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 Post subject: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:48 pm 
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My cat has it. Poor baby Mido has her head tilted to the right, no ear infection at all, is walking around wobbly-like, sleeps more often than normal and has barely touched her food since yesterday. Apparently this happens only once in a cat's life and it happens in the Northeast (?!); no cause is known (hence, idiopathic).

I took her to the vet today thinking she had an ear infection, but apparently my cat was the first one of the season to come in with this this year. Go us! Not fatal or harmful, the world is just spinning for her. The vet held her head still while we watched her eyes flick from left to right repeatedly. And the vet said she might have a slight right tilt to her head for the rest of her life when this goes away completely in 2 weeks. Fortunately for her, she looks adorably inquisitive all the time now.

The great news is that we don't have to buy medicine for it, since it goes away on its own, but... the bad news is that there's no medicine to make her comfortable again! I have to watch my cat walk around drunkenly for the next couple days. I gave her a heated towel to sleep with on the couch as soon as we got home. :( Poor puffpuff-muffinhead.

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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:21 pm 
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My old dog had this (well, not the feline part obviously!). We were sure she was dying or something because she couldn't even stand up, and when we did get her to her feet, she just staggered in circles. Her eyes were doing the back and forth too. We called the vet thinking she would have to be put down, and were so surprised when the vet said it wasn't serious! It was so sad to watch her be all dizzy like that, but it only lasted a few days.

I hope kitty feels better soon!


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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Thank you! Yeah I gotta say, the vet certainly took his time telling me my cat wasn't on her death bed. Thanks, vet.

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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:26 pm 
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My sister's cat, recently deceased, had it. She also had kidney failure first though and so this was sort of a random thing. She was given something, maybe for inner ear infection? and fluids, and she improved. It was a few rough days, since the cat was a bit of a weird one (a stalk and attack type kitty, no hugs and kisses for her) and she refused to give up aerial attacks and high jumps even though her balance was off kilter. She had to be crated for her own protection.

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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm 
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I hate idiopathic diseases. They make my field so much harder, because it becomes much more difficult to determine a treatment when you can't find a root cause.

I just learned about idiopathic disautonomia the other day. It causes a shutdown in the animal's autonomic functions--breathing, involuntary muscle movements (like in the intestines), and other things our bodies take care of all the time without us controlling it or even noticing most of it. There's really no way to easily treat it, and the prognosis is never that great.

Diseases are forking weird and awful. I wish my job didn't have to exist.


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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:28 pm 
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Do not frighten me!!

My kitty seems to be on the mend, although her head is still quite tilted. Poor baby.

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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Oh, I didn't mean to worry you. Vestibular, although still an idiopathic disease, is something vets are pretty familiar with at this point.

Dysautonomia is, from what I understand, more common in the Midwest than any other region in the US, and I'm fairly certain it's also not as common in cats. So you have little to fret over. I'm sure your kitty will be right as rain very soon.


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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:33 am 
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Aw, poor kitty. When I was young I knew a cat who was special needs who had a permanent head tilt. His name was Yoda, and he was very special. He would walk in circles a lot too. I don't know if he had that or if it was bran damage but he was a darn awesome cat and was happy just the same. Plus, your right, he looked so cute and quirky with his head tilted.


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 Post subject: Re: So... feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, anyone??
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:57 pm 
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My kitty is doing muuuuch better now. Still shakes her head infrequently and has a slight head tilt, but she meows and scratches at our door at 4am now, just like normal!

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