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Unread 02-05-2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sudden blindness + personality loss

My 13-year-old female blue mixed breed shorthair lost her vision essentially overnight, but she also lost most of her personality. Formerly a rather vocal and gregarious cat that loved to be touched and petted, she (Annie) now is a shadow of her prior self, with no vocalizing, rubbing, or rolling around on her back. She has purred a little bit. She also still plays in her drinking water (and licks the water from her paws). Her vision is extremely compromised, and it's obvious she has little visual acuity, although she may be able to see light, the vet said (she squints in a bright light). She has had to "map" the house and can get around okay, but she will not jump up on anything, and she sometimes blunders into things.

This happened about 10 days ago. I took her to the vet's who could find nothing anomalous in her blood work. She was not running a temperature. The vet feels that it's more likely that Annie has a frontal lobe tumor, although she did not rule out a stroke. Annie seemed to come back a very little bit, and she started purring again when picked up. She knows her name and comes to me when I call her. Her appetite has been good.

After she was listless and barely able to get herself up and about this morning, I took her back to the vet's, and she rehydrated her with a drip (again) and gave her oral Clavamox in case she had some sort of infection, related or unrelated to the blindness/personality loss, although her blood work showed no sign of infection. She also gave her an appetite stimulant, which wired her up to the point that I had to confine her to a porch so she wouldn't hurt herself (she already managed to slip and fall on the basement stairs) or knock something over.

I read some much earlier posts from forum visitors who described symptoms very similar to Annie's, and in a couple of cases, it was an inner-ear infection that responded to antibiotics. She does make small circles as some of the previous posters described, although she does not seem unsteady (except when she got listless).

Has anyone on the forum had a similar experience? Up until now, Annie has been in very good health, eats well, has good teeth. She has never been very good at thinking inside the box, so to speak, but she'll hit the papers around the box (this may be some acting out, as I have another cat). I did not have her from a kitten but from about age 8; she was a Humane Society adoptee whose adopter set her loose, and Annie (Little Orphan) showed up at my place. The rest is history.

I'm really desperate here. My vet and some of my friends think I'm grasping at straws and that Annie is failing and I ought to face the inevitable. I'm not so ready to give up on her, but I feel as if I've already lost her. Any suggestions or similar experiences?

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