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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
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Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Is my cat blind. She is 17, has a bluish across her eyes.

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Is my cat blind. She is 17, has a bluish haze across her eyes. On tuesday she started bumping into things
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for your cat but I do have a few questions to ask first if you dont' mind:

1. Is the bluish haze on the surface of her eye (the cornea) or is it only located in the center of her eye such as depicted on this LINK?
2. Is she acting confused?
3. Is she otherwise acting fine? No weight loss? Eating and drinking ok?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Dr Deb.

The bluish haze appears on the surface of the cornea. She has had this now for a couple of weeks, but Tuesday evening, she was very confused and started walking into things.

During the daytime, her eyes are normal, and she seems to get about ok, but when evening draws in, her eyes go blue.

Other than this, apart from her limping (old age) she is eating plenty, drinking and biting me as usual !

I'm so worried about her. We've had her since she was a kitten.

Tracy Alexander

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Tracy:
Thanks so much for the additional information.

Of course, I can't know for sure, but there could be several possible explanations for her symptoms as I'll mention below. It would be quite uncommon for her eyes to turn color from day to night but the color that's present may be more obvious in the evening when her pupils are more dilated.

1. She may be developing a thickened lens as part of the aging process. Depending on the amount of light present, her vision may be better (during the day) or worse (during the evening). Unfortunately, short of removing her lens, there are no treatment options available to improve this condition although most cats learn to adjust fairly well over time.

2. She could have a primary problem such as uveitis (which is inflammation of the structures of the eye) and the bluish haze is secondary to edema. This condition is usually somewhat painful such that the patient is squinting or keeping the eyes partially closed. It tends to be worse in bright light so this is less likely since you say her eyes are normal during the day.

3. Trauma can cause edema which would look bluish from certain angles. Usually these cats are also keeping their eyes partially closed.

4. Some sort of infiltrative disease process such as infection or even cancer, I'm sad to say, might also be responsible for the changes that you're seeing.

5. When an older cat develops vision problems, then I always want to rule out Hypertension or high blood pressure. This condition is rarely primary in a cat but rather secondary to other systemic disease such as diabetes, hyperthyroid disease or kidney issues. Blood work could rule in or out these conditions and blood pressure measurements can be taken....although sometimes they're difficult to evaluate if the patient if stressed.

6. Older cats can also develop dementia or early Alzheimer's and experience "sundown syndrome" similar to a human. These cats are often confused but their vision isn't affected, per se. I only mention this since she seems to be worse in the evenings.

As you can see, there are a fair number of possible explanations for her behavior but it sounds like she's going to need a physical exam to narrow down the list. I understand why you'd be so worried about her, but this problem with her sight doesn't have to necessarily be something bad. You may be reluctant to have her seen because you think you'll receive negative news, but I'd encourage a vet visit since she may have a treatable condition.

I hope this helps. Deb

Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9449
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Tracy:
Thanks so much for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

Best of luck with your girl. Regards, Deb

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