What Should I Do If My Cat Is Suddenly Wobbly
It can be extremely worrying when you notice any difference in your cats mobility or behavior. Ill be the first to say that I often overreact at the slightest change out of the fear that something is seriously wrong. This means it is so much worse when the difference is something as noticeable as a sudden inability to walk straight. How are you meant to know the best thing to do in such a situation?
Although its difficult, the first thing you have to do is make sure you dont panic. At this point, getting yourself worked up will make it harder for you to think clearly and get your furry friend the help they need.
Instead, take a deep breath and follow the steps Ive outlined below. The situation isnt yet an emergency, and your vet can likely help you make your cat feel much better in just a few days.
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What Is Loss Of Balance
Loss of balance can take place when a disease or injury disrupts the vestibular apparatus in the inner ear. The vestibular apparatus is the area that controls the balance and coordination for your cat. There are several causes of vestibular disease, but the disease is usually considered idiopathic because the cause is not always known without extensive testing.
A loss of balance can occur when a cat is suffering from vestibular disease. Your cat may experience issues with standing on all four legs, and you may even notice your cat leaning or falling over at times, which can be a frightening sight.
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When Should I See A Vet
If your cat is walking like its drunk or having trouble standing, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. While the symptoms may point to a vestibular syndrome, they are also common with more serious conditions like a stroke. Its imperative that you get your kitty in for an exam so that he can get the treatment he needs.
Diagnosis Of Feline Vestibular Disease
Your vet will check your cat very carefully with a thorough examination of the ear first. Your vet will also check your cat’s eyes and take blood tests. Imaging tests may be done to rule out tumors if the initial tests are inconclusive. It’s not uncommon for a vet to find no definitive reason for the problem.
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Why Is My Cat Walking Off
The reason behind your cat walking off balance / wobbly could be that she is suffering from ataxia.
Sensory , vestibular, and cerebellar ataxias are the three clinical kinds of ataxia.
Changes in limb coordination occur in all three types, although vestibular and cerebellar ataxia also affect head and neck movement.
Ataxia is a disorder characterized by a sensory impairment that causes limb, head, and/or trunk lack of coordination.
When the spinal cord is gently squeezed, sensory ataxia develops.
Misplacing the feet is a common external indication of sensory ataxia, which is often accompanied by a gradual weakening as the condition progresses.
Lesions can cause sensory ataxia in the spinal cord, brain stem , or cerebral areas.
The vestibulocochlear nerve relays balancing information from the inner ear to the brain.
Damage to the vestibulocochlear nerve can result in head and neck position changes because the affected cat may experience a mistaken sense of movement or have hearing issues.
Leaning, tipping, falling, or even rolling over are examples of outward symptoms. Changes in eye movements, sensory impairments, leg weakness , various cranial nerve indications, and lethargy, stupor, or coma are all common central vestibular signs.
Changes in mental state, vertical eye movements, sensory impairments, and leg weakness are not examples of peripheral vestibular symptoms.
There is a deficiency in motor activity performance and strength preservation.
Some Helpful Hints For Determining Cat Emergencies That Need Your Vets Attention Asap
The following list is designed to help you recognize cat emergencies that always warrant an immediate trip to the vet. However, it is not exhaustive, and you may find yourself in an ambiguous situation not covered on the list. If you are wondering whether you need to get out of your pajamas and head to the emergency cat vet in such a situation, there are some guidelines you can follow.
One useful indicator of cat health is the color of the gums. Lift your cats lip and look at his gums now. They should be pink and moist. Check them regularly, and youll get a sense of what they look like normally. If you suspect your cat is sick and the gums are pale, grey, blue or bright red, then your cat most likely is in trouble .
Remember as well that you are always free to call your cat vet or your local emergency clinic to talk about any ambiguous situation. The staff should be able to offer guidance.
Finally, remember that when in doubt it is always safest to have a vet evaluate your cat. A physical exam that reveals nothing wrong causes no harm doing nothing about a critical situation can lead to a fatal outcome.
Now lets list some of the most common and serious cat emergencies:
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Treatment For Ataxia In Cats
Treatment is dependent on the cause of the ataxia. For example, if infection is determined to be the cause, specific antibiotics may be prescribed.
Idiopathic ataxia, or ataxia without a known cause, will be treated with supportive care such as anti-nausea medications, and the cat should be kept in a safe, padded environment where they cannot hurt themselves while showing symptoms. Assisted feeding and IV fluids may be necessary if your cat isnt able to eat or drink well.
Some types of ataxia cannot be cured, and supportive care may be recommended to maintain quality of life.
On the other hand, idiopathic ataxia may resolve on its own and never recur.
Cats that have been affected since birth may not need any treatment as they have developed with the lack of coordination and balance. However, their environments should be made safe so they cannot fall from any height or become injured.
Symptoms Of Loss Of Balance In Cats
Once you notice your cat is having trouble standing up, it is important to watch for the other signs of vestibular disease. A cat who is suffering from loss of balance may also display the following symptoms:
- Trouble standing
- Head tilting to one side
- Moving in circles
- Vomiting or lack of appetite
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Types Of Vestibular Disease
Vestibular disease can be peripheral or central. The peripheral form carries a good prognosis with treatment and occurs more often than the central vestibular disease. The central vestibular attacks the brain and central nervous system.
Usually, vestibular disease in cats is idiopathic and typically occurs without warning in cats of any age.
The vestibular disease can also happen because of a concurrent condition.
What Can Cause Strokes In Cats
Strokes are most commonly diagnosed in cats that are about nine years old and can happen due to an underlying illness such as cancer within or spreading to the brain, parasites, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or heart disease. However, in many cases identifying a cause may prove impossible.
In cats, there are two different types of stroke and each has a different cause.
When an artery is damaged or bursts, this can lead to bleeding in a cats brain, which causes a hemorrhagic stroke. The bleeding results in blood pressing on the brain tissue, causing damage to that part of the brain.
Ischaemic stroke can occur when blood supply to the cats brain suddenly stops. This can happen as a result of underlying illnesses that cause an artery to narrow or become clogged.
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Diagnosis Of Loss Of Balance In Cats
The signs of vestibular disease may be related to another condition, such as an inner ear infection or head trauma. A physical exam is usually performed to check the overall health of your cat. This includes a neurologic exam and an otoscopic exam. You should also expect to answer questions about the cat’s medical history and current signs.
Your veterinarian may run a number of tests to check for an underlying cause of your cat’s loss of balance or to rule out other conditions. Your veterinarian may order a blood test, urine test, and ear cultures to check for diseases that may cause a loss of balance. Your cat may have to undergo an MRI, spinal tap, and head x-rays to check for injuries or infections that may have caused the condition. The tests also allow your veterinarian to ensure the loss of balance has not caused a more serious condition, such as injury from falling down.
Idiopathic Vestibular Disease In Cats
OverviewIf you spin around in circles as fast as you can and then attempt to walk in a straight line, youll experience what your cat probably feels like if hes suffering with vestibular disease. There are two types of vestibular disease: peripheral and central. In this article, we will discuss the peripheral form, which, with treatment, generally carries a good prognosis and is much more common than central vestibular disease, which attacks the central nervous system and brain.
In cats, this disease is idiopathic, meaning its cause is not known. It usually happens without warning or as result of a concurrent condition, and can affect cats of any age.
SymptomsThe most common symptom of vestibular disease in cats is dizziness. No, your four-legged friend hasnt been hitting the bottlebut it may look like she has!
Other symptoms could include
Diagnosis/TreatmentOnce consulted, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam, looking carefully at your pets ears, and may recommend diagnostic tests to look for concurrent conditions and to rule out other disorders that mimic vestibular disease.
These tests could include:
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
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Can Cats Get Dizzy
Dizziness in cats is not that rare. While your feline friend gets dizzy, it will start walking like drunk and falling over. In this phase, your cat wont be able to walk a straight line. This could be a reason for some intense play session or illness.
Here are some of the most common reasons why your cat is walking like a drunk:
Loss Of Balance In Felines: Diagnosis
The symptoms of vestibular diseases can result from other problems, such as head trauma or inner ear infections.
If you notice the signs of vestibular disease in your cat, schedule a vet appointment immediately. Your vet will check your cats overall health with a few physical exams, including neurological and ear exams.
Additionally, you should provide information about your felines past medical history and tell your vet everything you know about the current signs.
Your vet will run several tests for underlying conditions that might be causing a loss of balance in your cat. They can suggest blood and urine tests and check your cats ears for infections.
You should also expect other exams like a spinal tap, MRI, and X-rays for injuries or infections that can result in loss of balance in your kitty.
These tests can rule out conditions and ensure the loss of balance isnt caused by a more serious condition, such as a physical injury.
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Vestibular Syndrome In Cats
Vestibular syndrome is a condition during which a cat’s inner ear develops an abnormality that disturbs the vestibular system. The vestibular system is what orients the cat and lets them know where their body is in space. A vestibular problem causes extreme dizziness, which manifests as the following signs:
- Anguished meowing
- Head tilted to one side
- Rolling around on the floor
- Falling over
- Inability to walk in a straight line
- Leaning against walls or furniture to walk
- Nystagmus, or fast movement of the eyes back and forth
- Acting “out of it”
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Part 1Identifying Feline Stroke Symptoms. 1. Check the cat’s general alertness. If you notice that your cat is acting out of the ordinary, you need to examine the animal’s general health. If the cat has lost consciousness, check the animal’s breathing. Check whether the cat responds to the sound of your voice. Every other time, when a guy has taken long enough to text me back that I got a stomachache waiting, it meant he wasnt that into me. 12-02-2014, 04:28 PM A guy friend of mine suddenly stopped calling me/returning my calls. 2 The Top 5 Reasons Why a Virgo Man has Pulled Away. suddenly stopped and I panicked. de 2017 Jealousy will likely show. If someone came on her grass she would go get a died cat a scare you. Now if you walk in the home you hear the died dog’s. and cat’s. … you will also find that dead catssuddenly appear out of no where and figments of hanging cats on walls, you will also see figures in the shape of a person in the windows and close to the school you will hear.
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General Symptoms Of Vestibular Disease In Cats
The onset of vestibular disease symptoms is usually sudden and can be disconcerting. Usually, the condition resolves, so its not a cause for major concern.
- Rhythmic eye movement
- Foreign bodies like grass awns
- Diabetes mellitus
For external ear infections, your veterinarian will prescribe ear drops to treat the underlying cause. If your kitty has a middle ear infection, the vet may start with an injectable antibiotic and prescribe oral medications for follow-up at home.
With cerebellar hypoplasia, the brain fails to develop normally. The affected part, or cerebellum, is the area of the brain that helps control balance, coordination, and fine motor skills.
Cerebellar hypoplasia is caused by the feline panleukopenia virus. When this virus infects a pregnant queen, it can pass through the placenta to the developing kittens. During the final weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks after birth, the virus attacks the dividing cells in the cerebellum.
You probably wont notice symptoms until affected kittens are old enough to stand and walk around on their own. Signs vary depending on the severity of the infection and can include:
- Uncoordinated walking
- Exaggerated movements
Trauma to the middle or inner ear is usually caused by an ear infection or a ruptured eardrum.
- Topical or oral antibiotics
- Corticosteroids to control pain and inflammation
- Surgical repair if indicated
Why Is My Cat Walking Like Hes Drunk
Your cat may be walking likes hes drunk because he is suffering from an inner ear infection.
An inner ear infection can cause vertigo in a cat. A cat that stumbles, walks with stiff legs or shakes its head frequently may have cerebellar hypoplasia, a brain disease that affects muscle control and movement.
Cats contract this disease while still in the womb or if they are malnourished or poisoned.
Ataxia, a disease with similar symptoms, also causes a loss of balance.
Kittens are especially susceptible to ataxia. It is brought on by an infection, trauma, or a disease such as cancer.
If your cat starts to stumble, wobble back and forth, or fall down, you must first protect them from further harm.
Keep your cat indoors and away from stairwells and bodies of water. Then, consult with your veterinarian and start recording the time and date of each fall.
The veterinarian will examine your cat, their blood and urine will be tested for infection or disease, and an X-ray or ultrasound will be requested.
If your cat has an inner ear infection, it will be treated with antibiotics, which will most likely cure his dizziness.
However, neither cerebellar hypoplasia nor some types of ataxia are curable. Instead, you and your veterinarian will devise a strategy for dealing with these.
The good news is that these conditions do not worsen with age. Poor balance isnt painful, and your cat can live happily ever after with a bit of assistance from you.
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Treatment For Feline Vestibular Disease
If your veterinarian cannot find a clear cause, they will probably prescribe an antibiotic in case there is an infection that was missed in the tests.
- An anti-fungal may also be included as well as medications to alleviate the symptoms of nausea and motion sickness.
- You may need to hand feed your cat and give her water. Since the fine motor nerves are affected, it can be almost impossible for your cat to eat by herself.