19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

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19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:37 pm

I have a nineteen year old kitty who has renal failure and we do fluids for her four times a week which she has been doing for four years and doing very well. Recently she got a infection (bacterial) and was treated with Baytral and is now blind. She is old and scared. And so am I (scared). We recently got two kittens who are wild and wanted to jump on her anytime she tried to walk anywhere and even when she would sleep when she felt good. Now I don't know what to do. We live in a splil level home and really have no way to seperate them fairly unless we lock one or the other in a bedroom. Any suggestions on what to do? Also my blind kitty has been living on our bed since she's been sick and now blinded she feels safe there we have it so she can't fall off and she has her litter box food on it as well. :) My husband sleeps with her as he is her comforter especially now, he's a good man. ;) I don't know what we should do she is not a 100% well she is kind of wobbly and has arthritis but not going to do anything like euthanize her either no way we love her too much. My biggest thing now is the kittens shouldn't of taken them they were both strays both came to the vet clinic where I got them. If anyone has suggestions I'd be ever so grateful. I am not real pleased with my vet as I have read articles by the hundreds about the antibiotic Baytral he should never have given it to her. :( I made sure to ask about ill side effects as I always do before giving her anything and he said it didn't have any. He's been good up to now and we don't have many choices where we live he was the best choice. :0 My poor little soul Jazmyne and I would like to Thank you ahead of time. :thankyou:
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby BendyMom » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:46 pm

First, WELCOME to the board! :banner:

sorry to hear about your girl going blind. my vet once told me she had never actually seen a cat go blind from it although she has heard of it as a possible side effect. She also said it occurred at the high end of the dose. I've used it with great effect, and no side effects. Cats actually don't rely on their vision nearly as much as we do. I have had sight impaired cats of all ages, for all different reasons (cataracts, eye damage...) and once they map the room out they do fine. Since your gal knows her way around, she shouldn't have an issue.

Since your girl likes to stay on the bed, is there a way to close off that room? The kittens will be fine if they can't get in there and your old gal will be happier. I have a 'senior room' some seniors have decided to stay in there full time, others have decided that they will be in the main house part of the time and then ask me to let them in the room when they want peace and quiet. (i take in senior cats as part of my rescue efforts)

about your old gal being arthritic and wobbly, is she on anything for the arthritis? I have used Cosequin and MSM - both over the counter - with great effect. I have also used Adequan (off label use for cats) for extreme cases.
I"m not sure about giving a kidney cat prednisone, but i have also used prednisone for arthritis with really good effects.

putting a heating pad on low with a towel wrapped around it can also be very soothing for achy joints.

glad to hear you are keeping her going with fluids. I hope some of this has been helpful to you.

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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby CarolC » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:48 pm

Hi nd hassey,

I would be very upset about the Baytril, too, if that is the cause.

I just want you to know that blindness is also one of the possible results of chronic kidney disease and may be treatable if you catch it soon enough. Here is a link.

http://www.felinecrf.org/just_diagnosed.htm wrote:Blindness

Sometimes CKD cats go blind, and this may happen suddenly. Look at your cat's pupils and check whether they are enlarged or very black, even in bright light. If so, don't panic. The most common cause of blindness in a CKD cat is hypertension (high blood pressure), but if you start the correct treatment (a drug called amlodipine - Norvasc or Istin) as quickly as possible, your cat has a reasonable chance of regaining his/her vision.


http://www.felinecrf.com/comm0.htm wrote:Retinal detachment, in which the retinas develop cysts and detach, is common in CRF cats. Unfortunately, visual impairment may not be recognized until retinal detachment occurs and the cat becomes blind and disoriented. This condition is usually treatable and can be controlled with medication if hypertension is diagnosed early.


I gave fluids to Betsy twice a day for 3 years. She was a Himalayan with beautiful light blue eyes but they always looked black because the pupils were dilated, and in the photo I am attaching you can kind of tell they look black. She could see light and dark, but was blind otherwise.

Betsy had her own room. She was already ancient when I fostered 2 Katrina dogs that were very active, and the stress gave her pancreatitis. I gave her her own room and we managed to restore her health, but she loved having her own room. It was what she wanted. She thrived not being bothered, having her sunny spot and her own box and her very own peace and quiet.

I agree on the heating pad, Betsy loved her heating pad, set on low. Her grooming improved after she got her own room, and I think the warmth of the heating pad made her able to bend better. I made a bunch of flannel covers to put on it so she could have a fresh one every day, and left it on low when I was home but unplugged it when I went to work. If you don't have a heating pad, be sure to read the box when you go buy one. Too many of them have a 2-hour shut off (for people who fall asleep). I have seen the kind that do not shut off at Walgreen's.

You may notice a couple of things in the picture. Under the heating pad is a white quilted incontinent pad. These are great, they are washable (hundreds of times) and reusable. You may also notice a "puppytraining pad" on the floor next to the futon. Her litterbox is on the pad but out of the view of the camera. Betsy was very ancient and sometimes she would go next to the box instead of in it, so I kept pads under it. If I was going to keep a litterbox on the bed like you are doing (very good idea) I would put the quilted pads under it in case she misses. She will not mind walking on the quilted pads as they are not crinkly, and it saves laundry. [EDIT: Actually looking at the photo, that is the one pad I have that is not quilted, it is kind of a fleece, but all our other pads (we have a stack of them I get at the thrift shop) are quilted cotton with a waterproof back, about $13 each at Walgreen's but worth it if you can't get secondhand.]

Love the way you are caring for your 19-year old kitty. To me, old pets are my favorite.

Betsy30.JPG


If the blindness is permanent, she will adjust. With Betsy (she was also hard of hearing) I learned to let her know I was there by blowing on her fur so I wouldn't startle her.
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:57 pm

Thanks to you both for your replies. Our baby girl Jazmyne is on blood pressure pills already one being Benazepril and the other Amiodipine Besylate. But when she had the infection she was put down to one time a day quarter tablet of the 5mg. Benazepruil. Today is fluid day ( I bring her in because I can't bear the thought of poking her n not hitting something I shouldn't. I am once again going to have them check her blood pressure the tech. tried a few days ago and couldn't get one. They do it while she's in her carrier not so sure that's the best but they've always done it like that, this is second time she's not gotten it to register so not sure if its the machine or Jazmyne. I feel sometimes they feel she's old so oh well. :/ I'm certain they didn't think she would survive the infection, never can give up if they don't. I worry she's lonesome in the bedroom I go in off and on to pet and love on her but how boring it must be. It's only been a week so I'm still frantic and sure she is too. :'( I can't prove the Baytril is the cause but she had a seizure as well. Was the first two side effects I saw when looking it up.I actually typed in sudden blindness and Baytril came up as one of the top ten causes. Sudden blindness n seizures,though not common. Had I even thought she could go blind I would never agreed to it. I was told no ill side effects to be concerned about. I did have the vet check her eye ( she only has one eye) he said the retina is attached n they do dilate n restrict he said he thinks she can see some, I disagree I see how she is at home and she cannot see. Jazmyne is my fourth kitty with renal failure. I had all four at one time two on fluids then, last one passed year n half ago at the age of 22. A ? I have is when we bring her to the family room another place she spent lots of time in she is restless,we let her roam with our close eye on her but she normally would lay on couch with my husband n will still for a short period n want to get up n move. She goes in circles sometimes too. Is this common in the beginning do you know? She can't jump from our bed as its too high plus she'd be confused I think n its also on the upper level so I don't want her falling down the stairs. Once again Thank you n you have one pretty kitty. Love people who take loving care of their pets. Warms my heart. I knew this was a good place to be people I know don't understand how bad we feel. :thankyou:
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby BendyMom » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:23 pm

circling is a classic sign of neurological damage, most likely from the seizure. I have two cats who had head injuries who circle a few times, then walk straight. some animals will circle a lot more than others. I'm not sure what exactly is going on that causes it, but it is indicated of brain damage. If she seems confused then that coudl well also be part of it too.

I would press the vet for better care. We have to stand up for our critters! the attitude of "old so oh well' is not acceptable. I had a cat with heart disease who had her blood pressure taken, they never had a problem. they NEED to know if the medication is working, If they don't get it again, INSIST they take her out of the crate and recheck it. If you don't know what her bp is doing, you don't know if the medication is at the right dose and there isn't much point in giving meds at teh wrong dose.
If there is a particular vet or tech who you think does a better job than the others, insist on seeing them.
"oh well" is NEVER accetable.
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:33 pm

I do agree our pets need good advocates, I live in a small area and the other two vet choices are not good. As a matter of fact lots of years ago I was at a different one until the unprofessional acting vet lost her entire crew. Not a good place at all. Mine I like ,he's older but up to now I've had good care. rural mind you. ;) I do get on them for BP readings, it hasn't been all that long they've had a BP machine. :/ its pretty relaxed there maybe too much. They know I'm serious about my kitties care. I only wonder why he didn't give me even one reason her sight is gone.:( Good people there. We do pay a price for living in smaller communities. Id be very happy to have a urgent care ER n good Drs. ;) Will see soon how her BP is. Thank you for the information. Much appreciated.PS Their is only one tech n vet in this clinic. :/
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby CarolC » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:40 pm

Well, you guys are lucky. I asked about taking blood pressure for Betsy (it was several years ago) and neither of the vet clinics I went to had the equipment. One vet thought *maybe* they had the equipment at the regional specialty hospital...

I am talking out of school here because I have fortunately never had to deal with seizures, and BendyMom has way more experience with feline medicine than I do. I found this link which does talk about seizures and blindness. It mentions that blindness caused by Baytril is "extremely rare" and blindness caused by hypertension in chronic renal failure cats is "a relatively common occurrence". It also talks about the possibility of eyesight returning. I don't know, but perhaps there is a little room for hope.

http://www.felinecrf.org/hypertension.htm wrote:Blindness, Particularly Sudden Blindness (Retinal Detachment)

Unfortunately this is a relatively common occurrence in cats with untreated hypertension. The hypertension causes the retinas to detach, so the cat becomes blind.

You may notice a change in your cat's eyes, such as dilated pupils or uneven pupils, or you can try moving your hand towards your cat's face and see if s/he reacts (a positive menace response) or not (a negative menace response). Another option is to get your cat's attention, then drop a cotton wool ball and see if the cat follows the ball with his/her eyes.

Blindness may also manifest itself in a less obvious manner. e.g. your cat may no longer jump and climb, which you might ascribe to weakness, when in fact it is caused by an inability to see where s/he is jumping. Your cat may also walk differently, perhaps keeping to the side of rooms, or walking through food (because s/he cannot see it).

Even if your cat's retinas detach because of high blood pressure, if treatment is started quickly enough (usually within three days of detachment), there is an approximately 50:50 chance of the retinas re-attaching and your cat regaining some sight. Even if you do not start amlodipine immediately, there is still hope: I know of one CKD cat who went blind but regained his sight, even though treatment was not begun for some weeks; but obviously the sooner you begin treatment, the better your cat's chances.

If you can see a veterinary ophthalmologist, s/he may be able to suggest other measures in addition to the use of amlodipine to increase the chances of the retinas re-attaching; but many people just use amlodipine with the help of their general vet and see an improvement in their cat's vision.

If your cat's retinas do not re-attach, do not despair, cats cope far better with blindness than humans do, and I would not consider blindness in itself to be grounds for euthanasia.

One other possible cause of blindness in cats is the use of an antibiotic called Baytril, though this is extremely rare if dosage guidelines are adhered to.

Sometimes cats can appear blind after seizures and you will get a negative menace response, but this should not last for long, and in fact they are not normally blind - Harpsie had a negative menace response after his seizures and several vets were convinced he was blind, but he could still see and play with Cat Dancer.


Maybe you could rotate the cats if needed? In other words, if she wants to be out in the main house, the kittens can be confined somewhere for a few hours? Then if she is in her room sleeping, they can run through the house. I wouldn't feel bad about that. Someday they will be old and it will be their turn to have others make concessions for them... :)
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:21 pm

Her BP was low. So she isn't taking her pill. Will check again tomorrow after no meds for 48 hrs. I was hoping it would've been that. I believe they are also thinking it was the Baytril too. It's rare but unfortunately it happens n looks like my baby is paying the price. I'm not blaming anyone cause it certainly wasn't on purpose. Bit sad so sad..... Yes we do lock the kittens up and let her out,thinking she needs to get out of there, not sure yet if she enjoys it. But it is close to her old routine. It's nice now that they do BP as one of the others I had they didn't. I am ever so grateful for you people and the suggestions. Thank you so much.
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:12 pm

Want to thank you all. Our precious baby has gone to the Rainbow Bridge,now she can see again and feel good no more suffering. I thank everyone for all the help and I now have a place to come if needed. Blessings to you and your furry kids. :angel:
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby BendyMom » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:15 pm

oh no!!! very very sorry to hear this.
do you know what happened?
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby ScottJMiller » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:37 am

Separating the kittens from your older cat would be the thing for her. The stresses of two kittens ambushing her is what is not "fair". If your separate them, the kittens aren't going to hold it against you. They do not have the capacity to determine what is and is not "fair". Give the older cat some respite from your tiny terrors. It will bring a lot of relief to your senior cat and more importantly to you.
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby nd hassey » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:56 pm

My baby is my angel now but I appreciate your reply. I miss her like crazy. :(
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Re: 19 year old suddenly blind cat help us....

Postby ScottJMiller » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:59 pm

I'm sure you gave her 19 GOOD years. Just think where she might have been had you not taken her in. I put one of my girls down last year. After 20 years she developed cancer. When she came to me one morning, looked up at me and meowed like she had never done before, I knew it was time. So did she. Always remember, without you, his or her life would probably have been tragic.
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