Sudden blindness in cats can be an absolutely horrifying experience for any owner, as well as for your cat.
One day your cat is just fine, and the next day they have gone totally blind.
However, this is one condition that you can react to very quickly and if you seek professional help as soon as possible, in most cases it can be reversed.
But the key is to catch it, test for it, and then react as quickly as you can.
There is only one known cause where this condition cannot be reversed, and that is by a reaction to a medication referred to as Baytril.
Sudden blindness in cats will not be hard to spot, even if it is absolutely the furthest thing from your mind.
Your cat will show you some very definitive symptoms such as suddenly bumping into furniture or objects, as well as a loss of balance.
They may also start to cry out because they have absolutely no idea what is happening.
If you see any of these signs develop very quickly, immediately check their pupils.
You can easily do this by taking a flashlight, dim it as low as you can, and then point it directly into your cat’s eyes as close as you can without alarming them.
If their pupils shrink at all, this is a very good sign and they are not blind.
If they stay dilated, your cat has lost their vision.
Another test is to take a piece of paper or an object and place it directly in front of their eyes.
Their normal reaction will be to blink; if they do not, it is confirmed and you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Sudden blindness in cats has a very short list of potential causes.
This list includes hypertension, diabetes, thyroid problems, as well as kidney problems.
All of these potential causes of sudden blindness in cats can be treated except the last cause; reaction to a medication.
In this case, the medication is Baytril, and it is a common medication used to treat infections.
This reaction is not very common and the dosage has to be quite high, but if it does cause blindness in your cat, it is not reversible. For this reason, you should stay as far away from it as you possibly can.
The most common cause of sudden blindness in cats is from hypertension, better known as high blood pressure.
This is much more common in older cats, and it causes retinal detachment to occur which suddenly takes your cats vision.
The full name of this condition is referred to as systemic arterial hypertension, and it is an increase in either your cat’s systolic or diastolic arterial blood pressure, or ABP.
The blood pressure in your cat has two values and the first is systolic pressure which is the high value that develops as their heart contracts and pumps blood.
The second, the diastolic pressure, is referred to as the low value and it occurs as your cats heart relaxes and fills.
If the systolic reading in your cat goes higher that 160 mm Hg, it is considered high and dangerous. If the diastolic pressure exceeds 110 mm Hg, it can also be dangerous.
However, there is one very big challenge with diagnosing this condition; it is extremely difficult to check.
A stethoscope used for testing people cannot be used for cats, and because of this, your veterinarian must use what is called a Doppler devise.
The problem with this is that the mere sight of it will frighten almost any cat, and it may take several attempts for it to be done properly.
Your cat will also show other symptoms before the blindness and they include a sudden personality change as well as a state of depression.
If you see these signs prior to the blindness, it is high blood pressure.
The next potential underlying cause of sudden blindness in cats is from Diabetes.
Diabetes is the result of high glucose in your cat’s blood and if it not caught and treated, it can also result in a sudden loss of vision.
There are several signs that you can watch for that your cat is developing diabetes, but there is one major misconception; cataracts. Diabetes does cause cataracts in dogs, but not in cats.
However, it will cause polydipsia, which is a very sudden increase in their thirst, as well as polyuria, which is a sudden increase in urination.
It can also cause inappropriate elimination as your cat simply cannot make it to their litter box in time.
If you notice this, they are most likely developing diabetes.
They will also start to lose weight because they will not feel like eating, and this occurs even in cats that have voracious appetites.
However, there is one very telling sign that your cat is developing diabetes; a change in their walk or gait.
Diabetes affects your cat’s nervous system and as a result, they will begin to walk with their hocks touching the ground.
If you see any of these signs, sudden blindness in cats may not be far behind.
The next potential cause of sudden blindness in cats is a thyroid problem, which in turn causes high blood pressure and triggers the sudden loss of vision.
The most telling of the early warning signs with this condition is also a very sudden weight loss but this time your cat’s eating habits are totally different than with diabetes.
Your cat will actually start to eat a lot more, but they are still losing weight very rapidly.
Kidney disease, also known as renal disease, can also trigger high blood pressure in your cat, especially in older cats.
There are several potential underlying causes of this disease including age and cancer.
However, the most common causes are considered to be the result of a viral, fungal, or a bacterial infection of some kind.
It may also be the result of parasites, which in turn can cause inflammation that can lead to diseases in the kidney.
This is generally where medications come into this total equation, especially Baytril.
All of the potential underlying causes of sudden blindness in cats can be treated and controlled in most every case except one; a reaction to medications.
There is only one medication that has been documented by the medical community that has as one of its side effects to be a sudden loss of vision, and that is the drug Baytril.
Baytril is the brand name for Enrofloxacin, which is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat several different types of bacterial infections.
Baytril should never be used in pregnant or nursing cats and it if the dosage is too high for even the hardiest of cats, it can and does cause sudden blindness.
For this reason, if your cat has a bacterial infection, before they are treated, ask your veterinarian what they are going to use.
If they suggest Baytril, you should immediately seek a second opinion.
This is the one exception where sudden blindness in cats cannot be reversed.