Re: Sassy - 19yr old (close to 20) - Not eating / Very Lethargic + losing balance

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miguel99nyc

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Yes, and as mentioned her other senses are helping her as well :)
Also one other thing someone here made me try and tried this morning. So her eyes pupils are kinda round a bit this morning, but its kind of dark in my room - its dark dreary day. Sun was coming out and she looked in direction of window, her pupils constricted to the narrow shape it goes when lit. I also tried flash light and her pupils went from round to thin for brief moment, until i turned off flash light and her pupils went back to roundness.
 

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Well, she sit in her bed for a while cleaning her face, then gets off it to walk elsehwere but then returns to it. Like I know shes not I guess, THAT blind? Because even this morning, I shifted her bed in different area to where my desk is apposed to my bed, she looked down on it and wanted to get inside of it. Plus at times, Id walk in front of her slowly as she walks to see if she manuevers around my leg, without any whiskers touching me, and she managed to get out of the way. Plus she knows when im placing her food bowl down, no matter where it goes down. However, when I pour dry food into her plate she doesn't track that, but once she smells it then eats it. Sometimes. Also, she still knows at times where her scratching post is. LIke 3 days ago, i came home, she waits for me by door, sees me walk towards the room where I feed her, so she still follows me, and scratches her scratch post like normal. So is there such thing as maybe partial vision loss?
Definitely partial vision loss is a possibility. The one dilated eye would make me wonder if something is going on, and maybe she's lost vision in one eye and her peripheral vision isn't the best? I've known some who could detect shadows but didn't seem to see everything in front of them as well as they once did. I've heard that people who go blind develop a sort of 6th sense, a "radar" around them that helps them navigate, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same was true for animals. Is she holding her head differently than normal at all?
Edit: I just saw your last post about her pupils being more normal :)
 
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miguel99nyc

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I am just going to second the idea that if your cat has suddenly gone blind in a home that is completely familiar to her, you won't see her bumping into objects and not finding food. I had a blind dog once who was fine....until we moved. In the meantime, rearrange nothing in your house. Walking off the bed is a definite red flag.

The one blind cat I had did go blind very suddenly, but it was from Cryptococcus. His pupils were greatly dilated; we did put him on atenolol, but the route to his diagnosis was very lengthy and it did not help. Definitely call the vet now.
Hello,

So I am definitely going to be making an appointment with my vet. I asked my vet but he said its up to me? But at the very least he advised to check her blood pressure. I believe that's a start.

You had mentioned walking off the bed a red flag? Sorry I wasn't clear maybe - I meant like she has her cat bed thats on the floor. She'd sit in it to either wash her face, or now lately, just avoids it after eating. She'd go drink water, then come back to sit in it but not lay down right away. And now she's in this habit of just sit in her bed, then gets back out and walks out to living room area or hall way between rooms and just cries. It's getting to me a bit because for one, shes clearly not resting. I don't know if this is a result of her being blind or losing vision partially that causing her to vocalize more or if its high blood pressure? I did notice as of now her nose is appearing a bit darker again, though not as dark as it was 2 weeks ago. What info I can't find is how long would she have to been with high blood pressure to affect her vision? I doubt once she had it, vision loss is immediately after? And yes, I did mention the darker than normal nose was about 2 weeks ago. Though it had gone to normal color maybe 4-5 days after i noticed it? Just trying to get a bit better understanding of it.

She still pushing through bathroom door just fine to get to her liter box. she uses her paws as always to open it to get inside.and she still asking for her food though its challenging a little as she doesn't see her bowl...but would smell the food once i place it inside, then eats.

But aside from that, I don't know what else could be going on. I read everywhere that blindness with cats will still act normal after some time, but I don't think that makes them restless? She cries so much, and it pains me becausse in some way I feel like shes suffering...but everywhere I read it says it isn't a reason to give up on her. Im just confused right now to her behavior.
 

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I misunderstood, so don't worry about the walking off the bed part!

An animal who has experienced the loss of a sense or the loss of mobility (which your cat has not) will sometimes become agitated as they are no longer sure of their environment. My dog who was blind was definitely not restless, but that may be a species difference. When we moved and the house was new, she actually shut down as opposed to being restless or barking. Picked a place and stayed there.

As you have found, most articles about blindness from hypertension refer to it as "sudden" but that does not clarify a time frame. I am not sure if the blindness is related to length of time of hypertension or severity of it, or both.
 
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miguel99nyc

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Right, most of what I've read about cats who become blind - sudden or gradual, seem to just calm down most of the time because they fear of surroundings or unaware of it in some sort. Which makes sense. But with my cat it's the total opposite, like right now what she would normally sleep right after eating her 4:30pm meal, its now 7:30 and JUST now, after getting in and out of her bed like at least 5 times, has settled down. The wierd thing also, she circles around in her bed, but has always done that. I'm guessing to find a good comfortable position? But nowadays, she does it spinning in her bed, by even doing so, she vocalizes until she finally lays down and tucks her head inside and sleeps. But for this afternoon, it took her nearly 3 hours for her to go sleep! that used to be her old self, just staying up walking around and such, but back in her prime years. Not even like that in past 2 years. Im sure at some point she'd be BOUND to be sooo tired and exhausted and eventually go back to sleep in her bed. Only other fear is that would throw off her short frequent meals timing. However, so far she's eaten three times in that span of 3 hours...so her hunger is still there at least.

My other fear is that taking her to the vet ALWAYS stressed her out. She cries like crazy once put in bag and taking her out. So once she gets checked, she already gets agitated and becomes rather angry at times. But afraid that once they take her blood pressure, that would most likely return back as high due to her stressed out from the visit/outdoors itself? Then that could be a misdiagnosis?

If its a misdiagnosis, and perhaps she just lost vision due to her age...is that something that could occur within span of a week?
 

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The pacing, restlessness and meowing could even be a little bit of dementia or sun downers, just like people get, as well. At 20 years, this is a definite possibility, and not life threatening!
 

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Right, most of what I've read about cats who become blind - sudden or gradual, seem to just calm down most of the time because they fear of surroundings or unaware of it in some sort. Which makes sense. But with my cat it's the total opposite, like right now what she would normally sleep right after eating her 4:30pm meal, its now 7:30 and JUST now, after getting in and out of her bed like at least 5 times, has settled down. The wierd thing also, she circles around in her bed, but has always done that. I'm guessing to find a good comfortable position? But nowadays, she does it spinning in her bed, by even doing so, she vocalizes until she finally lays down and tucks her head inside and sleeps. But for this afternoon, it took her nearly 3 hours for her to go sleep! that used to be her old self, just staying up walking around and such, but back in her prime years. Not even like that in past 2 years. Im sure at some point she'd be BOUND to be sooo tired and exhausted and eventually go back to sleep in her bed. Only other fear is that would throw off her short frequent meals timing. However, so far she's eaten three times in that span of 3 hours...so her hunger is still there at least.

My other fear is that taking her to the vet ALWAYS stressed her out. She cries like crazy once put in bag and taking her out. So once she gets checked, she already gets agitated and becomes rather angry at times. But afraid that once they take her blood pressure, that would most likely return back as high due to her stressed out from the visit/outdoors itself? Then that could be a misdiagnosis?

If its a misdiagnosis, and perhaps she just lost vision due to her age...is that something that could occur within span of a week?
I groomed a dog who went 100% blind overnight. He had SRA (sudden retinal atrophy). I don't know much about it, but apparently it can happen. I actually knew a person who went blind, completely, just sitting there watching TV one day. (Thank God she wasn't behind the wheel of a car.)
 
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miguel99nyc

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Definitely partial vision loss is a possibility. The one dilated eye would make me wonder if something is going on, and maybe she's lost vision in one eye and her peripheral vision isn't the best? I've known some who could detect shadows but didn't seem to see everything in front of them as well as they once did. I've heard that people who go blind develop a sort of 6th sense, a "radar" around them that helps them navigate, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same was true for animals. Is she holding her head differently than normal at all?
Edit: I just saw your last post about her pupils being more normal :)
And sorry, I don't think I said only one eye is dilated? None of them are at the moment, at least they seem normal for this time of night?

I think i mentioned, I did that flashlight test with the light from my phone. If i tried pointing to her eyes she can't stare at it, she blinks and turns her head away. And of course, her pupil becomes narrower. I don't believe she holds her head differently? I attached a picture I just took moments ago how she sleeps in her bed. She'd always sleep usually in this position, or sometimes she holds her head but that's been her for like, many years when shes very comfy and i guess deep sleep?
 

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iPappy

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I thought you said at one point one pupil was dilated but they've been normal ever since..I might have gotten my wires crossed :)
I was curious if she was holding her head differently or tilted, or if one ear is drooping, etc., because I was wondering if she had a small stroke, but I don't really know much about it. She looks so content in her little bed. Bless her heart. ❤
 
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miguel99nyc

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Have you tried a purr toy or Cat Music to help her be less distressed?
Hello,

I do try that, at least Cat Music on Youtube? Not sure if it helps. Sometimes I feel like it does. Not always. But still definitely try it.

One more thing I forgot to point out, but maybe it's just from lack of wanting to sleep right away as she'd always do or I don't know but, one thing I have also noticed since her vision being an issue, is that each time she'd eat her small/frequent meal, she will drink water. Literally right after it or few minutes after. And sometimes in her effort to go to her bed, sit there, and just go back out, she would walk back to her water bowl and drink water again for 2nd time. And she has done that everyday now so far. Doesn't drink a crazy amount of water but, definitely she wouldn't go drink water right after a meal that's for sure as she would normally just go to sleep after her meal. Does that mean anything?

Oddly/Funny enough, so temps here in NYC just getting coolish, so our heater has come on in our apartment. So every winter Sassy would find ways to get into bathroom to the heating pipe? So she can sit right next to it because she loves that warmth. Being that her vision is nearly gone perhaps, yesterday was first day the heat came on and she went straight to the heating pipe (looped around the door thats in front of it mind you) and just stood there by heat pipe like her old self.
 

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miguel99nyc miguel99nyc - It's absolutely obvious to me that you care deeply for this little cat. It's also clear to me that you haven't grasped the seriousness for the potential that she may have high blood pressure...and, what that alone could cause to happen. IF she does, any degree of vision loss will be the least of her (and your) problems.

So, in the hope that you'll better understand the dangers of untreated HBP, I'll leave you with this: Urgent Symptoms of Hypertension


One further point. Your Vet has already done you (at least) two disservices. First, upon the detection of the murmur, the everyday 'standard of care' calls for a blood pressure test. (from what you've written in here, you weren't advised). Secondly,
I asked my vet but he said its up to me? But at the very least he advised to check her blood pressure...
there's no indication that he expressed any urgency in having this done. Standards of care indicate that this is an urgent issue requiring intervention at the earliest opportunity. Fact, not my opinion.

FWIW, I just read your description of another HBP symptom:
... I don't think that makes them restless? She cries so much...
 
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miguel99nyc

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miguel99nyc miguel99nyc - It's absolutely obvious to me that you care deeply for this little cat. It's also clear to me that you haven't grasped the seriousness for the potential that she may have high blood pressure...and, what that alone could cause to happen. IF she does, any degree of vision loss will be the least of her (and your) problems.

So, in the hope that you'll better understand the dangers of untreated HBP, I'll leave you with this: Urgent Symptoms of Hypertension


One further point. Your Vet has already done you (at least) two disservices. First, upon the detection of the murmur, the everyday 'standard of care' calls for a blood pressure test. (from what you've written in here, you weren't advised). Secondly,
there's no indication that he expressed any urgency in having this done. Standards of care indicate that this is an urgent issue requiring intervention at the earliest opportunity. Fact, not my opinion.

FWIW, I just read your description of another HBP symptom:
Ok. No, you were the first post or so that have mentioned about High blood pressure. I hadn't even think of that when I first noticed her nose change color to darker color back around September 16th. For one, it had gone away in few days and outside of that nose color, she seemed fine. She did begin to cry a bit a little more and more prior to sleeping and wondered if she wanted attention. I'd go right up to her, pet her and laid on bed next to her bed and then she would go sleep. But over days and days she kept crying a bit more, other times she'd go right to bed. Then suddenly her vision became an issue a week or so later leading up to now, and just now I've been realizing it could be high blood pressure or some other issue underlying. This was initial response when I asked vet last week about vision issue and vocalization:

Could be due to age could be if she has undiagnosed high blood pressure and has damaged retinas because of it and losing her vision as well

So at that moment I realized it could be that, so I've scheduled to take her this coming Thursday. Vet then replied saying it can't be reversed but managed with medication. I know being blind is the least of the problem, its the underlying cause of it. So Im going to have her eyes checked and of course blood pressure checked. I didn't think the walking around/restless was HBP but make sense. So I'm going to take her Thursday see what comes out. My fear is that she always gets aggressive and cries excessively when I take her out, and obviously gets stressed at visit. So, how would it be determined if she has HBP from just the visit/stress or if its actual HBP of its own? It could be high already from visit? I'll ask the vet about that.
 

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Vet then replied saying it can't be reversed but managed...
This is from the info I first gave you:
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine says "We can treat a cat’s high blood pressure with a drug called amlodipine, which may allow a retina to reattach itself, and the cat can get some of its vision back." Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook says "some vision may be restored in about 50% of cases of blindness secondary to hypertension." [the link is in the first few words there, Miguel]​
and, this is by the author of that site:​
"Even if your cat's retinas detach because of high blood pressure, if treatment is started quickly enough, there is a chance of the retinas re-attaching and your cat regaining some sight."
and​
"there is an approximately 50:50 chance of the retinas re-attaching and your cat regaining some sight if treatment with amlodipine is started quickly enough..."​

So, speed is of the essence!

Sure, these "visits" stress all cats to varying degrees. (I do have to point out to you, though, that, a couple of pages back in this thread, you seemed to be taking her in frequently without mention of this.)

What I and others have observed is that the longer the cat is present in the clinic, the lower the stress level becomes. With that in mind, I would arrange the testing for late in the day and to bring her (with her bed and a favourite toy) in early in the day. When you drop her off, see the 'head nurse' and explaining why she needs to be acclimatized ahead of her test, and asking that they give her some periodic "loving"/attention. It might be a technician, if not the Vet, who conducts the test. If you think your presence is likely to have a calming effect, say so and insist on being there with her.
.
 
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miguel99nyc

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So I've taken her to the vet this morning. Was such a struggle because for one obviously her vision is diminished and such, plus stress of going out in general in her bag.

Vet turned off light in room and examined her eyes and mentioned Retinal disease. Didn't specify Retinas Detachment but she didn't react to the spot light nor her his finger approaching her eye.

They did take her blood pressure and it was quite high so she needs to be on medication for it. She was very agressive, hissing and growling as vet checker her organs though she been like that for past few years at check up. Even when tech cuffed her wrist she was hissing and such. Then they took blood work after.

At first he wanted to give me pills but I know its near impossible to pill this cat. So I asked for the gel kind for the ear. He had to check with this pharmacists if they can make it but I did see it on Chewy though? He also mentioned her blood pressure has to be checked in one week but also said there's chance the transdermal gel won't be as affecting as a pill being taken into the gut. Is this true? He said it's very unlikely her vision would correct itself if at all, but at the very least we would prevent any further issues such as seizures or stroke.

As to what caused it? They did a blood test and probnp test which I should know results by tomorrow, but he said could range from her kidney disease,thyroidism, heart murmur to mention a few. There would have to be an underlying issue so hoping blood test will show that but she must be on this blood pressure medication.

I just wish I knew weeks in advance. It seems that dark red nose was possibly the first indicator, as her vision back around September 16th was totally fine, and now nearly 2 weeks later her blood pressure is an issue and only noticed because of her vision loss.

I really don't expect her to play or run around as such because of her age and hasn't for maybe over a year or so? As shes old 20 yrs now. I don't think going blind is the end of the world for her. Because of her age, at least months prior to this issue, alll she would do is just walk around, sit in sun at times, or just eat and sleep. No jumping of any sorts and such.Just lately aside from vision, as mentioned, her vocalization and wandering off was worrying, so just now hoping blood pressure drops to normal, and she can act normal, of course with a little more care knowing her vision is gone. But her routine should remain the same or go back the same shouldn't it? Especially if she really didn't do much prior?.
 

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I'd be hopeful that her blood pressure would normalize and she would feel better and act less restless. But, like you say, she's 20 so I wouldn't be upset if she didn't go back to batting around toys and zooming around the house. I saw some improvements in my sick dog for a few months, but he never "played". He just seemed to take more interest in his surroundings and engaged with life, if that makes any sense. :) I would keep notes on how she's doing, and definitely keep in contact with your vet with concerns or updates.
 
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miguel99nyc

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Ok so I will definitely be contact or await my vets call this morning as they almost always call back following morning with blood work results and such.

So I've mentioned this. And its killing me right now because I feel like I made the issue worse.

Upon bring my cat back home she seemed completely blind. Bumping into everything. She wasn't like that before vet visit and moments leading up to it. Now overnight and this morning, I still see her now struggling - bumping into walls and just having hard time navigating, again making it seems shes totally blind now. My problem is that she wasn't like this prior to vet visit at all! Could it be the stress and such of going out and being at vet that also maybe raised her blood pressure even more made this worse immediately? And leave now a surely permanent damage to her eyes? There's no way it could appear she lost her vision fully just within one small quick trip unless its the blood pressure rising during visit and making it further worse? It's killing me now and I cried because while it might now currently seem it was a bad move on my part...thinking her pressure would calm down during day resting and such being back home, I mean its just night and day difference. Night prior she would get in and out of rooms with doors not fully opened just fine. Now she's going into corners and such.

Yes, visit confirmed high blood pressure, and I will be giving her the transdermel gel of medication some time today as soon as I pick it up, but I doubt it will do anything off the bat first day or so would it? I don't even know how it works or how fast it would lower blood pressure if any, especially for the gel? Its extremely depressing and upsetting too. Just not sure what could have happened other than pressure rising during visit and making her completely blind :( Anyone have thoughts?
 
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