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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17715
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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My cat is losing her balance, she doesnt seem to have pain

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My cat is losing her balance, she doesn't seem to have pain and it appears to be more trouble side-to-side balance. I can see she is a little more cautious with running as well. Yet she was jumping on to our tall dress just this past week, I don't understand what could have happened so quickly.

Welcome to Just Answer. Can you help me with a couple questions?
1) How old is your little girl?
2) If you look at her eyes, are they moving side to side?
3) Has she been scratching at her ears, or is there any odor to her ears?
4) How long has this loss of balance been going on?
5) What is her name?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Dr. Bruce,

I'm so worried about my little baby, thank you for responding so quickly. I have an appt. for Mon am but couldn't wait to find something out sooner.

1. I'm not sure how old, she was a stray, we;re guessing around 12 yrs.
2. Her eyes look fine, appetite fine, etc. Nothing else has changed.
3. She was scratching at one ear a little while ago but it seemed to go away. Now if I rub at her ears it seems her right ear bothers her and when she shakes her head she loses balance.
4. I have only notice this loss of balance this past week, as I mentioned, she was jumping up on our dress that is about 5 ft high at the beginning of the week.
5. I call her Pusser, not very creative but she's my Pusser...

FYI - she is still jumping but seems to be more cautious now, I think it may be getting worse and she realizes something is wrong and is compensating.

Thank you,


Very glad to hear that you and Pusser are going to the vet on Monday. I say this for the fact that a hands on evaluation will be absolutely the best thing to determine what is going on with your little girl. In saying that though, I hope I can prepare you for some things that they will be evaluating her for.

One of the first things that they are going to look for is something going on inside her ears - an inner ear infection. This can be due to bacteria or yeast and it can irritate them or their inner ear to the point that they will tip their head or loose their balance.

For some older ones they can have a sudden loss of balance due to vestibular disease - this can be due to trauma or pressure on the inner ear. In a lot of cases this is an event that has know known cause - it is caused idiopathic vestibular disease. The good thing about these cases is that it usually gets better all on its own. It may take up to a week or so. But to make this diagnosis, you have to rule out inner ear polyps, cancer, and inner ear infections.

Here is a link on the vestibuar disease.

Here is a link on the polyps.

Here is a link on ear infections.

At this point in time, it is good that your little one is still acting normal in the other things that she's doing - not loosing weight, not having vomiting, diarrhea, and no loss of appetite. I'm willing to bet that your vet will want to do a thorough ear evaluation, physical exam, blood work and films to help them figure out Pusser's problem.

I'm hoping all goes well,
Dr. Bruce
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