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The retina is the tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye, and is the light sensitive part of the eye that acts as the brain's camera, transmitting images through the rods and cones that are part of its structure, thus enabling the experience of vision. The retina is part of the central nervous system (CNS) and the only part of the CNS that can be easily imaged and examined. In retinal degeneration, the cells of the retina begin to decline in function, thereby leading to impaired vision or even blindness. There are many causes for retinal degeneration.
Mean Age and Range
You will need to give a thorough history of your cat's health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have led to this condition, such as trauma or exposure to toxic substances. Your cat's diet will also be taken into consideration, since this may be a supporting cause. Taurine is now added to cat food, but because there is a history of retinal degeneration due to lack of taurine in the diet, your veterinarian will want to ensure that your cat is receiving sufficient levels in its diet.
Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, taking into consideration your cat's lineage and whether there might be a genetic link. Standard laboratory tests include a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis, in order to rule out other causes of disease.
The physical exam will entail a full ophthalmic exam using a slit lamp microscope. During this exam, the retina at the back of the eye will be closely observed for abnormalities and the electrical activity of the retina will also be measured.
Genetic testing may also be done if your cat belongs to a breed that is prone to familial retinal disease. Additionally, hormonal causes may bring about retinal disease, and this will be considered as well. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used effectively to screen for the effects of hormonal abnormalities.
The layer of the eye that is charged with receiving and processing images
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A medical condition in which the uvea becomes inflamed.
A type of tool used to look inside the eye
Anything having to do with the eye or care of the eye
A condition in which growth and development are not up to normal standards
A disorder that has resulted from intraocular pressure
The wasting away of certain tissues; a medical condition that occurs when tissues fail to grow.