Kidney disease is a terrible condition for your cat to have. Most pet parents know that it's ultimately fatal, but it is possible to lengthen and improve the quality of your cat's life. However, there are special concerns and considerations that you should keep in mind if your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease. Their vision should be one of them. Here's what you need to know about kidney disease and your cat's eyes.
1. Things that Kidney Disease Triggers
The first thing to know here is that kidney disease doesn't directly impact the eyes. Instead, what it does is it increases blood pressure, which in turn impacts the eyes.
The reason blood pressure tends to increase with kidney disease is because of scar tissue forming in the kidneys. When this tissue forms, it can partially block off the entrance or exit of the kidneys, which makes it harder for blood to flow through. The body compensates by cranking up the blood pressure, but this can have an unintended effect on the eyes.
2. How High Blood Pressure Affects the Situation
Eyes tend to be quite sensitive to blood pressure changes, and cats are no exception. In fact, a cat's eyes are probably more reactive to blood pressure increases than a human's. When a cat's blood pressure becomes high, it tends to increase the pressure in the eyes, as well. This intraocular pressure can cause damage to the retina and cornea, damaging your cat's vision and potentially going so far as triggering blindness.
It's particularly difficult to determine if a cat is hurting their vision since they hide their symptoms so well.
3. How to Get Help
If you've been told that your cat has high blood pressure, it's a good idea to consult with a veterinary ophthalmologist. These are specialized vets who have undergone additional training to perform examinations of the eye and to offer treatment.
The good news is your cat's vision can be protected through blood pressure medication and eye medication. If they've already experienced partial blindness, this treatment can help to restore some of their vision if not all. However, it's very important for you to maintain a regular appointment schedule with your cat's eye doctor. Monitoring the cat's vision is necessary to treat them adequately, so don't skip appointments if you can help it.
For more assistance, contact or visit local services such as Metzger Animal Hospital.