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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19542
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Cat seems to have a balance problem. Sometimes he falls over

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Cat seems to have a balance problem. Sometimes he falls over when slowly walking. Problems sometimes when he tries to jump up on stool and doesn't make it. Problem is not all the time but is noticeable.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did the cat have a fall?
Customer: Yes, sometimes he loses his balance.
JA: What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Inky. Around 8 or 9 years old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Inky?
Customer: Inky is on PrednisolOne 5mgs

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been showing signs?

Why is he on Prednisolone?

Does he have any head tilting or issues with his ears?

Any stiffness when first waking/moving?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Does he seem faint when he has these episodes?

Any known health issues?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Last four weeks we have noticed these signs.
He is on medication due to skin allergies. Gets rough dry skin around eyes and ears.
No signs of head tilting or ear issues.
No stiffness when first walking.
Gums fine.
No fainting.
Has always been sensitive around his hip area.

Hello again,

Now we do need to tread with care here. Inky's signs are quite subtle but are of a nature that raises concerns within a few different organ systems. Furthermore, we need to be cautious that that low dose of steroid he is on for his skin could actually be reducing/partly managing this issue thus making it appear intermittent for him.

With this all in mind and given his age, arthritis in the joints, hips, or spine could affect balance and mobility here. It often is subtle in early stages and often we see cats miss jumps when this is afoot. This is a top suspect if his hips are sensitive. As well, its something the steroids could be affecting, but we can consider also adding in OTC joint supports (ie glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 fish oils, Duralactin) to see if that reduces his signs.

Otherwise, with it being especially balance related, we'd also have concerns of a mild inner ear infection, vestibular issue (though rare in cats), but it can also be a feature of brain based issues (ie bleeds from high blood pressure, infections, or a mass in the brain). Furthermore, we can see this type of situation with underlying organ issues (ie heart, kidney, liver). With these concerns, we'd want to have Inky's vet reassess him at this point. They can listen to the heart and check bloods to rule out those organ based concerns. At the same time they can perform a full neurological examination to try to narrow down inner ear vs. brain lesions. Depending on their findings, we may just need them to adjust his steroids to manage this if it is arthritis progressing but of course if any of those other concerns are isolated we'd want to treat those for him and halt these episodes.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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