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My cat has been walking in circles for 3 days and is disoriented.

He is not jumpimg up...
My cat has been walking in circles for 3 days and is disoriented. He is not jumpimg up to the bed , not playing, and stares off into space. His labs were good yesterday as was his vet exam. The only thing going is dental abcesses and he will have his dental cleaning and dental extractions on Tuesday. He is on his abx and pain med but he is walking atleast 10,000 miles a day in circles.
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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15366
Experience: More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
Hi Monty,
This is an information request, to help me better answer your question.

How old is your cat? Is he eating normally? Does he circle both ways, or only in one direction? Are his pupils the same size? If you look closely at his eyes, do they vibrate back and forth rapidly?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
He is 14yo, diagnosed with diabetes 5/08 and was weaned off insulin 2 weeks ago. He is on Purina DM and has had stable BS's. He is only eating alittle at a time for the past 3 days, hopefully because of his teeth. He goes to the right in his circles but has made a few u-turns and gone to the left. Pupils are equal and aren't vibrating.
Hi Monty,
Circling is usually a sign of brain disease, specifically the area of the brain where the sense of balance is controlled, called the vestibular nucleus. It can be affected by ear infections (so I would have your veterinarinan look deep into the ears when he is asleep on Tuesday), irritation of the nerves in the area (which could be a consequence of his dental disease), a brain tumor, trauma, and sometimes cats get "idiopathic" vestibular disease, which is a catchall phrase for "we don't know what is causing it". Sometimes with the idiopathic disease, they just get better.

In a world where all diagnostic tests are free, we would do an MRI on him. In this real world where MRI is not readily available, and fairly expensive, you may not be interested in this level of testing.

If I were seeing him, I would do a complete blood panel on him (I am sure this has been done prior to his anesthesia on Tuesday) and if it is normal, I would have him on antibioitics for his mouth infecion (I am sure he already is on antibiotics) and see if the anti-inflammatory medication prednisone helps his symptoms at all. I would probably wait and start the pred. once he has had his dental, but if it is really bad, I might start it sooner. I know a lot of people don't like to hear about putting their cat on pred., but it does not have the side effects in cats that people get, and is very well tolerated by most cats. There is a good chance that having the mouth problems taken care of, and maybe some pred. will take care of this. If he does not improve, you have to be concerned about some permanent damage in the vestibular area, and a brain tumor goes higher on the list of possibilities.

I hope all this is related to th dental abscesses, and you have your happy kitty back soon. Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15366
Experience: More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15366
Experience: More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

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