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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28473
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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15 yr old male altered cat. Eating and drinking and using

Customer Question

15 yr old male altered cat. Eating and drinking and using cat box. Sudden onset balance issues. Stumbles to the left along with head tilt to the left. Eyes seem normal. Has a benign fatty tumor, grape size that has not changed that I can tell, located back center of his skull.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: I saw what I thought was balance isuues a few weeks ago but only lasted a minute or less then cleared up. I thought I was imagining things at the time
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

Idiopathic (unknown cause) vestibular (balance) disease is the most common cause of peripheral signs (head tilt, ataxia/"drunken sailor") in cats. Although usually acute and noprogressive in nature, there have been some reports of clinical signs progressing for up to 3 weeks. Signs resolve rapidly without definitive treatment, usually in the first week, although some patients may have a persistent head tilt. Diagnosis is through excluding other known causes of peripheral vestibular disease; there's no definitive diagnostic testing, nor is there definitive treatment. Some cats may require fluid and antiemetic therapy if nausea/vomiting doesn't resolve on the first day.

Others considers include nasopharyngeal polyps, otitis media/interna (middle/inner ear infection), and malignant tumors of the middle and inner ear. Less commonly, a stroke involving the cerebellum or brain stem (a central vestibulor disorder) will cause vestibular signs. Your vet will need to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam in an attempt to clarify the etiology of your cat's vestibular disorder. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin