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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27370
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My son's cat is about 2 yrs old & her vet thinks she had

Customer Question

My son's cat is about 2 yrs old & her vet thinks she had distemper as a kitten & has had some neurolgical issues- dragging her rear leg, left pupil slightly dilated, occassional ataxia. She had surgery to remove a polyp in her ear about 6 months ago. We thought her condition would improve.. i watched her for a week while he was out of town. He was amazed when he picked her up- completely different cat. Took her home & symptoms reappeared after an hour. We know it isn't the water. We are stumped ! Have you ever heard of anything like this ? ?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Susie, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you please clarify a few things for me?

Where in the ear - outer ear canal, middle ear? - was the polyp found?

You believed that her condition would improve - in time or after the polyp was removed?

What does "completely different cat" imply? She stopped dragging her rear leg, her pupil wasn't dilated, and she wasn't ataxic?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The polyp was removed from the bulla(sp) & not a significant difference in her symptoms afterwards. By saying she was a different cat at my house, there was no ataxia, she was jumping & playing. Pupils were both normal.When they returned to pick her up, they took videos, they could not believe the change. I failed to mention that there are no chemicals,etc that she could've gotten into at home
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. I'm sorry for the delay. It's disappointing that removal of a polyp from the middle ear didn't make more of a difference but it wouldn't if her neurologic issues were indeed due to exposure to feline panleukopenia prior to being born. Cerebellar hypoplasia is the primary disorder in that case and the signs include ataxia, intention tremors, and a wide-based stance once a kitten starts to walk at 10-14 days old. Less commonly, altered mentation (mental status) and dullness (usually not noted until several weeks old) or seizures are seen. Dragging a leg and a mydriatic pupil aren't expected and so perhaps other congenital neurologic disorders were present.

I can't explain her normalizing and then recrudescing (relapse without cure in between events). I wish it had been more permanent. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Hi Susie Linale,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Zelda. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin