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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29730
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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About a month ago my cat started having problems, her blood work came back good, Her sympt

Customer Question

About a month ago my cat started having problems, her blood work came back good, Her symptoms were: 1st shivering and what we thought was seizures but turned out to be excessive scratching at her ears. She has ataxia ( walking drunk ) and because of that she likes to stay in our bedroom hallway and master bath. She has been tested for ear mites 3 times with nothing, she started baytril 10 days ago but yet she still is for the most part the same. The vet just said on her visit yesterday she has a yeast infection in her ear but I read that it could be due to the baytril and may not be the problem causing the ataxia. Also she has been very scared of nothing, she panics at the air in front of her and shows some signs of feline hyperthesia, I also see signs of vestibular syndrom and signs is a stroke. I am at a loss of what to do. I can not afford a MRI. She has been eating from a syringe twice a day and she loves to eat, her weight has maintained over the month.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I understand your frustration at this time. Lucy Bella's "scared of nothing and panicking at the air in front of her" are indications of encephalopathy (brain disorder). Ataxia and other vestibular symptoms (head tilt, nystagmus, e.g.) may indicate inner/middle ear infection (otitis interna/otitis media) which has extended into her brain but I need to consider an inflammatory polyp in her middle ear underlying such infection rather than the finding of yeast. Unfortunately, CT or MRI might be necessary to identify such a polyp unless it currently is extending into her external ear canal where it could be visualized by her vet. Polyps need to be surgically excised.
Cats also suffer from primary encephalitis caused by infectious agents - the FIP virus and toxoplasmosis are often incriminated. We can test for these infectious agents but, once again, you can incur considerable expense in the diagnostic process which might include referral to a specialist veterinary internist, cerebrospinal fluid examination, and the advanced imaging I mentioned above.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not want to put Lucy to sleep unless she is in pain, as I said earlier a MRI is not feasible so my question is : as long as she does not appear or sound in pain and she is eating and resting and using the bathroom do I take a wait and see approach, we have her on a second stint of baytril for 12 days so in total it will be 22 days after these next 12 pills. Also the vet prescribed otomax liquid drops for her ears. Can I wait and see... If it is inner ear will the Baytril possibly help and if it is her brain will it get worse over time letting me know it is time to consider putting her to sleep. I love her dearly and do not want to see her suffer nor do I want to lose her. I have been told vet MRI cost around 3 to 4 thousand have you seen them done cheaper?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Yes, that's not an unreasonable approach although I would have expected to see a positive response to Baytril by now if it were going to be helpful. It's difficult for me to prognosticate without knowing the etiology of her symptoms.
I've seen MRIs drop in price to $1500. Lucy's vet can do a bit of shopping for you. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will also like to tell you Lucy history, she is a Persian and is 4. Her unique medical history is this: on her first day home I noticed all day she was extremely loving almost abnormally loving then that next morning she was a satan kitty forgetting where she was and who we were this is where she got her name Lucy from ( 50 first date movie) where Drew Barymore forgets her life when she sleeps. She has continued to loving her whole life and on occasion she would be satan kitty out of nowhere especially in the dark. Lucy has always had paw pads that are flaky and hard, when she was around 1.5 she had a lump under neck turned out to be her lymph node and in her blood test it show bad values dealing with liver / billyrubin I believe. She did 30 days on antibiotics and then has been fine with normal blood until this happened a month ago. Also Lucy has always had goopy eyes and I clean her eyes 2 a day but a month ago when these new symptoms started her eyes have been clear, it's weird. Does any of this relate to any of her current possible problems?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I don't believe so. Those previous symptoms arose too long ago to be supportive of what's currently occurring. I might conjecture that the Baytril has addressed bacterial infection in her eyes which has cleared them of discharge. Thank you for the additional information.