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Old May 19th, 2007, 03:23 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Cat recently went blind

Hello,
(Please allow me start by clarifying that the cat HAS been to the vet already)
My cat, Checkers, who is barely a year old has recently gone blind, due to seemingly always dialated pupils. He stumbles around, and follows the walls to get to where he is going.

I found him a year ago on my way home from school, his mother was carrying him in her mouth when a car came past, and she dropped him. He was hit by the car and was laying in the roadway. Needless to say I picked him up and brought him home. At this time, I believe he was between 1-4 days old, not even any hair on his body. My family and I spent weeks hand feeding him simulated milk formula, and he grew up without many further problems.

Two weeks ago, however, he had a seizure on the couch, seemingly in the middle of a nap, so we rushed him to a vet. The vet said that a seizure could be caused by something the cat ate outsize, or from epilepsy or neuerogical damage. He was recovering after that point, getting better and better, until his eyes dialated fully, and he became blind.

His back legs started to become a bit weaker, to the point now where he can only walk on them for a short period of time without sitting down. He has been to the vet for a blood test three days ago. The results were supposed to have been ready two days ago, but they came out inconclusive.

The vet said that I needed to have them reanalyzed further for different problems, and the results were to be in today. When calling the vet he reported that the lab had 'lost' the blood sample and would have them for the next buisness day. This realy makes me angry, as it's a holiday weekend and they will not be back til tuesday..
I'm guessing that the lazy doctors at the lab put it aside to sneak out early on a long weekend, which really grinds my gears.

So what is there for me to do? My cat is lethargic, cannot see where he is going, does not eat or drink much, and eats his own cat litter, which I found out yesterday, and have stopped him from doing.

The vet that I have taken him to does not seem to think that there is much I can do for the cat but play the waiting game.
He has diagnosed the problem as a possible brain tumor, or FIP, both of which are usually fatal. But as with any disease, it is difficult to pinpoint, and may not be the case.

I'm sorry to dump this all on you at once, but I'm very worried about him, and the fact that the vet tells me there is nothing I can do for the cat that means to world to me upsets me.
Maybe it's time for a second opinion?
Thank you all very much.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 04:21 AM
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Maya Maya is offline
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If things seems to be declining quickly don't hesitate to get to an emergency hospital. I had a run around with two vets over a period of a few months, lots of $$$$ wasted imo, one of which also "lost" bloodwork for a week. When I finally ended up at an emergency clinic (because they were not doing anything) it only took a couple of hours for the vet on duty to get to the bottom of our problem. It seemed like they were more obligated to do thier job in a timely fashion because it was an emergency clinic, every situation is different of course. I'd definitely look into a second opinion though if it seems like they are not being pro-active. Also not sure exactly how this works with vets but you can sometimes get a referral to a specialist and it sounds like you need a neurologist. I really hope you can figure this out soon.
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Last edited by Maya; May 19th, 2007 at 02:10 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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badger badger is offline
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I agree with Maya, that you should think about an emergency vet. The fact that this came on so quickly means that it must be dealt with quickly.

In the meantime, I would hand-feed him canned food, the stinkiest you can find, like sardines or tuna. It's likely that his sense of smell has been affected and if cats can't smell the food, they are less likely to eat. Plus he's dizzy and feels lousy. So sit with him quietly and get as much food into him as you can, for a few minutes at a time. Don't force it. Do this several times a day. Keep him quiet, away from noise or other pets, maybe even confine him to a room with his bed and a litterbox. Wandering around in circles will only frustrate him.

Poor baby. Please let us know what happens

Last edited by badger; May 19th, 2007 at 08:14 AM.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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I've got very little experience with cats, but I agree that a second opinion might be your best choice--at an emergency vet clinic if there's one in your area.

Welcome to the board, Jared. I wish it were under better circumstances for you and Checkers I hope all works out for Checkers! Please keep us posted.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Jared,what a sad story after all you and your family did to save Checkers.:sad:
A blind cat can live a good life,but the sudden onslaught of his condition has him confused and unhappy,understandably so.
I would say,scrap this vet and find another or an emergency-clinic,it seems to me,with your vet,your money is wasted,how can he just say it's hopeless
I would also spoon-feed him,put nice smelly canned food right to his nose,he will more than likely lick the spoon.
Eating the litter can be very dangerous,if it is clumping litter,it will harden up like a stone in his system and cause all kinds of problems for him,maybe you should mention that too to your new vet.
But don't fret because he is blind,if it cannot be cured,he will adjust eventually with a lot of help and loving care.
Please keep us posted and good luck with poor Checkers
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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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I'd scarp this vet too and find a specialist - neither of the things you noted need be fatal - and there are treatments. Cats deal remarkably well with vision impairment and can be taught where their food and other important things are and how to navigate where they live. In fact, they handle disability better than we do!!

It is the other symptoms that concern me more and I think your cat needs a specialist or at the very least, a much better vet who cares and will do as much as possible to get down to the cause of his problems!

I know this must be a trying time and am sorry to hear what you - and your kitty! - are enduring! Good luck!!
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:13 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Well I took him to an emergency after hours vet this evening, as everything is closed this weekend, and it was late. The vet was able to get the blood testing from the lab, which was apparently closed til tuesday. This proves to me that the first vet is incompetant.

Regarding his progress, he was dehydrated, and was given fluids under the skin to rehydrate him. When I put food up to his hose, he eats voraciously, and I give him as much as he will eat. He still drinks no water though, but the new vet's assistant suggested putting tuna juice into the water, so he'll find it tastier. He seems to be a lot more alert now since his fluid injection,
though it seems that he is permanently blind.

I cried my eyes out last night sitting next to him on the couch, thinking all was lost, but now I see that it is not. There is a new medication on the market, which the vet hadn't ever heard of. He faxed the name of it to my competant vet, and I will go pick it up tomorrow. Apparently it's supposed to counter act the effects of FIP. So I'm just hoping against hope..


I would also like to sincerly thank you all for your help, it gave me a renewed sense of urgency when I read all your kind words.
I wish the best to all of you,
I'll keep you posted,
Please have a good night

Last edited by Jared; May 20th, 2007 at 03:15 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Jared,I am glad you feel encouraged,often times our first reaction to knowing our animals are sick,is total devestation:sad:
But then our action-power kicks in ready to fight for these little lives we love and need so much.
Checkers is just a baby still and if his other symptoms can be treated,he will no doubt learn to live happily with his blindness with lots of love and care,which he is obviously getting:love:
for you and little Checkers
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Old May 20th, 2007, 08:17 AM
barbi barbi is offline
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Hi Jared, hope all is going well with Checkers today.

The fluid hydration that was done is excellent treatment for your cat. Have them show you how to tell if she needs fluid. I tell by the condition of the the gums, should be moist, if dry and sticky cat needs fluid. Also you can pick up hair and skin at back of neck and twist slightly. If hair falls back on cat smoothly things are good. Get your vet to show you this, as it is good to be able to check on cats condition yourself. Also be aware that a cats normal temperature us a little higher than humans and my vet warms the fluid beforehand and my cat ususlly goes to sleep while hydration is done.
Also, if Checkers does not eat the required amount of food you can talk to your vet (hopefully you will have found someone more caring and professional than the last one),about feeding Checkers yourself. There are 2 products available at your veterinarian. Hills prescription diet has one called a/d, and MediCal/Royal Canin has one called Recovery. Both of these products are used after surgery for animals that do not start to eat on their own as food is made to be fed with plastic syringe avail. from vet.

My 15 yr old cat was diagnosed with kidney failure last September and since that time my vet has worked very closely with me to keep my cat healthy and with me. She has fluid hydration (mini-dialysis for cats) twice a week and I feed her 4 times a day as she will not eat on her own. All other blood work is perfect, she is like a young healthy cat, she chases and plays with other cats and purrs whenever she is touched. Find a vet who has multiple cats themselves as pets. I have used this rule and have not been disappionted. I live in Nova Scotia and some of the tests Tubby needed had to go to Toronto and they were back at the vets the next afternoon.
It seems like a lot of work, but I can't even begin to think about the future without Tubby, she sleeps under the covers on my pillow and to me there is nothing in the world that can match that.
Good luck and God Bless you and Checkers
Tubby, Griffin,TJ and I are praying for you both
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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Maya Maya is offline
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Lets hope this medication can work some miracles for your miracle kitty. I also had a blind cat and it is truly amazing how creatively they adapt and thrive without sight. Your story reminded me of this one a bit:http://members.tripod.com/carraigbirmans/miracle.html which always gives me faith in medicine and what is possible when we do everything we can.:love: Thank you so much for the thoughtful update.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:23 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Hello,
While the hydration seems to be keeping him alert and cleaning himself like crazy, he still tries to eat the litter whenever he can get away with it. This morning he came up and ate some crunchy cat food out of the bowl for a short period, though I think that he is still confused with the litter.

Simply put, he doesn't like the pills one bit. My right hand has quite a few nicks and cuts on it now But that doesn't stop me from getting them inside him. While he will eat, it is not enough to survive, and I still must hand feed him soft canned food three or four times a day.

I cannot help but feel that I am just running on borrowed time, but I will keep him happy and healthy, and just hope for signs of improvement. Because I am worried about his dehydration, I mixed up some tuna juice in his water, or more precisely, mixed some water in his tuna juice, and had him drink it. He seemed to enjoy it. I also tried giving him water with a plastic medicine syringe, which was another costly mistake for my hand.

And a question for barbi, what is the financial, and time related concern of doing the described method to keep Tubby happy and healthy? It seems that feeding him four times a day is prohibitive to being able to word a full day.

And so you can see the object of my concern, I have taken some pictures:


Outside in the sun.



Soaking up some more sun.



Where he spends most of his time, on his heating pad/fleece.
Thanks again!

Last edited by Jared; May 21st, 2007 at 03:25 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:28 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Jared,he is beautiful,poor little guy:sad:
If you had not told us,I would think he was a girl-kitty..
One of my cats take a pill twice a day,I mash it up in a bit of very wet canned food and he licks it up,all my cats prefer when I add a little warm water to their canned food.
To be sure he gets the pill,I only use less than a teaspoon of food,when he finishes that I give him the rest of his food.
He will of course need a lot of help right now,he does not know what is happening,is probably afraid...but please do not give up,all he needs is time and TLC,I hope
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:09 AM
Kutzy Kutzy is offline
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Jared,

My cat was 14 wks old when we got her. She got very sick with a high fever. She could not walk without leaning on the walls and refused to eat or drink. We had the same problem with the vet as you so we took her to an emergency vet. She was dehydrated and the vet said her white count was higher than she had ever seen in a cat. They thought she had a liver shunt and would not survive. We took her to a specialist the emergency vet referred us to. She did not have a liver shunt and they did not know the cause of her bizarre illness but assumed it to be some neurological problem. They suggested we just treat symptoms as they occur and keep her as healthy as possible. She was so ill I was sure she could not survive, but she did!

We found a new vet and Dulcie has continued to have a lot of medical problems but is now 12 yrs old. She is an indoor cat as she has some vision and hearing problems. She canít jump well and falls at times but she is quite content.

I had an elderly kitty that when blind but he managed quite well. Your kitty can overcome the blindness.

Your kitty is beautiful! Keep tempting her with smelly foods as others have suggested. The canned food has more liquid but if she prefers dry food wet it a bit before you give it to her. Check with the vet to see if her pills can be crushed and mixed in a small amount of canned food. Donít give up hope!
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Old May 21st, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Maya Maya is offline
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He is absolutely beautiful.

Did the vet give any information about the medication and how it is supposed to help? You may be on borrowed time but just do the best you can and think of everyday as a gift. After I lost my kitty a couple of years ago all I could think was that i'd give anything to have him back even just for a day so I could hold him and tell him how much I loved him. Its really difficult but I think it teaches us the value and impermanence of life.(I'm not counting on seeing any of my fuzzy friends in the after life:P) Some amazing things can happen inbetween all the saddness though and every now and then there are "miracles" or advances in medicine.

With the pills I found kneeling behind kitty, restraining and tilting head back then putting the pill quite far back on the tongue, gently rubbing his throat till he swallowed worked best (took some practice to get it to go smoothly). There are also pill popping devices I think you can get from the vet but I haven't tried that. My cats were never fooled by medicine in there food but you could try. Since hes been eating his litter maybe he will also be less picky and you can avoid getting all scratched up!

I'd try giving him really good stuff too like little peices of fresh salmon and shrimp or prawns. Spoil him rotten!!! Btw if he is on a vet brand of food chances are its totally not healthy so a food switch might also help boost his defences.

Some more info here about FIP:http://www.marvistavet.com/html/fip.html
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Last edited by Maya; May 21st, 2007 at 06:55 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:53 AM
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I was reading up on FIP yesterday and euthanazia is almost always the end result,however ,Checkers has not yet been tested positive for FIP,so there is still hope
It's heartbreaking seeing his pic,knowing he's sick,he is so beautiful:sad:
I would,like everyone says,do everything I can to make him happy,hopefully the end result is not as serious as FIP or a braintumor
Get well,brave little kitty:love:
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 01:17 AM
Jared Jared is offline
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Hi there,

Checkers is sitting on my lap as I write this, cleaning himself in a relaxed way.

It's funny, both the emergency vet and his assistant kept calling Checkers a girl, they said his face looks feminine and cutesy
When I tried to disguise the medicine in his cat food, he looked around, and then walked away, as though he was seemingly unimpressed that I would try something so sneaky. He still isn't best pleased about having two pills shoved down his throat twice a day, but I know it is for his own good. The idea of them being crushed into a powder and put into his soft food is a good one, I have to say.

Overall, I would say that he has made a recovery from his state four or five days ago. He is walking a little straighter, and he does not walk into so many walls now. He seems to have the path from the kitchen (up three stairs) to the litterbox, and back to his fleece down quite nicely. He has started to eat a larger ammount of crunchies, but still does not drink anything. (Tuna juice in the water didn't do it for him) He attacks his wet food with incredible vigor, and cleans himself often. He was outside on the grass with me today, streched out in the sun; he inspected a group of flowers quite closely, and ate a bit of grass.

I believe that if I give him the support he needs, that like Kutzy's cat, he will recover and live his live to the best of his abilities. I have faith in him, he recovered once from being hit quite hard by a minivan, and growing up on a bottle and formula (which he always grabbed with crazy determination)

The two medications he is on are called:
Prednisone, which is an anti inflammatory,
and Pentoxifylline, which is supposed to increase blood flow to all parts of the body.

I will keep him happy, and healthy to the best of my abilities and hope that he recovers further, to his old self. Though I fear that he will never have his eye sight back, as the vet said that his retinas have detached from the back of his eyes.

Again I would like to thank you all very much for your warm and friendly answers, and I wish you all the very, very best.
Regards,
Jared


P.S. When I said to Checkers that you all thought he was a beautiful kitty, he
started to pur and lick his paws contentedly.

Last edited by Jared; May 23rd, 2007 at 01:21 AM.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 08:37 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Jared,thank's for not giving up,your post got me all weepy,Checkers is a lucky little boy to have you
I get Rocky to eat his pill,by first giving him very little food in his dish,very watery so he will lick it up quickly,including the crushed pill.
Good Luck! and please keep us updated
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Maya Maya is offline
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Awwww, i'm glad Checkers liked the compliments. Its sad about his eyes but its nice to hear he is enjoying his wet food and feeling better. I hope things continue to improve.
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