just "look" for ?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
correct....no further blood work or tests. Vet apparently believes even if we know the cause.....there is no treatment.

She is home and will live out the rest of her life as comfortable as possible.
post #11 of 14
Since she's 7 yo, she's considered a senior cat. You really should consider having a senior blood panel done on her to test her thyroid and blood sugar. Both of these are VERY treatable and your cat can live a very long and productive life. Also, did he check her for arthritis? That might also be causing some of the hesitation.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by timotb View Post
Vet apparently believes even if we know the cause.....there is no treatment.
Gosh, it's a good thing this person is a vet an not a human doctor... Could you imagine if you went to your doc and he didn't want to run any tests and just said "live with it"? (actually that's not hard to imagine, and it really stinks)

Please, try for a second opinion. No, you likely can't save what sight is lost, but the idea is to prevent it from getting worse or even your cat dying unnecessarily. Some illnesses could affect the liver or kidneys. The first could be painful and the latter... well, you don't want a CRF cat.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I will consider asking for a blood panel to test her thyroid and blood sugar...but I think he would have suggested this if he believed there is a reasonable chance of finding something to fix.

I feel this vet well qualified. He's younger, but experienced, out of vet school maybe 10-15 years.

At some point, when do we say we've done everything "reasonable" that modern veterinary medicine can do?

I lost a brother to cancer 3 years ago. We took him to the Cleveland Clinic for treatment. It was frustrating to come to to the realization that there was nothing modern medicine could do. At some point we had to accept the inevitable.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I will consider asking for a blood panel to test her thyroid and blood sugar...but I think he would have suggested this if he believed there is a reasonable chance of finding something to fix.

I feel this vet well qualified. He's younger, but experienced, out of vet school maybe 10-15 years.

At some point, when do we say we've done everything "reasonable" that modern veterinary medicine can do?

I lost a brother to cancer 3 years ago. We took him to the Cleveland Clinic for treatment. It was frustrating to come to to the realization that there was nothing modern medicine could do. At some point we had to accept the inevitable.
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