DEAR DR. FOX: I am writing in the hope that you have some suggestions on how to help my 17-year-old cat, Mojo. Mojo started having blood inside his right eye about a week ago. It was very pronounced in the evening and would lighten up the next day (to about normal), darkening again as night approached.
I took him to the vet, who looked closely at his eyes, and she was concerned, as she could not see past the anterior chamber. She suggested it may be melanoma and that we may need to take him to an ophthalmologist. She then took his blood pressure to see if perhaps hypertension was the problem. It was 200, which she did not feel was a definitively high number, due to the stress of being at the vet.
She then suggested it may be uveitis and gave us some steroidal eye drops to administer three to four times a day for the next two weeks. If this doesn't help the problem, she wants us to come back for another blood pressure reading.
It has been two days of the drops, and his eye looks worse. Mojo has been a very healthy cat. The only behavioral change he has had recently is becoming more of a lap cat since we euthanized his companion cat about a month ago for renal failure. Mojo has been deaf for a year or so. His appetite and output have been normal. He does throw up a few times a week -- usually hairballs, but sometimes foamy vomit. He does live with, and boss around, a 90-pound dog whose bed he monopolizes.
I am hoping you have some suggestions to help my sweet baby. -- J.H., Charlottesville, Virginia
DEAR J.H.: Your veterinarian has suggested what I consider to be the main possible causes of your cat's eye issue: High blood pressure and associated kidney disease would be my first consideration, then uveitis or a malignancy.
Your cat's age and his quality of life, comfort and security are paramount, and these considerations, in my opinion, place limits on how much veterinary intervention and related stress is warranted. If there are no signs of painful glaucoma, it may be best to have a veterinary eye specialist make a house call or go in for a one-time visit for a definitive diagnosis. Do not be persuaded to have the eye surgically removed if your cat is otherwise enjoying life.
MORE CAUTION CALLED FOR WITH VACCINATIONS
Autoimmune diseases -- such as lupus and other chronic inflammatory conditions -- afflict many people and companion animals alike. One common cause is vaccines, which the medical establishment still continues to deny or discount. This is ethically unacceptable and scientifically unfounded. At her website healthypets.mercola.com, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker writes:
"A revved-up (overly stimulated) immune system, which is both the goal and result of vaccines, can set the stage for disorders in which the immune system mistakes the body's own organs for foreign invaders, and attacks them. Autoimmune diseases can affect a wide variety of tissues in the body, including blood, joints and muscles, nervous system, thyroid, adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, bowel, reproductive organs, eyes, skin and mucous membranes. While a safe, individualized vaccination program is important for every pet, research shows that dogs and cats absolutely do not require annual re-vaccinations to keep them protected from disease."
The book "Vaccines and Autoimmunity," edited by Yehuda Shoenfeld, Nancy Agmon-Levin and Lucija Tomljenovic provides critical review articles by 77 scientists and medical doctors from 15 different countries assessing the role of vaccine contents and protocols in the genesis of autoimmune diseases in humans and animals. It should be mandatory reading for all involved in the manufacture and distribution of vaccines and is a wakeup call for all health-care providers in human and veterinary medicine. A list price of $169.00 is outrageous, but you should at least inform your veterinarian and your own human doctor about this important book, which calls for a revision of vaccination protocols and a far less cavalier approach to their use. I have emphasized this standard in my own article, "Vaccination Issues," posted on my website, DrFoxVet.net.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox's website at DrFoxVet.net.)