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My 19 year old cat is now completely blind. She seems to be…

Customer Question
My 19 year old...

My 19 year old cat is now completely blind. She seems to be handling it OK, knows where food is,uses litter box, but her vocalizing is really bad. Is there any kind of meds( like a tranquilizer that would help that problem

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name and age?

Natasha and she is 19

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Natasha?

Her blood work came out OK, so we believe she might have a brain tumor.

Submitted: 26 days ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 26 days ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,276
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Verified

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 26 days ago

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue but other experts in this category may be able to assist you in this regard. Please let me know if you'd like another expert to do so and I'll opt out of this conversation. Please stay in the conversation if you wish.

A brain tumor is certainly a possibility but be sure to have her blood pressure checked as hypertension is a very common cause of retinal hemorrhage, detachment, and subsequent blindness. Can you upload a copy of all of Natasha's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy at home but her vet can give you one which you can scan into your computer and then give me the file link or you can photograph the pages and upload them by using the paperclip icon (if you can see that icon) or by using an external app such as dropbox.com/

I not only review the test results but also note which tests should have been performed but weren't.

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
I just want to know if I can ask my vet for a tranquilizer to help her calm down and help with the vocalizing
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 26 days ago

You can certainly ask for either a true tranquilizer such as acepromazine or a benzodiazepine such as alprazolam or clonazepam. These are drugs that can only be prescribed by an attending vet. Here's a good synopsis of the vocalizing cat for you to peruse:

Excessive vocalization is more common in the oriental breeds but can occur in virtually any cat. Since cats are quite active at dawn, it is not uncommon to have complaints of vocalization very early in the morning. There are many causes of nocturnal vocalizing very early in the morning including territorial arousal, attention-seeking behavior, hunger, pain, and disorientation (e.g. geriatric cats with cognitive dysfunction). Cats placed on weight-control diets may occasionally vocalize as a demand for food. For successful diagnosis and treatment, the cause of Brownie's vocalization must be determined. Medical problems could contribute to increased vocalization, restlessness, altered sleep-wake cycles, and increased nocturnal activity, so that an appropriate medical workup should first be performed based on the signalment and clinical signs (blood/urine panel). Knowing the time (nocturnal vs daytime) and situations in which the problem occurs can be helpful in making the diagnosis. It is usually beneficial for the family to keep a diary that includes time of night, day of week, month, when and where the behavior occurs, and comments on what else might be occurring in the environment at the same time. The goal is to identify the triggers for the behavior so they can be addressed. Except in oriental breeds, where the behavior can be highly innate and unrelated to specific stimuli, the prognosis is moderately good for successful correction, provided the owner is able to identify and remove those factors that are initiating or reinforcing the problem. Guidelines for management are as follows:

1) Identify the owner's response to the cat's vocalization and remove any reinforcement (e.g. attention, food, affection, allowing outdoors). Attention should never be given for demanding or vocal behavior.

2) Quiet, non-demanding behavior should be reinforced (treats, petting, praise).

3) Use an interruptive stimulus during vocalization (water gun, compressed air canister, audible or ultrasonic alarm). It is best to avoid eye contact and say nothing while interrupting the behavior. When quiet, Natasha, can be positively reinforced.

4) Identify the stimulus for Natasha's vocalization and reduce exposure. Closing windows so she can't hear or see roaming cats may help. Anything that attracts roaming cats to visit during the night should be discouraged such as feeding outdoors by the door or on the porch.

5) Provide for all of her needs. For nocturnal vocalization provide play, activity, and exercise throughout the evening. Sometimes obtaining a second playful cat can provide an additional outlet for play. Providing food so that it is available just before bedtime and through the night may also be useful for some cats.

6) A benzodiazepine (Valium-like drug) or sedating antihistamine (diphenhydramine at 1mg/lb of body weight) prior to bedtime may be helpful for a few nights to help re-establish night time sleep.

7) Cats with old age onset vocalization should be closely evaluated for any potential medical causes including painful conditions, sensory decline and cognitive dysfunction (senility).

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
she is vocalizing because she is blind. I already mentioned that
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 26 days ago

But that isn't necessarily the case or there may be extenuating circumstances. I'm not impressing you with my talents and so I'll opt out which will give another expert the opportunity to enter this conversation with additional ideas.

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
Thank you for your help, but I will just speak to my vet. Have a nice day
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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,276
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.

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