If your cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, it opens the door for a wide variety of problems your cat can develop over the years. In addition to anemia, weight loss, and dehydration, with kidney disease your cat could potentially go blind. Recognizing the signs of this ailment early on can preserve your cat's vision, so if your cat has kidney disease, read on to learn about this secondary problem.
Kidney Disease's Link To High Blood Pressure
When a cat enters the later stages of kidney disease, it can develop high blood pressure. The reason for this is that when a cat's kidneys aren't healthy, they develop scar tissue. The kidneys process blood with every heartbeat, which means that if scar tissue is partially blocking the way for blood to flow in or out of the kidneys, the heart has to work harder to push the blood through. This increases your cat's blood pressure, which increases their risk of becoming blind.
Hypertension's Link To Blindness
The eye is a very sensitive mechanism with a variety of parts that must be in good health in order for your cat to see. One of these parts is the retina, which receives the light from your cat's eye and converts it into an image your cat's brain can understand.
When a cat's blood pressure becomes too high, the retina can become detached from the rest of the eye. With minor detachment, vision is impaired. Your cat may only be able to make out faint images or be able to see clearly only in very bright light. With complete retinal detachment, your cat will be left completely blind.
What To Do
Keeping your cat's kidney disease controlled can help you to prevent high blood pressure. You should also make sure during your cat's regular check-ups that their blood pressure is monitored to determine if medication is required to bring it down. However, most importantly, if you notice any symptoms of your cat not being able to see clearly, you should visit an animal hospital immediately.
These symptoms can include your cat bumping into things, dilated pupils in all lighting conditions, and difficulty finding food or water when it's right in front of them. Retinal damage is reversible in the early stages, but if a cat's blood pressure is too high for too long, you may not be able to restore your cat's vision.
Kidney disease is a scary thing for a cat to have, but your cat can have a good and long life if you know what to look out for. If your cat gives any indication that it can't see clearly, get to a vet right away for immediate treatment.