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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My cat suffered from high blood pressure which was not caught

Customer Question

My cat suffered from high blood pressure which was not caught by her previous vet. She ended up with a detached retina in both eyes. Her right has healed well and she regained some vision. Her left is very cloudy, filled with blood and protein. Over the past 6 months her eye has grown enlarged from what they assume is a tumor, sonogram was inconclusive. The eye now remains partially open when she sleeps. She is being treated with blood pressure medication, anti-inflammatory eye drops 2x daily, and artificial tears every few hours. She is 18 years old so originally surgery was out of the question but as dry eye can lead to painful ulcers etc., we are running tests to see if she would be a good candidate for surgical removal of the eye. She is being treated by a general veterinarian and an eye specialist. Throughout all this she is still playful, affectionate, eating well and staying hydrated. She has slowed down a bit as expected at her age but overall very healthy. I am wondering if there are other options I should be exploring for her.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your cat?
Customer: No I included all the details.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm so sorry to hear that your kitty is experiencing these difficulties in her old age. What is her name? I'm working on typing out a response for you - it will take me 5-10 minutes to type it all out. Thanks!~Dr. Sara
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience! I can see that your kitty is lucky to have you in her corner - seeking the input of an ophthalmologist is so valuable to her long term care. You are right in your assessment that the current dry eye can become a painful issue for her. Corneal ulcers are quite painful and when the eye cannot fully close it's only a matter of time before we get an ulcer. I'm sorry that they weren't able to find out conclusively what is causing the enlargement of that eye, but I would agree that cancer has to be high on the list. This is assuming that the pressure in the eye is normal and it doesn't look like a straight forward case of glaucoma. An ophthalmologist would be likely to identify it as such if it were "normal" glaucoma. Since there's concern for cancer and for potential detriments to her quality of life if you do nothing, it certainly is reasonable to consider enucleation (removal of the eye) if she is indeed a good candidate based on her systemic health. While anesthesia is certainly not without risk, it is quite safe for the majority of "otherwise healthy" patients. You do have to be prepared, though, that if it is cancer, the enucleation may not cure it. Squamous cell carcinomas and other cancers of the eye are highly aggressive and can easily spread to local tissues and lymph nodes. So the enucleation would make her feel better in that case, but the cancer would still be there and eventually manifest as a space occupying lesion in the socket, inside the skull, or enlargement of the local lymph node. It might be possible for your ophthalmologist to fit the affected eye with a bandage contact lens, but they can be difficult to keep in place and cause irritation or infections in the longer term.I think that you have a good plan in place so far.Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)