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Poe
March 4th 09, 03:55 PM
Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
large cataracts in both eyes.

He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed diagnosis
because the cataracts block her view of the back of his eyes. She said
if I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist, but to have them
operated on will be very expensive. She said the progression is slow, so
I decided to take some time to research options, and discuss with my
husband what to do next. It is a little scary googling about them,
because I find lots of links about setting up an environment to enhance
the quality life of a blind animal.

Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique
to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how
slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is
the quality of life for a blind cat?

Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like $4K
per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but does
that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I can't
use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably follow-up with
a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can beforehand.

Poe
March 4th 09, 03:57 PM
Poe wrote:
>
>
> Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
> large cataracts in both eyes.


Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's 1-year
old.


>
> He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed diagnosis
> because the cataracts block her view of the back of his eyes. She said
> if I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist, but to have them
> operated on will be very expensive. She said the progression is slow, so
> I decided to take some time to research options, and discuss with my
> husband what to do next. It is a little scary googling about them,
> because I find lots of links about setting up an environment to enhance
> the quality life of a blind animal.
>
> Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
> share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique
> to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how
> slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
> somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
> can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
> anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is
> the quality of life for a blind cat?
>
> Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like $4K
> per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but does
> that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I can't
> use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably follow-up with
> a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can beforehand.

March 4th 09, 04:33 PM
On Mar 4, 9:57*am, Poe > wrote:
> Poe wrote:
>
> > Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
> > large cataracts in both eyes.
>
> Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's 1-year
> old.
>
>
>
>
>
> > He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed diagnosis
> > because the cataracts block her view of the back of his eyes. She said
> > if I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist, but to have them
> > operated on will be very expensive. She said the progression is slow, so
> > I decided to take some time to research options, and discuss with my
> > husband what to do next. It is a little scary googling about them,
> > because I find lots of links about setting up an environment to enhance
> > the quality life of a blind animal.
>
> > Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
> > share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique
> > to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how
> > slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
> > somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
> > can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
> > anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is
> > the quality of life for a blind cat?
>
> > Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like $4K
> > per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but does
> > that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I can't
> > use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably follow-up with
> > a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can beforehand.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

One year old and with cataracts? This is very-most-likely a genetic
problem, with other less-likely causes being trauma, degenerative
disease(s), some types of lymphoma and as a secondary symptom from
glaucoma. Further to this, if the initial cause is not life-
threatening there is no specific reason to rush into a treatment
decision - but that decision should still be made in a timely manner
as the cat will adjust and there may be retinal deterioration if the
cataracts are left untreated for any length of time.

What you need to be sure of is the initial cause and that it is not
life-threatening. There are a number of treatments (none very cheap)
that will depend on the causal diagnosis. But just as with people,
they range from lenticular replacement to simple removal. As cats will
not wear corrective lenses nor can they be given contacts, removal
will make them light-dark sensitive only with no acuity or ability to
judge distance - hence no distance leaping and difficulty with similar
tasks. Lenticular replacement will give them fixed-focus acuity and
some distance sensitivity - but is still not as-new. Keep in mind that
cat eyesight is not exactly perfect and their short-distance visual
acuity is quite limited as compared to our, for instance.

I cannot and will not comment on quality-of-life beyond the fact that
I know several blind cats (due to age and/or disease) that *appear* to
get along just fine and *appear* to be happy and content. Keep in mind
that cats have several sorts of directional environmental senses and
sensors for getting around and so won't be walking into furniture or
tripping over things. Cats are remarkably adaptable creatures and
yours has his youth working for him.

So, get him tested for Glaucoma *immediately* - and get some basic
blood tests for other threats - from there you can make an informed
decision.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

March 4th 09, 04:53 PM
We have a cat (who is 8 now) who has cataracts in both eyes. They
developed at quite a young age, about 2, and we did opt to see an
animal opthamalogist (who we continue to see regularly). In our case,
the specialist believes Benny was born with these cataracts. One of
them is quite small and has little affect on his vision.

However, in the other eye, the cataract is quite large and mature, and
he has almost no vision in this eye. On top of that, in the past
couple of years, he's developed glaucoma in that eye, and it's been
getting progressively difficult to control the eye pressure.

In our case, cataract removal is not an option due to the uveitis that
he's had. Our only option is to treat the eye with drops, and if that
fails, remove the eye (which we haven't explored yet, but may have to
someday). We are trying to treat him for now, so he keeps his eye for
as long as possible.

I would suggest seeing a specialist and get his/her opinion. I agree
with Peter in saying to get him tested regularly for glaucoma.

As for costs, we pay about $75 per visit to the specialist plus the
cost of meds. I would recommend getting prescriptions written for any
meds so you can fill them yourself (some of them can be had for $4 at
Walmart or Target).

I would be interested in learning more about your situation. It sounds
similar to ours, and from what I've learned, cats with insipid (born
with) cataracts are quite rare. Feel free to contact me.

MaryL
March 4th 09, 05:30 PM
"Poe" > wrote in message
...
> Poe wrote:
>>
>>
>> Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
>> large cataracts in both eyes.
>
>
> Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's 1-year
> old.
>
>
>>
>> He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed diagnosis
>> because the cataracts block her view of the back of his eyes. She said if
>> I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist, but to have them
>> operated on will be very expensive. She said the progression is slow, so
>> I decided to take some time to research options, and discuss with my
>> husband what to do next. It is a little scary googling about them,
>> because I find lots of links about setting up an environment to enhance
>> the quality life of a blind animal.
>>
>> Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can share
>> what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique to a
>> degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how slow
>> is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
>> somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
>> can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
>> anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is the
>> quality of life for a blind cat?
>>
>> Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like $4K
>> per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but does
>> that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I can't
>> use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably follow-up with
>> a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can beforehand.

Did I read correctly? That is, he's only *one* year old and has large
cataracts in both eyes? If so, I suggest that you see a feline
ophthalmologist ASAP because this does not sound like something that is
"routine" at all. You probably know that my Duffy is blind. I took him to
a feline ophthalmologist at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary
Medicine. In his case, he had been totally blind since birth and there was
nothing we could do. However, the point I would like to make here is that
an evaluation was *not* an extreme expense. In fact, I was very pleasantly
surprised to learn how inexpensive the evaluation was. That was in 2003,
and the evaluation was $55.00! The cost obviously would have escalated if
surgery had been involved, but I do think you should at least consider an
examination by an ophthalmologist. If you live close to a college of
veterinary medicine, that is your best option. They have the type of
staffing and facilities that you would be unlikely to find elsewhere--and I
also found that the team I saw had a very "caring" attitude. Duffy's
problem was unusual enough that they asked for permission to have several
interns look at him, which I granted. It is a learning process from them,
and we all benefit as interns acquire knowledge in this way.

MaryL

Poe
March 4th 09, 05:32 PM
wrote:
> On Mar 4, 9:57 am, Poe > wrote:
>> Poe wrote:
>>
>>> Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
>>> large cataracts in both eyes.
>> Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's 1-year
>> old.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>> He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed diagnosis
>>> because the cataracts block her view of the back of his eyes. She said
>>> if I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist, but to have them
>>> operated on will be very expensive. She said the progression is slow, so
>>> I decided to take some time to research options, and discuss with my
>>> husband what to do next. It is a little scary googling about them,
>>> because I find lots of links about setting up an environment to enhance
>>> the quality life of a blind animal.
>>> Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
>>> share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique
>>> to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how
>>> slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
>>> somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
>>> can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
>>> anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is
>>> the quality of life for a blind cat?
>>> Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like $4K
>>> per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but does
>>> that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I can't
>>> use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably follow-up with
>>> a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can beforehand.- Hide quoted text -
>> - Show quoted text -
>
> One year old and with cataracts? This is very-most-likely a genetic
> problem, with other less-likely causes being trauma, degenerative
> disease(s), some types of lymphoma and as a secondary symptom from
> glaucoma. Further to this, if the initial cause is not life-
> threatening there is no specific reason to rush into a treatment
> decision - but that decision should still be made in a timely manner
> as the cat will adjust and there may be retinal deterioration if the
> cataracts are left untreated for any length of time.
>
> What you need to be sure of is the initial cause and that it is not
> life-threatening. There are a number of treatments (none very cheap)
> that will depend on the causal diagnosis. But just as with people,
> they range from lenticular replacement to simple removal. As cats will
> not wear corrective lenses nor can they be given contacts, removal
> will make them light-dark sensitive only with no acuity or ability to
> judge distance - hence no distance leaping and difficulty with similar
> tasks. Lenticular replacement will give them fixed-focus acuity and
> some distance sensitivity - but is still not as-new. Keep in mind that
> cat eyesight is not exactly perfect and their short-distance visual
> acuity is quite limited as compared to our, for instance.
>
> I cannot and will not comment on quality-of-life beyond the fact that
> I know several blind cats (due to age and/or disease) that *appear* to
> get along just fine and *appear* to be happy and content. Keep in mind
> that cats have several sorts of directional environmental senses and
> sensors for getting around and so won't be walking into furniture or
> tripping over things. Cats are remarkably adaptable creatures and
> yours has his youth working for him.
>
> So, get him tested for Glaucoma *immediately* - and get some basic
> blood tests for other threats - from there you can make an informed
> decision.
>
> Peter Wieck
> Melrose Park, PA


Thanks Peter, very informative. I will get hooked up with a specialist
to help determine some of the things you mentioned. I don't think the
cause was trauma. I've had this guy since he was one day old (fostered
from our shelter), so hopefully I'd notice if he was injured (though I
can't be positive, I guess). Also, thinking back, I recall he always had
"interesting" eyes in certain light, which all along was probably his
cataracts reflecting light, making his eyes look unusual.

I'm glad I posted here because I didn't think there was any real
urgency, but it sounds like there could be. At least I'd like to rule
that out.

Thanks again.

Poe
March 4th 09, 05:41 PM
wrote:
> We have a cat (who is 8 now) who has cataracts in both eyes. They
> developed at quite a young age, about 2, and we did opt to see an
> animal opthamalogist (who we continue to see regularly). In our case,
> the specialist believes Benny was born with these cataracts. One of
> them is quite small and has little affect on his vision.
>
> However, in the other eye, the cataract is quite large and mature, and
> he has almost no vision in this eye. On top of that, in the past
> couple of years, he's developed glaucoma in that eye, and it's been
> getting progressively difficult to control the eye pressure.
>
> In our case, cataract removal is not an option due to the uveitis that
> he's had. Our only option is to treat the eye with drops, and if that
> fails, remove the eye (which we haven't explored yet, but may have to
> someday). We are trying to treat him for now, so he keeps his eye for
> as long as possible.
>
> I would suggest seeing a specialist and get his/her opinion. I agree
> with Peter in saying to get him tested regularly for glaucoma.
>
> As for costs, we pay about $75 per visit to the specialist plus the
> cost of meds. I would recommend getting prescriptions written for any
> meds so you can fill them yourself (some of them can be had for $4 at
> Walmart or Target).
>
> I would be interested in learning more about your situation. It sounds
> similar to ours, and from what I've learned, cats with insipid (born
> with) cataracts are quite rare. Feel free to contact me.


Thanks for the response. I will take you up on emailing to correspond.
I'm going to take Peter's and your advice and get to a specialist.
Thinking it through, just because I begin the specialist process doesn't
automatically mean spending thousands of bucks immediately (I just got
over a very expensive bout with this same cat for what ended up
remaining "fever of unknown origin" where he was vomiting, stopped
eating and drinking, thus ended up on IVs with lots of tests, Xrays,
ultrasound, blood work etc., so I was hoping for a reprieve!).

And as I said in my response to Peter, I believe he was born with them.
I used to bottle feed the little bugger and spent a lot of time looking
at his face - he always had unusual eyes that probably boiled down to
this all along.

Poe
March 4th 09, 05:56 PM
MaryL wrote:
>
> "Poe" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Poe wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had
>>> rather large cataracts in both eyes.
>>
>>
>> Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's
>> 1-year old.
>>
>>
>>>
>>> He's not blind, and the generalist vet cannot make a detailed
>>> diagnosis because the cataracts block her view of the back of his
>>> eyes. She said if I wanted she could hook me up with a specialist,
>>> but to have them operated on will be very expensive. She said the
>>> progression is slow, so I decided to take some time to research
>>> options, and discuss with my husband what to do next. It is a little
>>> scary googling about them, because I find lots of links about setting
>>> up an environment to enhance the quality life of a blind animal.
>>>
>>> Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
>>> share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be
>>> unique to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences.
>>> Like, how slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain
>>> as-is? I read somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them
>>> (the vet said I can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or
>>> live with it). Has anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that
>>> worked? How bad is the quality of life for a blind cat?
>>>
>>> Unfortunately the surgery I guess is quite expensive, something like
>>> $4K per eye. I know it varies by region (I am in Midwestern US), but
>>> does that sound about right? Of course now that he's been diagnosed I
>>> can't use pet insurance to help cover. Eventually I'll probably
>>> follow-up with a specialist but I'd like to learn as much as I can
>>> beforehand.
>
> Did I read correctly? That is, he's only *one* year old and has large
> cataracts in both eyes? If so, I suggest that you see a feline
> ophthalmologist ASAP because this does not sound like something that is
> "routine" at all. You probably know that my Duffy is blind. I took him
> to a feline ophthalmologist at Texas A&M University College of
> Veterinary Medicine. In his case, he had been totally blind since birth
> and there was nothing we could do. However, the point I would like to
> make here is that an evaluation was *not* an extreme expense. In fact,
> I was very pleasantly surprised to learn how inexpensive the evaluation
> was. That was in 2003, and the evaluation was $55.00! The cost
> obviously would have escalated if surgery had been involved, but I do
> think you should at least consider an examination by an
> ophthalmologist. If you live close to a college of veterinary medicine,
> that is your best option. They have the type of staffing and facilities
> that you would be unlikely to find elsewhere--and I also found that the
> team I saw had a very "caring" attitude. Duffy's problem was unusual
> enough that they asked for permission to have several interns look at
> him, which I granted. It is a learning process from them, and we all
> benefit as interns acquire knowledge in this way.
>
> MaryL
>


Yes - well, 1 year 5 months, to be exact. He's not blind, at least not
yet. Since I learned of this diagnosis I've been doing tests like
dropping a cotton ball to see if it catches his eye (without making
noise). And of course the vet said he isn't blind - still, I've been
trying to assess for myself how bad his sight might be after the vet visit.

We have a vet conglomerate about 45 minutes from where I live, where it
is a bunch of specialists all in one place - I think I'll get into
there, though I will ask about nearby vet schools (good idea!). I took
this same cat there just a month ago for another series of problems he
was having and he was treated like gold. He's had his share in such a
short time but I love the goober so I'll keep at it (I always feel like
I have to justify. I get lots of cost-based advice that I'd rather not
follow unless it becomes inhumane to keep him going. Of course cost is a
consideration, but not the main thing).

Thanks for the feedback. Since everyone sounds on the same page, I just
called my vet for a referral to a specialist and I will get him seen
asap :-)

MaryL
March 4th 09, 06:39 PM
"Poe" > wrote in message
...
> Thanks for the feedback. Since everyone sounds on the same page, I just
> called my vet for a referral to a specialist and I will get him seen asap
> :-)
>

That's great. Thanks for doing this for your little furbaby.

You have probably read some of my messages about Duffy. He is blind but can
do almost everything that any sighted cat can do. He gets around so well
that I thought for awhile that he might have some vision. That's the reason
I originally took him to an ophthalmologist--to determine if he had some
vision and find out if there was anything I could do to preserve whatever
sight he has. Well, I learned that he has no vision, but Duffy simply does
not know that he is "handicapped." He just goes ahead and does everything.
Your cat is so young that I wanted to reassure you that he will be able to
function very well (and remain happy) even he he loses his sight. Of
course, you want to do everything possible to prevent that from happening.

MaryL

Photos of Duffy: >'o'<
Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
Duffy conquers the Christmas tree: http://tinyurl.com/clal7

March 4th 09, 06:58 PM
On Mar 4, 10:41*am, Poe > wrote:
> wrote:
> > We have a cat (who is 8 now) who has cataracts in both eyes. They
> > developed at quite a young age, about 2, and we did opt to see an
> > animal opthamalogist (who we continue to see regularly). In our case,
> > the specialist believes Benny was born with these cataracts. One of
> > them is quite small and has little affect on his vision.
>
> > However, in the other eye, the cataract is quite large and mature, and
> > he has almost no vision in this eye. On top of that, in the past
> > couple of years, he's developed glaucoma in that eye, and it's been
> > getting progressively difficult to control the eye pressure.
>
> > In our case, cataract removal is not an option due to the uveitis that
> > he's had. Our only option is to treat the eye with drops, and if that
> > fails, remove the eye (which we haven't explored yet, but may have to
> > someday). We are trying to treat him for now, so he keeps his eye for
> > as long as possible.
>
> > I would suggest seeing a specialist and get his/her opinion. I agree
> > with Peter in saying to get him tested regularly for glaucoma.
>
> > As for costs, we pay about $75 per visit to the specialist plus the
> > cost of meds. I would recommend getting prescriptions written for any
> > meds so you can fill them yourself (some of them can be had for $4 at
> > Walmart or Target).
>
> > I would be interested in learning more about your situation. It sounds
> > similar to ours, and from what I've learned, cats with insipid (born
> > with) cataracts are quite rare. Feel free to contact me.
>
> Thanks for the response. I will take you up on emailing to correspond.
> I'm going to take Peter's and your advice and get to a specialist.
> Thinking it through, just because I begin the specialist process doesn't
> automatically mean spending thousands of bucks immediately (I just got
> over a very expensive bout with this same cat for what ended up
> remaining "fever of unknown origin" where he was vomiting, stopped
> eating and drinking, thus ended up on IVs with lots of tests, Xrays,
> ultrasound, blood work etc., so I was hoping for a reprieve!).
>
> And as I said in my response to Peter, I believe he was born with them.
> I used to bottle feed the little bugger and spent a lot of time looking
> at his face - he always had unusual eyes that probably boiled down to
> this all along.

Don't feel too bad if he does lose some sight. Though Benny only has
sight in one eye, you would never know it. They adapt very well.

Poe
March 4th 09, 07:31 PM
MaryL wrote:
>
> "Poe" > wrote in message
> ...
>> Thanks for the feedback. Since everyone sounds on the same page, I
>> just called my vet for a referral to a specialist and I will get him
>> seen asap :-)
>>
>
> That's great. Thanks for doing this for your little furbaby.
>
> You have probably read some of my messages about Duffy. He is blind but
> can do almost everything that any sighted cat can do. He gets around so
> well that I thought for awhile that he might have some vision. That's
> the reason I originally took him to an ophthalmologist--to determine if
> he had some vision and find out if there was anything I could do to
> preserve whatever sight he has. Well, I learned that he has no vision,
> but Duffy simply does not know that he is "handicapped." He just goes
> ahead and does everything. Your cat is so young that I wanted to
> reassure you that he will be able to function very well (and remain
> happy) even he he loses his sight. Of course, you want to do everything
> possible to prevent that from happening.
>
> MaryL
>
> Photos of Duffy: >'o'<
> Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
> Duffy conquers the Christmas tree: http://tinyurl.com/clal7


I didn't know Duffy was blind, but I was just re-reading the responses
to make sure I captured all the nuggets of information, and was going to
respond again to you about Duffy.

So he seems happy, purrs, and can get around with regard to finding his
litter box, food/water, comfort spaces, etc.? I was looking through your
pictures of him and he's up and about, looks playful in some shots, can
climb his scratching post and all that. Very cool. I'd hate to lose
Peanut but want to do what is humane, especially if it turns out he will
lose his sight. I don't see any signs of distress in your photos, or
depression (what I can glean from photos, that is). I am hoping to
preserve his sight, of course - if I need to do surgery I can just get a
loan. I guess if it turns out he goes blind, it will happen gradually,
and he won't really realize he's handicapped either. IDK - will talk to
the specialist about that aspect of it. I am really glad to see your
photos of Duffy, though, it is very reassuring.

I do think Peanut has impaired vision. I was noticing just in the past
week or so he's chasing shadows far more than usual, and the vet said
the placement of one of the cataracts would cause him to rely more on
peripheral vision in that eye to compensate for the distortion looking
straight-on.

Here's a few pics of him...

Baby picture w/ hubby feeding:
http://www.hyacinth.us/Pictures/gig-peanut.jpg

A little older, with his brother Monk:
http://www.hyacinth.us/Pictures/monk-pnut.jpg

Posing for his SexyKitty centerfold:
http://www.hyacinth.us/Pictures/sexy-pnut.jpg

Thanks again for the excellent feedback and insights into living with a
blind cat, and the potential for quality of life :-)

Poe
March 4th 09, 07:33 PM
wrote:
> On Mar 4, 10:41 am, Poe > wrote:
>> wrote:
>>> We have a cat (who is 8 now) who has cataracts in both eyes. They
>>> developed at quite a young age, about 2, and we did opt to see an
>>> animal opthamalogist (who we continue to see regularly). In our case,
>>> the specialist believes Benny was born with these cataracts. One of
>>> them is quite small and has little affect on his vision.
>>> However, in the other eye, the cataract is quite large and mature, and
>>> he has almost no vision in this eye. On top of that, in the past
>>> couple of years, he's developed glaucoma in that eye, and it's been
>>> getting progressively difficult to control the eye pressure.
>>> In our case, cataract removal is not an option due to the uveitis that
>>> he's had. Our only option is to treat the eye with drops, and if that
>>> fails, remove the eye (which we haven't explored yet, but may have to
>>> someday). We are trying to treat him for now, so he keeps his eye for
>>> as long as possible.
>>> I would suggest seeing a specialist and get his/her opinion. I agree
>>> with Peter in saying to get him tested regularly for glaucoma.
>>> As for costs, we pay about $75 per visit to the specialist plus the
>>> cost of meds. I would recommend getting prescriptions written for any
>>> meds so you can fill them yourself (some of them can be had for $4 at
>>> Walmart or Target).
>>> I would be interested in learning more about your situation. It sounds
>>> similar to ours, and from what I've learned, cats with insipid (born
>>> with) cataracts are quite rare. Feel free to contact me.
>> Thanks for the response. I will take you up on emailing to correspond.
>> I'm going to take Peter's and your advice and get to a specialist.
>> Thinking it through, just because I begin the specialist process doesn't
>> automatically mean spending thousands of bucks immediately (I just got
>> over a very expensive bout with this same cat for what ended up
>> remaining "fever of unknown origin" where he was vomiting, stopped
>> eating and drinking, thus ended up on IVs with lots of tests, Xrays,
>> ultrasound, blood work etc., so I was hoping for a reprieve!).
>>
>> And as I said in my response to Peter, I believe he was born with them.
>> I used to bottle feed the little bugger and spent a lot of time looking
>> at his face - he always had unusual eyes that probably boiled down to
>> this all along.
>
> Don't feel too bad if he does lose some sight. Though Benny only has
> sight in one eye, you would never know it. They adapt very well.


Thanks - I am feeling more reassured after reading some of this. Before
this I was thinking, if he goes partially or fully blind, it would be
akin to a human, where it would be SO hard. But it seems like he can be
made quite happy regardless (still hoping to preserve his sight, though!).

William Hamblen
March 5th 09, 04:58 AM
On 2009-03-04, Poe > wrote:
> Poe wrote:
>>
>>
>> Good morning. Yesterday at his annual checkup I was told he had rather
>> large cataracts in both eyes.
>
>
> Grrr - yesterday at my CAT'S annual checkup I meant to say. He's 1-year
> old.

One year old is pretty young for cataract. My 15 year old has a cataract.
About 50% of cats that age have them.

Bud

William Hamblen
March 5th 09, 04:58 AM
On 2009-03-04, Poe > wrote:

> Anyone here have experience with cataracts (in their pets) that can
> share what they learned? I realize it varies, each case will be unique
> to a degree. Still, I'd be interested in other's experiences. Like, how
> slow is slow wrt progression? Can they ever simply remain as-is? I read
> somewhere that eyedrops exist that might dissolve them (the vet said I
> can find snakeoil, but the bottom line is surgery or live with it). Has
> anyone actually found alternatives to surgery that worked? How bad is
> the quality of life for a blind cat?

Cataracts are common in old cats. I would not consider surgery as cats
do not seem to suffer and surgery is expensive and not without risk.
You might want to make sure the cat doesn't have diabetes or some other
chronic disease where you have increased incidence of cataract.

Bud