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Hi Folks,


I've got a 17 year old cat (who is already deaf) and about two years ago had a weird seizure that we took her to the vet for. The vet said her blood pressure was very high and that likely caused the seizure/stroke or whatever it was, so she was on amlodipine for high blood pressure for about two years as a result.



She lost a lot of weight in that time and about the time we needed to refill her perscription we were about to bring her back for an unrelated reason. The vet suggested we wait until after the visit to give her meds again to see if her blood pressure was under control after two years on the meds and weight loss.

During the visit, two months ago, they checked her blood pressure and it was so low they said we should take her off the meds, and they said she was really really healthy for such an old cat! Yay! So we took her off the meds per their recommendation. They said "keep an eye on it," but didn't really tell us what to keep an eye on, and as far as we were concerned, we were keeping an eye out for seizures as that's why we started giving her the meds in the first place.



In the last few weeks we started noticing she seemed a little out of sorts, like maybe disoriented, anxious diminished motor skills. Then finally last night we noticed her pupils were huge, and she seemed unable to see very much of anything.


Immediately I did a google search and saw that "high blood pressure can cause blindness in cats." I took her to the vet today and her blood pressure was through the roof. By the time I got her back from the vet, she was completely blind.



Two months ago, the vet told us NOTHING about a risk of sudden blindness if we took her off blood pressure meds. The meds are so cheap and easy to administer it would have been a no-brainer to keep her on them. Now we've got a blind/deaf cat who is otherwise completely healthy. It's totally heartbreaking. She can't see a thing or hear anything, and is totally freaked out and disoriented.


I am so upset for my cat and so angry with the vet. This is a very well known vet office in San Francisco and I can't believe they are so careless.


I just don't know what to do I'm so upset.
 

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First of all, I'm really sorry about what your cat has gone through. It is a profoundly sad situation.

I'm a little surprised that the vet didn't wean your cat off the amlodipine, but maybe the dose was low enough that he didn't feel it was necessary. It's especially surprising to me (disclaimer: i have no medical training) that he wouldn't have wanted to check the cat's bp a week after, and then 2 weeks after stopping the medication, and maybe even beyond that. Checking bp is something a vet tech could do.

Are you able to keep your cat somewhere she won't injure herself? I'd give her lots and LOTS of loving tactile attention . . . and definitely look for a different vet.

Hugs to you and your kitty.
 

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Thanks for your support. Luckily she seems to be adapting quite well for a blind and deaf cat. She’s able to get from bed to food to litter box and what not. Oddly enough she seems less anxious than before.

I’m still really upset with the vet, they suggested we might want to bring her in after a month or so to get her bp checked again but they didn’t stress it AT ALL or explain any of the risks.

Hopefully she continues to do okay. Luckily at this point I seem more upset about it than she does ?
 

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In case folks were curious, our cat was totally blind for about two days, but then her vision started returning! So lucky! Evidently we caught it soon enough that the blood vessels behind her eyes weren't permanently damaged and the retinas never detached. I suppose once we got her back on the blood pressure medication her vessels returned to normal. Wow.
 

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I'm SO glad. I did read that sometimes it comes back, but hesitated posting that in case it didn't. That's such great news.
 

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I am so glad to hear her vision returned! You should really stress to the vet how upset you were and ask that they explains risks and what exactly you are to keep an eye out for in greater detail in the future. Then next time make sure you ask for specifics, and to have all risks explained and do not leave the office until you are satisfied that they have explained everything thoroughly. The vet office I go to has two vets, one is amazing and very thorough while the other isn't even competent so I have gotten used to forcing him to explain things to me and/or do the treatments/tests I need done.
 
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