How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. John Your Own Question
Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10981
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. John is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Have a very old ..probably 13 year old barn cat. He has been

Customer Question

have a very old ..probably 13 year old barn cat. He has been fairly healthy until probably the last six months and is losing weight and having minor balance problems. We took him to our vet about 3 weeks ago and they did some basic bloodwork which came back normal. He was given a steroid with an antibiotic( Convenia and Dex) and he did improve quite a bit. He is always super friendly and his appetite seemed better and close to normal. We dewormed him at the end of that week . Now he isn't able to stand well and is shaking his head as though he has vertigo. I think maybe his time has come but other than that he seems content...Could he have an inner ear issue or is this a symptom of something worse.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Superman
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Superman?
Customer: just that he is a hearty cat..lives in the stable ..has been vaccinated etc and has been healthy
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. If you get a request for a phone call, it is from the website and not myself. Given that he responded to an antibiotic and steroid, my first thought would be an inner ear infection, and it may be worth checking out more. At the very least, I would repeat those injections to see how he responds. With his age, though, you do have to consider something serious like a brain tumor. A middle ear tumor or polyp are also possible. Nasopharyngeal polyps can be common in cats and can cause various symptoms related to upper respiratory issues and inner ear issues. An infectious or inflammatory encephalitis (inflammation around the brain) are possible, but you would have to consider more extensive blood work for infectious organisms, MRI or CT scan and spinal tap to diagnose those issues. Make sure he is eating a well balanced cat food because some vitamin/mineral deficiencies can cause symptoms of vertigo. Lastly, some older cats (and dogs for that matter) can develop issues with vertigo with no apparent cause. With idiopathic vestibular syndrome, though, there is no treatment for it. I usually resolves on its own in 1-2 weeks. I do think it would be worth it to try the injections again, though, before deciding to put him down. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get credit for helping you. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. John
Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.

Hello. I was following up to see how Superman is doing and to see if you have any further questions.