My 20 (?) year old cat went blind this afternoon, seemingly all of a sudden.
She has kidney disease although we (especially my husband) has been bad about sticking to the prescription food. She is a champion moocher and he has a soft heart and feels since she is an old cat, let her eat what she wants. She got a lot of chicken the last couple of days--now I'm fearing that all that protein made her disease worse.
I see from a Google search that hypertension which can be due to kidney disease is the usual cause of sudden blindness.
It's too late to call the vet tonight and anyway I am unsure whether we want to go through a lot of veterinary stuff, for two reasons.
1. Her age. She is at least 20 and was diagnosed with kidney disease several years ago--the vet seemed to imply she would not live long, though she has.
2. She has unexplained problems that look neurological to me. For maybe six months or so, and worsening in the past few weeks, she has these weird "spasms" where she kind of scrunches up uncomfortably to one side or the other, as if something's seizing up; she gets a sudden apparent itch on the bottom of a back paw and starts frantically biting it--falling over due to leg weakness; she will suddenly start licking a paw or her chest frantically. I don't know if it's itchiness or another paresthesia or what.
3. She has had back-leg weakness for at least 10 or 15 years. Vet says it's due to kidney disease. She walks with stiff back legs and a leg kind of goes out from under her at least half a dozen times while walking across a room.
I should probably take her to the hospital right away in case they can save her sight, but since she is so old, I am not sure what to do. Since we have not been good about treating the kidney disease other than keeping her on the prescription diet (we feed her too much from the table, as I said) and I gave up trying to get a diuretic into her which the vet said might help, I doubt we are going to suddenly go all-out to treat it now, if that is what we need to do for the eyesight. (I am guessing from what little I've just read on the Web about sudden blindness--that you have to lower blood pressure and treat the underlying disease.)
I even saw a cat neurologist recently about the weird spasmy/itchy things, and it was not too helpful. She said it could all be from the kidney disease, from a thyroid problem, or feline hyperesthesia syndrome, which our regular vet had mentioned long ago, although I am not sure that is the cause of her problems.
Obviously, I'm rambling, vacillating, rationalizing, and casting about. We do get vet care quite a bit--treated a diabetic kitty for four years, get their shots, etc. But I really don't want to spend tons of money and put the cat through a lot of stress when she is so old.
The other complicating factor is that she seems to be mostly deaf. We noticed this months ago.
Maybe she has a brain tumor that's causing all this, or the kidney disease has just gotten much worse recently. It's going to kill her eventually anyway.
My inclination is to just watch her and euthanize her when her quality of life declines too much. We cannot tell if she's in pain but she doesn't seem to be. She seems able to find her food and water despite the sudden blindness, still wants to be petted, etc. Obviously we aren't going to let her outside (it's too freezing here now anyway).