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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10144
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
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My Outdoor cat started stumbling when walking or standing.

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My Outdoor cat started stumbling when walking or standing. Has been crying for food. Eats like a horse but appear to have lost weight. Might have ear mites and has flees all over his body. Put on Flee med plus med behind his neck. Has small black spots on his mouth below his teeth. Very concern he might might have a serious disease. Can you help before I take him to the Vets. Thanks
Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm sorry to hear about these problems with Mr. Gold. I do have a few questions to ask about his situation if you don't mind:

1. Did the balance issues occur after application of the flea product or were they present before?
2. Which flea product did you use?
3. Are the black spots in his mouth raised or flat?
4. What color are his gums?
5. Does he shake or scratch his ears?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not It appear to happen after I gave him a second treatment of Pro Sense Roundworm medicine about a week ago. I gave him this med because I thought that he might have some worms since he eat a great deal of wet cat food.

I administrated Hartz flee material to the back of his neck. I also treated him with Sergeant's Flee and Tick Spray.

The little black spots are at the base of his teeth that I can see without further inspection. I have not notice if he has been shaking his head but I notice that his Stomach is always moving that why I though he might have worms. I also notice that he was alway wheezing but he does not appears to be breathing like this at the moment.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just sent information but no response



The site may be slow today since I just received your answers.
Please give me a minute or two to type a response. Thanks. I don't need additional information despite what is indicated. Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



More than likely what you're seeing on his gums is normal pigment, especially if the black spots are flat...not a worry at all.

I wouldn't expect the wormer to cause balance issues. I've certainly seen this problem with the over the counter flea/tick products such as Sargeants and Hartz which is why I don't like them.
But the problem was present before you applied the flea products if I understand you correctly so these are not likely to be responsible for his behavior.

However, there are several other possible explanations for the symptoms you describe:

1. Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome if his eyes are oscillating back and forth (or were moving side to side very rapidly...they might not be so bad now).
Idiopathic means we have no idea why some cats will develop this condition.
The balance is off and they are very uncoordinated; as strange as it sounds, they will recover from these episodes none the worse for wear after about 10-14 days.
If he's slowly improving, then this condition is possible.

2. We also see inner or middle ear infections that affect the balance, too; antibiotics would be needed for this condition before significant improvement is seen. Ear mites usually cause a cat to scratch their ears or shake their heads; these parasites don't affect the balance in most cases.

This LINK discusses vestibular disease which you may find helpful.

3. Viral diseases such as FIP. This is a particularly nasty disease that can cause neurologic signs and weight loss. He wouldn't be improving but would stay the same or possibly worsening. This is not always an easy diagnosis to make although proteins might be elevated in the blood.

Feline Leukemia or Feline AIDS can also cause these symptoms. A 10 minute blood test in your vet's office can be done for these diseases. AIDS isn't' necessarily a bad disease to have unless neurologic signs are developing but Leukemia carries a poorer prognosis.

4. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can cause neurologic signs and weight loss and upper respiratory signs; this condition is transmitted by eating wildlife so this is possible for an outside cat. This LINK discusses this disease in detail.
Clindamycin is the treatment and most of these cats recover completely once antibiotics are started.


I'm not sure why his stomach is moving as you describe. Internal parasites don't usually cause this symptom; usually cats will have looser stools or possibly weight loss when they've picked up parasites. Certainly outside cats tend to lose weight as the summer progresses because they're so active but obviously the balance issue is somewhat concerning.


I hope this helps and gives you various possible explanations for the signs you're seeing as well as topics to discuss with your vet if he's seen. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Mr. Gold was in a fight about 2 months ago. He had a massive infection back then on the side of his head. The infection went down but this may be the cause for his present situation

I suppose that's possible but I really would have expected the neurologic signs to have surfaced before now if it was directly related...if you're suggesting that the infection might have settled in his middle or inner ear, in other words.
Feline AIDS is usually transmitted via fight wounds of this sort so this is definitely a possibility if he tends to get in to scrapes with other cats. Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will take him to Vet if he does not clear up in the next few days.

Thanks you for your excellent service and have a good day.

You're welcome; I'm glad that I could help you...and Mr. Gold, of course:)

I think that makes have him seen if his signs persist.
I hope that you'll keep me posted about his situation. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still communicate as we have been. I can also send you a follow up email in a few day to which you can respond if you have the time.

Good luck; I'll be hoping that this isn't anything too serious. Regards, Deb
Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
I'm just following up on our conversation about Mr. Gold. How's he doing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Took Mr. Gold to Vet. They gave him a Antibody and he is recovering beautiful. Apparently he did have a ear infection - Vertigo. Thank you for your excellent service and your follow up. Have a nice day.



Thanks so much for letting me know about Mr. Gold...and that's such great news that he only had an ear infection which is responding to antibiotics!
You must be so relieved:)
I'm glad that you were pleased with the site and the service; hopefully Mr. Gold will stay out of trouble but if he doesn't, you know where to find me:)

Take care, Deb