How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. K Your Own Question

Dr. K
Dr. K, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7412
Experience:  11 years experience as Veterinarian
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. K is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat is acting disoriented, unbalanced, and as if there is

Resolved Question:

My cat is acting disoriented, unbalanced, and as if there is pain in her back. She still has an appetite, but now will not come out of the basement. She is also constantly drooling and if you try and pick her up, she acts as if she is in pain. She has had past episodes of almost seizure-like states where she will hide for three days and then emerge fine. I don't know if this is related or not.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.

Dr. K :

For how long has your cat been acting this way?

Dr. K :

Has she had any vomiting or diarrhea?

Dr. K :

Can she walk?

Dr. K :

Does she go outside, or is she an indoor only cat?

Customer:

She has been having these symptoms for over a week. Like I said earlier, usually three days and she is done with an "episode" but this time she hasn't bounced back. No vomiting. Loose stool, but that is because she has been only eating the canned food that I provide her with. She acts like she can't eat the hard food. She can walk but she seems to be getting worse. At first she would come to the top of the basement steps to be fed, but now I am taking her food to her. She will walk to get to her food, but she isn't very active. She is an indoor/outdoor cat.

Dr. K :

If you look carefully at her eyes while her head is held steady, do they seem to be bouncing back-and-forth? Almost as if her eyeballs are vibrating?

Customer:

No, her eyes seem steady, but her pupils seem large, as if she is frightened. She has had ear problems in the past so I thought it was her inner ears at first, but I don't think so now. When you touch her on the back, she meows loudly, so I think it is something with her back. It is very hard to describe.

Dr. K :

For how long has she had these episodes of "seizure-like" states? When did that begin? How often do they usually occur?

Customer:

I had a cat who lost all control of his limbs a little over a year ago. The vet tried everything she could think of, but he had to be put to sleep because she couldn't figure out what was wrong. She gave him steroid shots but it didn't revive him. At the same time, we had a 14-year-old cat get the same symptoms and she died within three days. I thought it was all very suspicious at the time, like they all had a virus or something. We still have four other cats though, that are healthy.

Dr. K :

Has she been doing this constant drooling all week long?

Dr. K :

I do think this story of your cats is suspicous. It sounds like there may be something toxic in their environment...either indoors or out...that is causing these types of neurological symptoms.

Customer:

We found Rinky on the side of the road. She was almost dead. The vet wouldn't even give her any vaccines until we had her over a month because she was so emaciated. SInce then, she has had ear infections but no other real problems. She has had seizures now for over 5 years. They just seem to be getting more regular. This past year, she has had alot of them.

Customer:

The drooling is not constant, but when you pet her. She has done this all along, but seems to be doing it more now.

Dr. K :

Actual, full blown grand mal seizures? She falls down, convulses, chatter her teeth, paddles with her feet, etc...?

Customer:

No, not seizures like that. She goes into a "state" where she acts disoriented, won't come when she is called, won't eat, and basically hides for three days. Then she comes out and acts like nothing has happened. It is very strange, but because of the condition we found her in, we have always just accepted that she might have some medical issues.

Dr. K :

Did the vet ever do any blood and urine tests on her?

Customer:

She hasn't been to the vet now for quite awhile. She has had all of her shots and been fixed, but I think it has been a few years. I know that she did tests on the cat we had to put down last year, and couldn't find anything in his blood.

Dr. K :

Since you mentioned this cat has been having these episodes for the last 5 years...I don't think what happened to your other two cats last year, has anything to do with this cat.

Dr. K :

I think that Rinky is displaying many symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy.

Dr. K :

This is a neurological problem that appears in cats with liver disease.

Dr. K :

Because Rinky was so young when this began, it is possible that she has a problem called Portosystemic Shunt.

Customer:

The reason that I ask is that we have a cat, who is quite mean to the other cats. He has bitten all of them, and I thought maybe he was a carrier of some kind.

Dr. K :

You should bring her to the vet and have a CBC/Chemistry profile and uirnalysis done. You should also ask the vet about running a specific test for shunting called a bile acids test.

Dr. K :

I don't think the mean cat has anything to do with Rinky's problem. You were describing that Rinky had these problems when you acquired her.

Customer:

Ok, that makes sense. We had a cat, about six years ago, who died of liver cancer. We also had a cat who died of kidney problems, about two years ago. It does make me think it is environmental. The thing is, we are organic. Don't use any chemicals to clean with or anything. What could they possible be exposed to?

Dr. K :

I think we are talking about two different things here........

Dr. K :

If Rinky has liver disease....I think it is due to a problem she has always had...probably from birth. It is likely something called a portosystemic shunt.

Dr. K :

This is not environmental. She did not get it from something. She would have been born with it.

Dr. K :

I think the cats that died two years ago, likely had the same problem...and that problem was either an environmental toxin or some kind of infectious disease.

Customer:

If she does have liver disease, is there anything they can do for her? My cat who had liver cancer was basically sent home to die.

Dr. K :

The liver cancer cat, didn't get liver cancer from an environmental toxin.

Dr. K :

Cats that have portosystemic shunts can be helped. There are surgeries that can help...special diets, medications, etc...

Dr. K :

First, you need to have her to the vet for some tests.

Customer:

Okay, but one more question.............if it was infectious, my other three cats would already be experiencing it? They all seem to be perfectly healthy at the moment.

Dr. K :

Are you asking about the problem that Rinky is having....or the problem that the two cats that died last year had? I don't think Rinky has the same problem, that these other two cats had.

Customer:

Yes, basically related to the other two cats. But when Rinky started to not be able to walk right, I immediately thought of the other two cats and what their symptoms were. And then I thought about the cat who is mean and always biting them. It was the only common link I could come up with. But, after you describe it, it seems that Rinky is sick as an isolated illness and the other cats would be sick now too, if it was an infectious problem.

Dr. K :

That's right!
Rinky has a separate problem.

Customer:

Okay. I really appreciate your help. I will make the appointment with the vet tomorrow. Thanks for all of your help!

Dr. K :

You are very welcome. I hope that everything turns out okay for Rinky. If you have no further questions, please click on the "accept."


Dr. K, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7412
Experience: 11 years experience as Veterinarian
Dr. K and 3 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4146
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3980
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    3268
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 years of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3188
    12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2873
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdrz/2012-6-7_16239_MeandDoncropped.64x64.JPG Dr. Z.'s Avatar

    Dr. Z.

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1936
    Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.