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Re: Re: OT animal cataracts

Libby, that's a shame.  My Braveheart, about 9yrs, has cataracts in one eye.
Every year I'd ask the vet about treatments and he would poo-poo it; said
he'd be fine.  It makes him sort of nervous because he can't see clearly.
Well, we were just in last month for his annual checkup and I asked again.
He said that most of the sight in that eye is probably gone, but that cats
adjust.  However, your cat's problem is in both eyes and I can see why
you're worried.

If I were in your shoes, I'd say that much depends on that price tag and any
guarantees you'd receive.  I haven't got a clue what this would cost, but if
it is in the 1000s of $s, I might be inclined to let him go blind.  Not
because I care more about the money (though it must be considered unless
you're wealthy) than I do about my cats, but because he will be ok without
the surgery and that money can be put to work benefitting more animals.
Since he is an indoor cat and he's not blind yet, he will spend the next few
years learning every micro-inch of your home.  Over time, every smell and
sound will be cataloged in his little brain.  Cats have surprisingly long
memories.  As long as you have a more or less quiet home without too many
sudden bursts of kids screaming and unexpected noises, etc, he will probably
be quite happy.  My guess is that as his sight disappears he will be more
inclined to be right there with you whenever possible.  So you may have to
be a little bit careful so that you don't stumble over him.

Many years ago I was faced with the choice of surgery for my 15 yr old
Orangecat.  There were no guarantees he would survive the surgery.  I
decided he'd had a better 14 yrs with me than many cats experience and it
was time to let go.  By not spending that $, I was able to take in 2 more
cats.  It was a terribly hard choice to make, but I don't regret it.
Conversely, Mick, at about 4yrs, experienced a life-threatening blood
problem requiring complete transfusions, etc.  There were no guarantees, but
he was young and otherwise healthy.  I spent the $800 and he pulled through
just fine.  Definitely worth it.

A second opinion is a good idea if it is a vet whose opinion you trust.  In
the end, the decision is yours.  I suppose if I were the cat I'd like to at
least be able to see with ONE eye.  Ask if that's an option and the
difference in $.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Libby Valentine" <L_Valentine@adelphia.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 4:07 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Re: OT animal cataracts

> Anybody had the misfortune to have to deal with cataracts in a young
> (cat in this case), or had a blind pet?
> Took the most recent addition in for his checkup - we took him in a year
> Thanksgiving and best guess is he's 3-4 years old.  He's a totally indoor
> cat since rescue.  Vet says he now has cataracts in both eyes, probably
> hereditary.  She wants me to take him to an animal opthamologist and go
> surgery route.  I do not necessarily think that's the best idea:
> considering just logistics there are only 4 specialists in the state, all
> hour or more away, and the surgery requires pre-op visits and testing,
> surgery, serious post-op care, and a ton of follow-up visits.  Along with
> very large price tag, I understand.
> The alternative is he slowly goes blind - from reading I understand this
> much less traumatic for dogs/cats than humans, but still...  I have
> reinstated the vitamin C supplement and am also adding a small amount of
> antioxidant to his breakfast.
> I'm thinking to wait 6 months then take him to my other vet for a status
> check and another opinion.
> Any experiences to share would be appreciated,
> Libby
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