Post by: Gwen
For the past three years Nip has had some brown splotches appear in his right eye. When he was taken to the vet in 2016 for his annual exam we forgot to ask the vet about it. She didn’t comment on it so we figured it was okay.
A year later, particularly in the past three months, the discoloration was spreading. So much so that it was nearly impossible to see Nip’s pupil.
When Nip went in for his annual exam in 2017 we asked our favorite cat vet, Dr Lloyd at North Dekalb Veterinary Clinic, about it. He whipped out the flashlight and shined it into Nip’s eye. He was looking to see if the discolored area was raised. If it was then it was a sign of melanoma. His trusty flashlight couldn’t provide the answers needed so we were referred to a certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Blue Pearl (formerly known as Georgia Veterinary Specialists).
The Day of the Appointment
Nip is very difficult to get into a carrier. He runs, jumps, hisses, sometimes draws blood and always expresses his anal glands. Getting him into a carrier takes strategy and even planning 24 hours ahead of time. It’s best to have him contained in a small space so he’s easier to catch.
The day before his appointment Myra was able to trap him in the Kitty Camper (a 5’x5′ cage) in our lobby when he casually walked in. We thought that was so easy. That was until Myra returned from the back boarding area to see Nip standing outside of the enclosure. He managed to pull the door open and get out! Myra’s main objective for the rest of the day was to get Nip back into the Kitty Camper.
An hour before closing Myra was able to lure Nip back into the enclosure and lock it and tie the door so it would be impossible to pry open.
The next day I arrived to collect Nip. I even brought a change of clothes in case his anal glands expressed on me (it’s happened before!). Getting him into the carrier was still a bit of a struggle, but overall pretty easy compared to past experiences. And no anal glands were expressed!
When we arrived at Blue Pearl the waiting room was bustling with lots of dogs. Nip was quiet and surprisingly calm.
A nice vet tech named Jason escorted us back to the exam room. He looked Nip over, put some numbing drops in his eyes and then poked them with a pupil gauge. Nip didn’t complain or struggle to get away. Who was this cat?
While alone waiting for Dr. Stacy Andrew to come Nip explored the exam room. He was curious not scared. Eventually he found a nice comfortable spot to lay down.
His rest didn’t last long. Dr. Andrew entered and it was time for an in depth exam. He was pulled from the cool floor onto the exam table. Vet tech Jason held him as the vet used a fancy, intricate flashlight to look into Nip’s eye. He was still the whole time and purring! He was being uncharacteristically cooperative. A few minutes and a few photos later the exam was done.
Nip was a rock star!
The exam found that Nip has a condition called iris melanosis, a benign condition where the pigment producing cells in the iris go a little bit crazy and make extra pigment. Sometimes this condition will continue until the iris is completely darkened. There is a slight chance it could turn into melanoma, but that is very rare.
He will have to be monitored for the rest of his life, though. Annual or biennial visits to the ophthalmologist are in his future.
Dr Stacy Andrew and vet tech Jason were absolutely wonderful. They were both thorough and friendly. And obviously Nip loved them!
By the time we got back to Camp Kitty Nip was back to normal. He hissed at me before I left.