The story on Nugget’s eye …

I’ve gotten the question “what happened to Nugget’s eye?” a gazillion times … and in the last 24 hours about 3 times through YouTube.  Hence, this post.

When I embarked on my Great Breeding Venture, I purchased two kittens: Nugget first and, a month later, Tiny Bear.  In my ignorance, I did not have them examined by my vet within the allotted time called for in the contract.  If I had, Nugget’s eye issue MIGHT have been discovered.  Certainly, the minute I got her home, her left eye seemed a little infected, which I treated.  This is not uncommon in kittens, especially with the stress of adoption, so I wasn’t concerned.  Later, I went back and looked at her many photos and see that there was, in fact an anomaly (edema spot) in each eye.  In retrospect, I’m glad I did not have her checked and was therefore not faced with the decision of whether or not to return her to the breeder.   These things happen, and most contracts stipulate a “fatal hereditary condition” if discovered within a set time frame.  Although this didn’t apply as fatal, I’m sure I could have returned her.   I ultimately decided not to breed her.  Though the condition is congenital (present at birth), the hereditary nature of it is questionable.  In return for not breeding her, I received two free stud services which gave me my fist two litters with Tiny Bear as their mother.

SO, what IS the deal with Nugget’s eye?  When she and Tiny Bear were about 6 months old, I took them to the vet for check up, microchipping, vaccines, etc. and that’s when the vet noticed she had a cloudy spot on the cornea of each eye.  The left eye was a little worse in that it looked like it had turned into a blister.  We were sent to an animal ophthalmologist where she was diagnosed with Persistent Pupillary Membranes — a condition more common in dogs than cats.   It’s where the filaments present at birth that run from the back of the eye to the inside of the cornea do not retreat as they should and cause damage to the cornea.   I was given medication for the blistered eye, but within a week or so the blister burst and became a full blown infection.  Very scary indeed.  We tried for about 2 weeks to get the infection under control.  At one point the eye was so swollen I actually feared that it might rupture.  I can’t even imagine how painful that must have been.  At that point, it was decided that removing the eye was necessary.   The minute that eye was gone, you could visibly see Nugget start to become her old self again — on the way home from surgery, reaching through the carrier grate to paw at me.  Of course many post surgery visits ensued, etc.  Also the fact that she has the condition in her other eye as well is a worry and she receives ointment in it twice a day to keep the edema from turning into a blister.  It’s now been five years, and her right eye remains stable, but it never did turn the nice green shade that most shaded goldens achieve, and it has a cloudy spot on the cornea.

Nugget in the bathroom the day I brought her home

Nugget in the bathroom the day I brought her home. You can see her left eye is not quite right.

Nugget a bit later - just a normal kitten.

After diagnosis - I'm looking a little closer now! You can easily see the blister in the center of the edema.

Showing the edema in both eyes

This photo was taken within days of the blister bursting.

Nugget after her transformation

A water color I did of her from the above photo.

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16 responses to “The story on Nugget’s eye …

  1. Molly
    Thanks SO much for sharing this with us…
    and ((((HUGS))) to you both from me.

    As someone who also has sight in only one eye, I admire Nugget immensely for her mastery of the difficult job of judging distances, which she seems to have matstered (and I still havent, at times)! Bobin-Cyclops

  2. Nugget is a beautiful girl with her own specialness! : ) My miniature dachshund, Cassie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqwHXfJMtXw), passed away on 2/4/10 at the ripe old age of 16 1/4. She developed glaucoma when she was 12 and it was especially bad in her left eye. We tried to treat it with drops, but the pressure just kept increasing, so she had to have it removed. Until she developed cateracts in her right eye, she did just fine with one. We saw evidence of how much she felt better with the bad eye gone, too. Anything we can do to alleviate pain in our precious babies is just what we have to do! Nugget is lucky to have you! : )

  3. Thanks for the full explanation about Nugget. Mindy is right — Nugget is perfect in her own way. I’m kind of glad you didn’t know about the infection, too; sometimes things are just meant to happen a certain way.

  4. What a very Traumatic time you both had – and I bet very painful for poor Nugget – she is an amazing special kittie I am sure, but then so are all your kitties. I do Love the pirate picture you painted, just lovely.

  5. Jane (siamese)

    Nugget is a very special kitty and she was meant to be with you. Love your painting of the “Pirate Kitty”… Thanks for the explaination of what happened to her.

  6. Thanks for sharing and for caring so good of a very special cat like Nugget!

  7. Awww bless you for looking after her so well. Don´t blame yourself what could have or could have not happened if you had or had not done this and that. You did what you thought best for the kitty, and who knows, the breeder might have just have her euthanised if you had given her back? So she is in great hands with you now.

    And I ADORE the painting of Pirate Nugget! 🙂

  8. Still cute and beautifull as always!!!

  9. I’ve recently become familiar with your Persian family and I must say that I am now addicted to your videos. I love seeing your kitties and I regret that I did not find you sooner. My heart breaks every time I see Nugget and after reading this blog my heart goes out to you both. I admire your love and patience you have for your cats. Each time I watch a video or read one of your stories I immediately go to my Persian and love on her. She is my little angel and I would like to think that I’m at least half as good to her as you are to your babies. Thank you for sharing.

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