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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19747
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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We need to understand what's happening with our cat Q. I

Customer Question

We need to understand what's happening with our cat Q. I believe he may be passing and we don't want him to suffer. Our Q is 18 yrs old. He is diabetic and has some hearing loss just within the past year. He seemed fine last night before bed. However, this morning he was upstairs in the hallway as usual, but when he started to walk, he was unbalanced and falling to the right. He leaned against the wall as he walked. He was clearly afraid and defensive, his tail was straight. My husband picked him up and I anointed his head with oil and started to pray. Q calmed down and my husband laid him down. I could hear him breathing he isn't purring like he always does. He got up to walk, still unbalanced. Went down the stairs unbalanced. My husband had gone down to check if anything had happened downstairs and he had vomited. My husband sat out fresh food and water, which he usually drinks a lot of. He ate a little wet food and regurgitated that, he tried to drink a little water than laid next to his food. He gingerly walk away, still unbalanced, and is now under the dining room table. Please explain to us what may be happening with our Q? We adopted him at 1yr old and have never had a cat before. We love him like we love our children, and need to fully understand what is happening if we can without taking him out of the house, unless necessary. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.
Hello. It sounds like you are seeing signs of Vestibular in your cat. This causes incoordination, a head tilt, nystagmus (rapid back and forth eye movement) and falling over to one side. It is similar to vertigo in people. The cause can be idiopathic (unknown cause), an inner ear infection or a brain tumor in rare cases. Most will resolve on their own over 7-10 days as long as it's not a tumor or stroke. In cats, we see it mainly in the spring. I usually put them on an antibiotic in case of inner ear infection along with something for motion sickness (Meclizine). I would have a vet look at him and start treatment. I know it looks bad now, but this can have a good prognosis. Here is a link on vestibular in dogs and cats: I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Q. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary