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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10067
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Have a very old ..probably 13 year old barn cat. He has been

Customer Question

have a very old ..probably 13 year old barn cat. He has been fairly healthy until probably the last six months and is losing weight and having minor balance problems. We took him to our vet about 3 weeks ago and they did some basic bloodwork which came back normal. He was given a steroid with an antibiotic( Convenia and Dex) and he did improve quite a bit. He is always super friendly and his appetite seemed better and close to normal. We dewormed him at the end of that week . Now he isn't able to stand well and is shaking his head as though he has vertigo. I think maybe his time has come but other than that he seems content...Could he have an inner ear issue or is this a symptom of something worse.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Superman
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Superman?
Customer: just that he is a hearty cat..lives in the stable ..has been vaccinated etc and has been healthy
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 24 days ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. Given that he responded to an antibiotic and steroid, my first thought would be an inner ear infection, and it may be worth checking out more. At the very least, I would repeat those injections to see how he responds. With his age, though, you do have to consider something serious like a brain tumor. A middle ear tumor or polyp are also possible. Nasopharyngeal polyps can be common in cats and can cause various symptoms related to upper respiratory issues and inner ear issues. An infectious or inflammatory encephalitis (inflammation around the brain) are possible, but you would have to consider more extensive blood work for infectious organisms, MRI or CT scan and spinal tap to diagnose those issues. Make sure he is eating a well balanced cat food because some vitamin/mineral deficiencies can cause symptoms of vertigo. Lastly, some older cats (and dogs for that matter) can develop issues with vertigo with no apparent cause. With idiopathic vestibular syndrome, though, there is no treatment for it. I usually resolves on its own in 1-2 weeks. I do think it would be worth it to try the injections again, though, before deciding to put him down. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

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Expert:  Dr. John replied 22 days ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. John
Expert:  Dr. John replied 20 days ago.

Hello. I was following up to see how Superman is doing and to see if you have any further questions.