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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21240
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat who is 14 years old while I was out briefly appeared

Customer Question

my cat who is 14 years old while I was out briefly appeared to look strange Symptoms were his head appeared to be cocked to one side, he continued to look down and his neck was curved downward. I have read that these are signs of a stroke. HE has lost some muscle control of his back legs. My question is there needed treatment and does he need to see a vet immediately?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

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

How long has he had these signs now?

Does he appear to be blind or circle in a particular direction?

What do you feed him?

Can he raise his head or will he allow you to do it without any signs of resistance or pain?

Any known health issues?

How long has he been drinking more? Since this started or before?

Has he been passing more urine? Has it been watery/less concentrated then usual?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He started showing signs Sat. 10/11/15 night. He doesn't appear blind or circle in one direction. He is fed twice a day 1 teaspoon Friskies can food and Meow Mix Hairball control dry food. He doesn't appear to be able to hold his head up on his own but doesn't mind if I do and doesn't look in pain. No previous health problems. He started drinking more water about 3 months ago. His urine has been watery.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Based on Boots 's signs, we do have a few concerns. As long as he has his sight, this is not an emergency situation but it isn't one we want to leave to linger. Now in his case, we do have to consider potential triggers for these signs in 2 categories. First, we have to think about sudden onset issues. This will include our strokes, middle ear disease, and brain based issues like infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic), a brain bleed, soft tissue inflammation, cyst or growth. The other category is those related to his more chronic signs. In this case, his increased thirst at his age does raise concerns about organ issues (ie kidney, liver, etc) and metabolic diseases like hyperthyroidism. And I would note that we can see all of these trigger brain bases issues and sudden onset signs as we are seeing (ie thyroid and kidney disease can cause spikes in blood pressure to trigger a brain bleed & liver and kidney disease can lead to toxin build up in the blood to trigger neurological signs).

In this case, the best approach here would be to have him checked by his vet and have a general geriatric blood profile checked as well. Your vet 's exam will help pinpoint whether we have a diffuse or focal brain lesions. And the bloods will let us know if we have to be worried about infection or those more chronic issues (though often treating those will help with the brain signs too). Depending on their findings, we may need antibiotics to clear any lurking meningitis or middle ear infections, or fluids to flush out any organ dysfunction related toxin build up. Otherwise, for those space occupying lesions (ie clots, swelling, growths), feline friendly anti-inflammatories can be be of benefit for Boots.

Overall, based on his signs, we do have a few concerns here. Most of these can come on suddenly or reach critical mass suddenly. Therefore, we'd want to think about a check and bloods to narrow down the cause for this as well as his increased thirst. And once we do, we can take one of the above approaches to help him to recover from this and prevent the risk of relapse.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.