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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4053
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
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I have a 4 yr old, male, neutered cat. As of yesterday he appeared

Customer Question

I have a 4 yr old, male, neutered cat. As of yesterday he appeared to be very healthy & active. He began wobbling when he walked & seemed somewhat disoriented & not focusing well. He has slept a lot more than is normal for him. He has no nausea, has used his cat box & has eaten moderately well. I thought that he may be stringer today if just slept & remained sedentary. But, sadly, he appears to be the same as yesterday.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

Does XXXXX XXXXX feel warm to you? (Check the insides of his ears to see if they feel warm) or are you able to check his temperature?

Customer:

Checking now...will be with you in a moment

Customer:

WE checked inside of the ears and they were cold, not warm

Dr. Scarlett :

Ok, so maybe not a fever. A fever would fit with lethargy, for sure, as well as an abscess (infection) caused by fighting with that stray cat.

Dr. Scarlett :

So he is eating and drinking, urinating, normal stools, no vomiting, correct? Mainly just lethargic and wobbly when he walks?

Dr. Scarlett :

Anything he could have gotten into--any plants, medications, anything outside he might have eaten?

Customer:

He does not appear to have a fever. He has slept way more than usual. He is eating, urinating, do not believe he has had a normal stool in a day or two. I have 2 indoor cats so it is hard to tell who used the box last night after we went to bed.

Customer:

We live on a small farm. We do not keep rat poison in the barn. No pesticides are open or out of package. Dont know of anything could be toxic to him. He has not vomited any

Customer:

He is very wobbly, he walks a bit spraddle-legged viewing him from the back as he walks away. He seems to have a hard time focusing on things

Dr. Scarlett :

This is tough. An outside cat with a fairly large territory (farm) is at risk for a number of different diseases. Neurologic problems could be caused by feline leukemia or feline AIDS (both of which are spread through bite wounds and saliva--so past fights with stray cats carrying the virus), toxoplasmosis (from eating uncooked meat, mice, etc), rabies (I'll assume he is up-to-date on his vaccines, but still a slight possibility), intestinal parasites (they can sometime migrate to weird places), etc, etc.

Customer:

I have wondered about the possibility of an inner ear infection?

Dr. Scarlett :

That isn't a bad thought. Not very common, but could happen. Does he have a head tilt?

Customer:

He is up to date on his vaccines (Nov 12) May have eaten a mouse in the barn...no way of knowing this since he goes out for a couple of hours a day. He did get in a fight with the old stray tom cat that has taken up residency on our front porch...we didnt notice any broken skin on him after they fought

Customer:

If he caught mouse we dont feel like he would have eaten it. He eats plenty in the house

Customer:

I guess I will just take him to our vet tomorrow morning if he is not showing improvement

Dr. Scarlett :

An abscess from a puncture wound is still a possibility, from the fight, but if that was about 10 days ago, I think you would have noticed something by now. Might be a little too soon to have any clinical signs if infected with FeLV/FIV, but I would definitely have your vet test him for that in 3-4 months. As far as eating the mouse, even very well-fed cats will eat one if they kill it.

Dr. Scarlett :

Yes, I would definitely take him in tomorrow if he isn't feeling better. Anticipate a thorough exam, checking his temperature, and bloodwork. I would recommend doing a full work up (complete blood count, chemistries, FeLV/FIV, and toxo) to try and figure it out. Your vet may recommend more of a step-wise work up.

Customer:

Okay...thank you.

Dr. Scarlett :

Wish I could have been more help. Please let me know what you find at the vet or if you have other questions!

Customer:

Yes, I will. Thank you, again.

Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4053
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
Dr. Scarlett and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Dr. Scarlett -

I took Tony Stewart to our vet on Monday morning. He checked all of his vital signs. He had no fever, his gums looked healthy and all other immediate things that he checked looked good. He decided to give him a shot of cortisone & a large shot of antibiotics. He instructed me to come back with him on Thursday so that we could monitor his progress.

As of today (Wed. morning) he has improved vastly! He has regained a portion of his appetite and is walking "gingerly" now without stumbling so badly. He is no longer shaking or "bobbing" his head as he was doing on Saturday afternoon and Sunday and does not appear to be terribly disoriented. Occasionally he will shake his head to one side (possibly as if something is wrong with his ear, maybe just because he is off balance) and when he does he falls down.

Although I see MAJOR improvement, he still has much more "healing" to do before he is back to normal. I am keeping my fingers crossed, we're saying our prayers for him and hopeful that another antibiotic shot tomorrow will produce positive and progressive results.

Thank you for your help and thank you for your follow-up!

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.
I'm so glad to hear Tony Stewart is vastly improved!

Do be sure to discuss FeLV/FIV testing with your vet, if you haven't already.

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