I think Mica is going blind

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I think Mica is going blind

Postby TalaWolf » Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:14 am

I know it's been a way long time since I've posted on here. Sorry. =(

I noticed today that Mica has these blue cataract type spots in both her eyes. I hadn't noticed them before and I feel awful. I've been working twelve hour shifts at work and coming home and passing out, so she hasn't been the attention she should be. I've been taking care of her, feeding, watering, etc. I just haven't had the energy to do much more than that and she's been sleeping and grumpy when I'm in there changing out her food, so I haven't bugged her or forced her to come out of her nest box. But today she came up out when she heard me and sat on top and so I scooped her up to cuddle for a bit. And that's when I saw the spots in her eyes.

I noticed she hasn't been chasing my finger around like she normally does when she's in her cage and I call her. She normally hops up on the bars and follows my finger around until I finally put it close enough that I can touch her and then she gets a head scratch. But lately she hasn't been doing that, and she only hops up when she hears me tap my finger against the bar. I just didn't think of anything of it.

And now that I've seen her eyes, I'm remembering how the last time I rearranged her cage, she seemed to stumble around bit, couldn't figure out where the opening to her nest box was cause I had swiveled it around. She was pushing on the wood where the opening used to be and then she finally walked around and found it. At the time, I blamed it on the fact that I'd woken her up to put her back in her cage after cleaning. I just thought she was sleepy and disoriented. I feel like maybe if I'd noticed then I could have taken some sort of preventative measure.

I let her rest a bit tonight then when I went back in to swap out her food, change her water, etc. I moved my hand around and she didn't look at me. Again it wasn't until I put my hand right up against the bars and tapped with my nails that she hopped over to investigate. I think my baby is blind. Is there anything that can be done? Her eyes aren't bulging out or anything. It doesn't look like there's a tumor around there or anything. I'll try to get a picture tomorrow to post. She's four years old. That doesn't seem nearly old enough for something like this. Could it be something in her environment?

I feel sick to my stomach, wondering if something I did caused this to happen. I haven't had enough time for her lately, and she hasn't been getting out of her cage nearly as much as she ought to be. On top of that, her big cage broke in the move and she's in her travel cage right now until I can afford a new cage. She has a wheel and I try to make sure I'm varying toys in there, but I know it's not anywhere near as big her old cage. Money has just been tight lately and I haven't been able to get a new cage. But it doesn't seem like that could cause this, could it? I've been watching her for signs of anxiety about the smaller cage, she's been known to over groom herself at times that seem stressful, but she hasn't been doing that and while she's been nippy here and there, that's been fairly normal behavior since she hit about 1 and a half to 2 years. She just started biting around then. I just can't think of anything specifically. I guess I should have been more observant about the cage rearranging thing and the hand tracking. I just didn't think anything of it at the time. Now it seems like a bright red flag. I just figured she was sleepy.

Any suggestions? =(

- Christina

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Re: I think Mica is going blind

Postby DinNorman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:14 am

Cataracts occur in the lens which is inside the eye, deeper than the cornea. Changes to the cornea (window into the eye) can look like cataracts to the untrained eye. If the cornea is clouded it can possibly be treated and reversed. If, in fact, it is true cataracts (in the lens), it is probably a permanent, irreversible handicap. Animals learn to adapt to cataracts and function pretty normally but cannot judge distances or find things quickly by sight. Cataracts are usually hereditary, but a few can be related to nutritional deficiencies. I am sure that you, like most of us with flying squirrels, are aware of their nutritional requirements and make a point of giving them all the variety that they need, so this cause would be unusual, except where they are kept by unaware or uncaring humans.

If the cloudiness appears to be on the surface of the eye, get her checked by a veterinarian, for sure.

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Re: I think Mica is going blind

Postby Joan » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:03 pm

If it turns out to be cataracts. just know that completely blind flyers can do well. Just keep the cage the same.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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