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Does my cat have glaucoma?

Species: Cat
Breed: Calico
Age: 8-11 years
About 2 weeks ago, I started noticing that Mietzi's right pupil would always stay quite large, even when the left one was narrowed. She never paws at her eye or acts like she is experiencing discomfort. She is eating, pooping, peeing, sleeping, all normal. The white part around the eye is also red and veined. I went online and read about glaucoma and anisocoria and decided to take her to the vet. There is an American vet on base but they are always busy so last night, I took her to a German vet. He took blood and sent it away for a full scan. He tested the pressure in that eye (several times) and told me that while it should be around 25, it is at 80. Then he put some drops in her eye, waited 30 min, and tested again. The pressure was 50. He gave me a prescription which I picked up and it calls for 1 drop in the eye 2X a day. He wants to see her again on Monday, but talked about all the many things it could be and if it should get painful, the eye might need to be removed. It isn't that I don't trust him, but his bedside manner left something to be desired and I would just love to hear if you would treat this any other way...or if there is something I should try that I'm not. It was somewhat traumatic for me because on the way home, she was foaming at the mouth and throwing up. Did the medicine cause that or the stress -- and why did I leave the name of the meds at home?? Thanks for your time! :)


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh I am sorry to hear about Mietzi's troubles with her eye. This does indeed sound serious. When the pressure within the eye is that high, then this is usually glaucoma. Often the cause is not known. Glaucoma is generally quite painful.

Sometimes medications can help with glaucoma but if things don't improve then unfortunately the treatment is to remove the eye. The good news is that it is a surgery that most cats handle well and recover from quickly.

I'm not sure why the vomiting happened. It is probably not directly connected to the eye problem but more likely the stress of the visit.

It's unfortunate that your vet has a poor bedside manor, but it does sound like he is doing the same things I would.

I do hope things improve.

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.

Customer reply:

Good morning, Dr. Marie!

Thanks for your response! I still don't know the name of the medication (it is in German anyway :/) but I have put one drop in her eye morning and night since Friday. The good news is, and I don't believe it is just hopeful imagination on my part, her eye seems to be responding and there was one time this weekend where the pupil definitely contracted and became almost as small as the other eye...

So, because I think of glaucoma in humans as irreversible, have you ever treated a cat which appeared to have glaucoma but then the eye recovered? Is that even possible?

I promise, no more questions :)

Thank you for your time!
Denise


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are certainly some conditions that can cause high pressure in the eye that are treatable. I'm pleased to hear that things are improving!

Dr. Marie.



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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.