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Eye-ing Buffy 3

Sept. 2007

Still in awe at the existence of such a thing as an animal ophthalmologist (& at the advances that have been made in veterinary care since my last cat died at 17 in 1993), I was thoroughly impressed by the TAOC facilities. And not least, by the concern, responsiveness, gentleness & professionalism of its personnel. Not to mention the education in things ophthalmic that I then received.

Sept. 2007

With the aid of a very colorful, vivid & explicit chart of the eye on the wall beside us, Dr. Ramsey explained that Buffy had melanoma in the iris of her eye. Which resulted in severe inflammation and glaucoma. Which was the cause of her tearing & pain. But while this was undoubtedly serious, he believed the eye was still sighted and so it might be worthwhile to treat the melanoma's side effects with medication.

Oct. 2007

Here's the official diagnosis:
The hyperpigmented iris represents a diffuse iris melanoma. This is a tumor of the pigment cells in the iris. While this type of tumor can be malignant and spread to other organs, the majority of these are clinically benign. However, with time they may cause intractable uveitis (inflammation), glaucoma and loss of vision. This type of mass typically has one of two possible rates of growth — those that do not enlarge and those that enlarge slowly over time.

Nov. 2007

Negative prognostic indicators for an iris melanoma include: 1) a lesion with poorly delineated margins, 2) a raised lesion, 3) a lesion that infiltrates the iridocorneal angle, 4) a lesion that causes distortion of the iris or pupil, 5) pigmented cells free-floating in the anterior chamber, 6) pigmented cell dispersion across the anterior lens capsule, 7) a lesion that progressively enlarges, 8) iridocyclitis (inflammation inside the eye), or 9) secondary glaucoma. Of these clinical traits, all 9 are present; however, the eye is still sighted. Even when metastasis occurs, the metastatic cells do not grow rapidly and usually do not affect longevity or quality of life. Therefore, the current recommendations for treatment are to medically treat uveitis and secondary glaucoma to preserve vision until medical treatment is no longer effective. At that time, the recommendation is to have the eye removed.

Dec. 2007

The medical treatment consisted of 4 different eyedrops to be applied multiple times daily, all of which added up to 13 drops/day. A whole lotta drops. And a mathematical challenge to boot — I mean, two of the meds were 4x/day, one was 3x/day and the fourth was 2x/day & none could be given less than 5mins. apart! Which required some deep brain exercise. Sigh. Besides the average difficulties of administering any kind of meds to an in-pain, sensitive & easily frightened feline....

Return to:  Eye-ing Buffy 1 and Eye-ing Buffy 2


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