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My cat seems to have idiopathic vestibular disease.. She has…

My cat seems to have...
My cat seems to have idiopathic vestibular disease.. She has not been diagnosed officially, but seems to have all those symptoms. I have taken her to the vet 2 times & had a geriatric blood panel done and urinalysis. Her blood work doesn't show any sign of any serious illness. Thyroid is on the lower end of the normal range. blood sugar was slightly elevated (Dr thought it might have been nerves as she was pretty frightened going there). She is 12 years old. She is most of the time constipated, vomits randomly and regularly.. maybe 3-4 times a month, but this week only 5 -6 days apart. She seems to thud her lower extremities when jumping down off the couch. She topples over when she shakes her head. Dr is baffled at what it could be. Ears checked out fine, but wondering if there is something deeper inner ear that the Dr can't see?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Why does it say DOG veterinarian?
Answered in 1 hour by:
12/1/2017
Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5,090
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Verified

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for asking your question and trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 17 years of experience. It may say Dog because you accidentally entered this into the dog section, but no worries. I treat both dogs and cats.

I'm sorry to hear your cat is going through this and you are experiencing the frustration associated with a diagnosis. I am not certain of the exact signs she has but if she has balance issues (vertigo), some nausea, perhaps a head tilt and nystagmus (movement of the eyes back-forth; which can resolve within the first 2-3 days), then this can be classified as "vestibular syndrome." But it is truly a syndrome that indicates there is something affecting the Vestibular nerve. In cats this usually occurs outside the brainstem or in the inner ear. Often the cause is "idiopathic" which means we cannot figure out why the cat has it and the signs abate within a few weeks (it takes time to get better). Some possible causes that we cannot see without advanced imaging (CT or MRI) would be a polyp in the inner ear, tumor or inner ear infection. Now, in cats usually the signs/symptoms are as bad as they are going to get within the first 24-48 hours and then they improve. It is usually NOT a progressive disease. If her signs are worsening, then this is probably not vestibular syndrome. In that case I would ask for a referral to see a neurologist for a consultation. At that point advanced imaging like MRI or CT can be done to try to look at the vestibular system.

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 please take a moment to submit a rating.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Sorry for the late response.. I had to work.
She does not have the back and forth eye movement and no noticeable head tilt, but if she shakes her head she will lose her balance and topple over, sometimes worse than others. She has lost noticeable weight, but seems now like she's perking up a little bit and coming around a little more again. There was a slight diet change, in that we only took away the dry food and went strictly canned and raw pet food. She has always, in my opinion, been kind of a clumsy cat.. She has knocked things off the shelves and ledges and shattered some pretty big pieces of decorations lol.. I never noticed anything off balance but I know cats are usually not "clumsy" like that. We are also recalling her falling off the higher counter ledge before this all started where we keep the cats water, but we don't know if she fell and hurt her head (we saw no signs) or if she fell because it was the onset of this sickness. She is always the one who randomly throws up, where our other 3 never do. She is also usually constipated. Just trying to make sure I'm telling you everything..
My biggest question was.. **How far in the ear can the Dr really see?** (He looked with one of those lighted things all drs look in the ears with. He couldn't see anything wrong as far as that tool can show.)

Your veterinarian can only see to the ear drum. That is it. If there is infection or something affecting the ear drum then that is all we can see. We cannot visually inspect the inner ear. This requires some form of imaging and the best is a CT or MRI scan. Regular skull radiographs (xrays) can be used to visualized the inner ear but about all we can see from that is if there is a mass effect (which could be a tumor, polyp or fluid) then we can pick that up.

Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5,090
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
Verified
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Hi Sherri,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sherri Zepernick. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey
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