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Vestibular disorder?

MasternMargo

Savannah Super Cat
My 3.5 y.o savannah Master has been sick for almost a week. First couple days he was eating, but seemed a bit lethargic and had diarrhea. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday he stopped eating and I took him to a vet. They checked his vitals, checked his ears( I've noticed he tilted his head to the left) and found nothing wrong with him. They gave me some meds to calm his stomach and inti-biotic. When I brought him home he ate right away and I thought the worst was over. The next day he still seemed lethargic, but started eating. He seemed like a totally different cat to me though: normally the chattiest cat, who followed me around the house constantly, was sleeping most of the time and wouldn't talk at all. Also, Thursday night he was in his room and all of a sudden he started walking in circles, like a dog chasing a tail, but in slow motion. I didn't think much of it, just thought it was silly. The next day when I got home from work, I noticed he's doing it over and over. We went to a vet (Valley View Animal Hospital in Las Vegas) and did the blood work. We will have the results tomorrow. So far, vet thinks it's either inner ear infection or tumor. I was reading that it also could be a mild version of VESTIBULAR DISORDER (sort of like a Vertigo in humans). Right now he gets up every now and then, seems pretty disoriented, circling a little less than this morning, but wobbling a lot more. He just seems drunk, I guess. Anyone had experience with something like this? I'm worried beyond believe and feel really helpless...
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
My 3.5 y.o savannah Master has been sick for almost a week. First couple days he was eating, but seemed a bit lethargic and had diarrhea. Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday he stopped eating and I took him to a vet. They checked his vitals, checked his ears( I've noticed he tilted his head to the left) and found nothing wrong with him. They gave me some meds to calm his stomach and inti-biotic. When I brought him home he ate right away and I thought the worst was over. The next day he still seemed lethargic, but started eating. He seemed like a totally different cat to me though: normally the chattiest cat, who followed me around the house constantly, was sleeping most of the time and wouldn't talk at all. Also, Thursday night he was in his room and all of a sudden he started walking in circles, like a dog chasing a tail, but in slow motion. I didn't think much of it, just thought it was silly. The next day when I got home from work, I noticed he's doing it over and over. We went to a vet (Valley View Animal Hospital in Las Vegas) and did the blood work. We will have the results tomorrow. So far, vet thinks it's either inner ear infection or tumor. I was reading that it also could be a mild version of VESTIBULAR DISORDER (sort of like a Vertigo in humans). Right now he gets up every now and then, seems pretty disoriented, circling a little less than this morning, but wobbling a lot more. He just seems drunk, I guess. Anyone had experience with something like this? I'm worried beyond believe and feel really helpless...

Wow, it does sound something like an inner ear infection. but I have no experience with anything like it...I'm hoping someone else will chime in here...I hope they find what is wrong with Master and he gets well soon...
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
My Juba has vestibular disorder. When I brought him home I noticed that he slept very deeply and I started to suspect that he was deaf. We think he may have limited hearing at either a high or low range but I haven't had him tested.

When he was 6 mos. old, I found him in the laundry room walking in circles, his head tilted severely to one side and he had terrible nystagmus. We had just come home from a walk so I thought he might have been exposed to something toxic and rushed him to the emergency vet hospital. Long story short, after an MRI, the vet concluded he had vestibular disorder likely caused in utero.

From 6 mos. up until last year (he's 4 yrs old), he'd have periodic bouts of dizziness ranging from mild to severe. I could always tell when it was about to strike because he'd start acting odd, stop eating (nausea due to the vertigo), and sleep until it cleared up. Knock wood, he hasn't had an episode for a year. The last one was very bad and his head tilt took a year to go away, altho it still has a teeny tilt. The damage to his nerves also causes him balance issues and he has difficulty locating his rear right leg from time to time.

As you probably know, there is no cure but eventually the symptoms resolve even if they're cyclical in nature. Although it's very scary to see when it happens, and no doubt very scary for the cat, staying calm, petting and talking to Juba helped. If I was home when it happened, I'd put him a room where he couldn't hurt himself or, if it was really bad, I'd put him in a crate until the worst was over. He much preferred to be near me.

Your vet can prescribe some anti-nausea medication. Juba never had diarrhea but the vomiting got pretty bad at times.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
My Juba has vestibular disorder. When I brought him home I noticed that he slept very deeply and I started to suspect that he was deaf. We think he may have limited hearing at either a high or low range but I haven't had him tested.

When he was 6 mos. old, I found him in the laundry room walking in circles, his head tilted severely to one side and he had terrible nystagmus. We had just come home from a walk so I thought he might have been exposed to something toxic and rushed him to the emergency vet hospital. Long story short, after an MRI, the vet concluded he had vestibular disorder likely caused in utero.

From 6 mos. up until last year (he's 4 yrs old), he'd have periodic bouts of dizziness ranging from mild to severe. I could always tell when it was about to strike because he'd start acting odd, stop eating (nausea due to the vertigo), and sleep until it cleared up. Knock wood, he hasn't had an episode for a year. The last one was very bad and his head tilt took a year to go away, altho it still has a teeny tilt. The damage to his nerves also causes him balance issues and he has difficulty locating his rear right leg from time to time.

As you probably know, there is no cure but eventually the symptoms resolve even if they're cyclical in nature. Although it's very scary to see when it happens, and no doubt very scary for the cat, staying calm, petting and talking to Juba helped. If I was home when it happened, I'd put him a room where he couldn't hurt himself or, if it was really bad, I'd put him in a crate until the worst was over. He much preferred to be near me.

Your vet can prescribe some anti-nausea medication. Juba never had diarrhea but the vomiting got pretty bad at times.

Wow, thanks for sharing Deborah...I know how vertigo feels, so can only imagine how a cat that cannot tell you what is wrong must feel :( I'm glad Juba has not had an episode in a year though...
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Wow, thanks for sharing Deborah...I know how vertigo feels, so can only imagine that a cat that cannot tell you what is wrong must feel :( I'm glad Juba has not had an episode in a year though...
Thanks Paige. I was relieved that it wasn't cancer. The MRI was scary and I hesitated a long time before having it done but needed to know if it was something curable by surgery. He was given propofol and transported via taxi to the hospital with a vet bagging him the entire taxi ride. None of the vet clinics here can afford the equipment. It took a lot of advance coordination between the specialist and the hospital to reserve the machine. I was a nervous weeping wreck until they called to say the test was over and he was ok.

The good news is that his balance and jumping ability has greatly improved during this past year. He is more confident racing and jumping around with the other 2 cats. And right now he is staring holes through my head because it's dinner time and I'm not shuffling off toward the kitchen to prepare his meal:rolleyes:
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
Thanks Paige. I was relieved that it wasn't cancer. The MRI was scary and I hesitated a long time before having it done but needed to know if it was something curable by surgery. He was given propofol and transported via taxi to the hospital with a vet bagging him the entire taxi ride. None of the vet clinics here can afford the equipment. It took a lot of advance coordination between the specialist and the hospital to reserve the machine. I was a nervous weeping wreck until they called to say the test was over and he was ok.

The good news is that his balance and jumping ability has greatly improved during this past year. He is more confident racing and jumping around with the other 2 cats. And right now he is staring holes through my head because it's dinner time and I'm not shuffling off toward the kitchen to prepare his meal:rolleyes:

+Wow, sounds like quite the ordeal! I'm glad he has improved over the last year...yes, you must feed dinner :roflmao:
 

MasternMargo

Savannah Super Cat
Thank you so much for response! We should know tomorrow if it's an ear infection or not. For right now we are just restless and trying to think of any possible scenarios. I guess step two after blood work will be MRI, if we find out it is not an infection...Will post an update tomorrow. Thanks for your support, again
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Best wishes for Masters... it sounds like your vets are on it though and hopefully they will be able to treat it successfully. It's so scary when one of our beloveds is ill and they can't tell us what is going on :-(
 
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