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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 9 year old female one-eyed rescue is unable to walk, stand,

Customer Question

My 9 year old female one-eyed rescue is unable to walk, stand, or sit on her own. She has an polyp in the right ear that is very close to her ear drum. She has significant decrease in appetite and will nor drink any water. We have been squirting water into her mouth and throat to try to keep her hydrated. She is on Termadol (?) Medicated ear drops with cortisone as well as oral antibiotics (penicillin) and oral fiber shots that we also squirt down her throat. She also is very constipated and her one eye is extrememly dilated. Our vet says these could be signs of vertigo caused by the ear polyp. But I am so worried about her because nothing seems to be helping her; this has been going on since March 25th-ish. She seemed to miraculously recover after the first week of ear drops and oral antibiotics. But no more than 24 hours after her last checkup on April 8th, she took a turn for the worst. What began as unsteadiness upon standing has turned into full blown paralysis. She is so weak, she can't even walk to her litter. Can this really all be related to the ear polyps? Or is there something else causing her symptoms?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is very fatigued and her belly seems distended
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.My heart goes out to you during reading this saga for Miss Willie-bean. Polyps in the ears can cause a wide host of symptoms but I am not certain they would cause all that you mention. Yes they can lead to vertigo (dizziness) and falling over, circling, head tilt, chronic ear infection, perhaps low appetite, and pain. But they do not lead to paralysis if you truly mean paralysis in that she cannot move her legs at all (hind limbs, I assume). If she can move her legs but is simply reluctant to do so, then this might be related to the polyp due to profound dizziness since the Vestibular nerve is profoundly affected. And, if she can move her legs but has reached this point, then you need to make a decision to either have the surgery done (more discussion of surgery below) to remove the mass or to change her medications to better address nausea and dizziness. I also want to mention Tramadol can cause profound disorientation and dizziness in some cats; so you have to work with your vet to know if this might be a part of the problem and switch her to a different pain relief (like buprenorphine).I do want to mention sometimes these are not polyps and it could be a cancerous tumor (I recently removed one from a cat and it turned out to be an aggressive squamous cell carcinoma which returned within 2 months). We always hope for a polyp because the treatment is surgical - it is removed and the cat returns to almost normal. The surgery needs to be done by an experienced surgeon who has done this many times; often referral to a specialist for this procedure is indicated.The top question you and your veterinarian need to work through is if she is truly paralyzed in that she cannot move her legs at all, which probably means she has a spinal problem (there are many possible causes ranging from disk disease to metastasis of tumor to fibrocartilagenous infarct) which is unrelated to the ear polyp. In the case of paralysis she also would have trouble urinating (either she would be incontinent or unable to urinate at all which is a true medical emergency and your vet needs to show you how to evacuate her bladder). If she has acute/sudden onset paralysis and is screaming then I worry about heart disease causing a thromboembolism (blood clot) to lodge and paralyzed the back half of her body, and if this occurred in the past 24 hours you need to have her seen on emergency; this would be very bad. Her limbs would also be cold to the touch and she would be very painful anytime you touched her. Abdominal swelling, if real, would not be related to the ear. This could be due to fluid accumulation which is never good (such as can come from a mass/tumor or heart failure or liver failure) or an enlarged organ or constipation.I have thrown lot of information your way. I am at a point I need to know what questions you have.I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry, I misspoke. She is not on Tramadol; she is on Tresaderm Medicated ear drops with cortisone and Clavamox (Amoxicilin). And as for the paralysis,I suppose its more like severe weakness then. She can move her hind legs, like kicking them out to the side when she's laying down. But she cannot bare any weight on them at all. Neither her front nor back legs will support her. She also started crying and growling at me when I pick her up. But that just started this morning. Her one eye was extremely dilated yesterday but seems to have shrunk today almost back to normal. I fear she may have some neurological issue that our beloved vet may have missed. But I Dont want to doubt him because he has never steered us wrong in the past. This is why I am reaching out to you for a second opinion. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
I apologize for the delay in replying but for some reason your reply did not reach me until now. This does sound like a neurological issue such as one caused by Toxoplasmosis (this is an infection which can be screened for with a blood test and there is an antibiotic that could treat) or a primary brain issue or a spinal problem. I do not think I could link serious weakness with internal ear issues. She may certainly have internal ear issues though and if you and your vet feel this is her only problem then proceeding with consultation to do surgery is indicated. i would go through a specialist for this to have a CT scan done first to establish the extent of the mass and confirm a mass is present. This could also tell if there is a mass potentially invading beyond the canal, which would be typical of cancer and not of a polyp.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I'm writing to follow up and find out how everything is going and if you got any answers. If you have any further questions, let me know.