Dear Christopher Cat
My cat Clover experiences recurrent urinary tract infections for which my veterinarian usually prescribes Baytril. This time, he prescribed a different antibiotic, explaining that some cats treated with Baytril go blind. Is my cat at risk because of her past use of this drug?
No. Baytril rarely causes blindness, and only during therapy.
Veterinarians recognize that this side effect is generally associated with high doses, but they know of no way to predict whether Baytril will blind an individual cat.
When it does, the retina atrophies rapidly, sometimes during the first few days of drug therapy. Early signs include dilated pupils and difficulty seeing.
If the medication is stopped immediately, vision may improve. Usually, however, the cat is left blind or vision-impaired.
It’s important to remember that Baytril is a useful antibiotic when used properly, and blindness occurs very rarely.
My brother Dougie, who came to us with vision problems and a respiratory infection, did well on Baytril and says he will take it again if he ever needs it.