Constantly dilated pupils in old cat, help!

(21 Posts)
LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 11-Oct-13 11:49:43

Hi, MIL's cat has its pupils constantly dilated even during the day (we live with MIL for the moment), the house is quite dark but it is sunny today and still all black pupils. I can barely see the yellow. I shown a lamp in its face and no reaction almost. I would have expected to be a black slit and yellow iris showing.
THe cat is 12 or 13, outdoor cat sleeping a lot more this week (may be the cold weather, though)
Am I right to be worried? Don't want to worry MIL too much she has a lot of issues with doctors and diet, and her stuffs. IF it is as serious as I think I will have to insist a lot and prepare my arguments...

Anyone a vet or have noticed that in their cat before? What was the outcome?
I am thinking vet soon.

TIA

Can it see? I've had cats that had pupils blow as a result of high blood pressure and they've gone blind in that eye (instantly - so it blows and they instantly can't see - not it blows and they go blind a bit later).

We have a vet on the board, she might be able to help.

SilverApples Fri 11-Oct-13 12:28:00

That was my thought, TCN. My cat had exactly that for a couple of days, ended up on a tablet a day for BP and didn't lose the sight in either eye.
With diet regulation, it ended up being a tablet every other day.

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 12:28:37

My old cat had this at the end- he had kidney problems. I'm sorry to tell you that he was blind, and we had made an appointment to have him PTS when he died quietly at home. He was much older than your MIL's cat though.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 11-Oct-13 14:03:18

Vets - today. Very likely to be detached retinas. If we catch them early and get the cat on the meds the retinas can reattach. These are usually secondary to high blood pressure every moment the cat s unmediated it is at risk of a stroke.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 11-Oct-13 14:04:06

Medicated they can happy lives for several years.

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 14:09:38

The loss of sight might be permanent though? (Athough I know that blind cats can live very happy lives if appropriately looked after.)

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 11-Oct-13 14:26:15

Maybe, but until you try you don't know. The faster you try the more likely you are to succeed. The fast majority of vets have Doppler oscilloscopes now to monitor blood pressure accurately ( we have two).

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 11-Oct-13 14:26:52

Thanks, that what I thought too.
Hmm, seems to see OK, he is out for now so no vet until it comes back and he might be hiding somewhere because of the rain.
Will try to decide them to get him checked. I would take him myself but no car and we don't live at MIL out of pleasure either, so no spare money for someone else's cat.

Lottie4 Fri 11-Oct-13 14:38:21

I'd also say a vet's appointment today. The sooner some things are treated the better as it gives a better chance of recovery if there is a problem. A cat aged 12/13 is an elderly cat in my mind, so you don't leave them and see if they cover, you get them checked out. Eyes should react to light.

If she will agree, you could make an appointment for tonight's surgery and that will give you time to get him in. If he doesn't return, I'm sure it won't be the first time someone has had to cancel a vet's appointment for that reason. My two are both 14 and haven't noticed them sleeping more, in fact, they've been demanding I play with them as they don't want to go out, so really is worth getting him checked out.

Obviously you don't get on too well, but you could always offer to go with her. If she won't agree, maybe she would speak to the vet's nurse who may be able to persuade her he really needs to be checked. If she is worried about money, it won't cost much to have one appointment so she knows a bit more and can then think about how it's dealt with.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 11-Oct-13 15:06:21

Don't worry cat is back, I have blinded myself try to see if the light was strong enough hmm, cat is booked at the vet for later today.

Morality: may be I should always ignore DH 1st advice, he does agree with me now hmm.

cozietoesie Fri 11-Oct-13 16:53:32

Best of luck to him. Let us know how you get on.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 11-Oct-13 18:46:21

Vet had to go to an emergency so we will see him tomorrow!

Cybercat Fri 11-Oct-13 18:51:48

My first thought was high blood pressure too, it's often secondary to kidney disease - not trying to frighten you as one of ours is on meds for kidney disease and still going strong.

This sounds like our old cat - she was diagnosed with high blood pressure secondary to kidney disease, that had caused detached retinas and near blindness.

She was treated for the kidney failure and high blood pressure (I was amazed, watching the vet nurse taking her blood pressure), and lived on happily for several more months - the blindness didn't seem to bother her too much - she could take herself outside to go to the loo, find her food and water, and she seemed to know when I was sitting on the couch, and would jump,up next to me for a cuddle.

Sadly her health did eventually deteriorate, to the point where she had poor quality of life, and we had to make the hard decision, and have her put to sleep.

But we had had several more months with her, and I treasure those memories.

I hope you get good news at the vet tomorrow - paws fingers crossed.

timtam23 Fri 11-Oct-13 22:54:46

Exactly the same as posters above - we very belatedly noticed that our 17 yr old male cat was bumping into things, had massive pupils and was a lot more withdrawn than usual

He had high blood pressure & retinal damage (not detached yet but definite high blood pressure damage)
He had had surgery for an overactive thyroid last year and I suspect his kidneys are not as good as they used to be

Happily for the moment he is ok on medication for the BP (amlodipine) and he has a reasonable quality of life if we keep things quiet & avoid change for him - but I have to be realistic that he probably has only a few more months with us - sad because we recently had to have the other 18 yr old moggy put to sleep as well

Good luck at the vets

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 12-Oct-13 13:14:06

Not good news, he has a secondary infection to FIV, so even if we can treat this infection he doesn't have much time. He will probably go blind soon too. Because he is showing symptoms he must have contracted it about 12/18 months ago.
DD2 (3.5) will be upset she doesn't understand everything yet. MIL too but she is not showing.

Oh dear. Obviously I don't know the ins and out but FIV doesn't usually mean a death sentence. I've had more cats with FIV than I can count, but not one has died of anything related to it. Of course if your vet says he doesn't have much time then he/she must know I suppose.

As for going blind, I've had three cats that have gone blind in old age. After about a week of adjustments they all coped amazingly well. One even continued to manage the cat flap and sitting in the sun in the garden.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 12-Oct-13 13:55:19

I know thecat. But because MIL's cat has had an infection that wouldn't go away a few months ago (needed 2 ABs, and even then was very slow to heal), the vet thinks that he has had the virus for a while now and is in the active stage. If this infection doesn't get him, then it might be the next or the next... He might have had FIV for years. Of course the vet could be wrong but the cat doesn't look too good. Not really eating.

cozietoesie Sat 12-Oct-13 15:19:27

Oh Dear, that doesn't look good indeed. Well done for noticing and taking him in though. It means you're alerted to keep a close eye on him in the event of any change for the worse.

I'm so sorry for the old boy. Treats for him if he'll take any, I think.

SummerSevern Sat 12-Oct-13 15:58:02

My FIV boy is totally blind. The first thing we spotted was unresponsive pupils. His eyes look sort of cloudy, but it's not cataracts. Its the lense at the front of the eye. Basically the ligaments that hold the lense in place have degraded, and the lenses have slipped forward. Apparently it's fairly common in FIV cats.
He could have an operation to remove the lenses and thus regain some of the sight, but it's ££.
I hope FIV doesn't mean the end for your MIL's cat. X

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