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Kitten had eye removed.

Species: Cat
Breed: mixed
Age: 2-5 years
My cat went blind in her good eye following removal of a bad eye in which she was already blind.

The cat had distemper when it was a kitten. Shortly thereafter she became blind in one eye. That blind eye kept seeping fluid tinged with blood and the sclera turned dark red. The cat is now 4 years old. She had pain in her bad eye but saw well with the good eye. A veterinary opthalmologist said she was probably in pain and the only treatment was surgery.

The bad eye was removed by a non-specialist vet 14 days ago (not a vet opthalmologist, a generic vet). After the operation, he gave her an injection of penicillin but no anti-inflammatory medication of any kind.

Post-operatively, the pupil of the 'good', non-operated eye fully dilated immediately and the cat is now blind. Pre-operatively, she saw normally with her left eye. Worse, now there is bright red blood seeping out of the eye duct of the removed eye. Before the operation it was seeping fluid tinged with blood, now it is drops of bright red blood. We are having to clean her eye many times / day. There seems to be no way to stop this dripping blood. Other than the eye problems, she eats, sleeps and acts normal.

We were told by the vet ophthalmologist (by email) to use 2 drops of Voltaren twice daily to reduce possible inflammation in the good eye.

Is it likely that the vet damaged the main optic nerve through inexperience or lack of proper equipment? Or could the blindness be due to a blood clot? Or optic nerve occlusion? Or low blood pressure during the operation? Is it possible that the cat has hypertension causing the bleeding through the tissues into the empty ocular cavity ?

In response to Voltaren drops, the pupil shrank a bit from its fully dilated state, but it did not return to normal. The cat is still blind. Is there anything to be done now?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, poor kitty. Thank you for doing all that you are to help her.

It is very common for a regular vet to do a surgery to remove an eye (as opposed to a specialist). And it is also quite common for there to be some bleeding after this surgery. If it is just seeping then it will eventually stop but may take a few days or even a week or more. The reason for this bleeding is that there is a very large blood vessel that is tied off at the back of the eye. It can often seep around even a good suture.

It is not possible for surgery to remove one eye to do any damage to the remaining eye. There is no connection between the two.

I am concerned though that there could be something more serious going on that is causing these eye problems. You may want to ask your vet about the possibility of a disease called FIP. FIP can cause eye problems. I really hope it isn't FIP because there is no cure for this disease.

I don't really have an explanation for you as to why Arap's good eye is now blind. But I can tell you that it really shouldn't be related to the surgery in any way.

Keep seeing the ophthalmologist. This is definitely your best chance at recovery.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.