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Feline Vertigo

by Twila Beasley on November 18, 2016

What is Feline Vertigo?

Vertigo or Feline Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome, which is the proper medical term is a disease found in senior cats that affects the body’s balance system. It’s often mistaken as a stroke but it is not. There are two forms of this disease.  The most common one is  Peripheral Vestibular, this is the result of damaged nerves in the inner ear. Usually caused by infection, over cleaning ears, trauma, tumors, stroke, or medication side affect. Similar to what humans suffer from.

The other form is Central vestibular, this type may be less common but it is more serious. This condition starts inside the central nervous system. Causes of Central Vestibular includes bleeding in the brain, loss of blood flow, cancer, infection, inflammatory disease, and trauma.

tip: Possible to occur in cats of any age

Symptoms

  • Head tilting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Excessive meowing
  • Lethargic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizure like episodes
  • Running into walls/objects
  • Circling
  • Stumbling/staggering
  • Falling
  • Dizziness
  • Involuntary jerking eye movement from side to side or up and down
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Nausea/vomiting

Treatment

Your vet will probably conduct a full physical exam including an ear and neurological exam in order to rule out other illnesses. Motion sickness medications can help calm you cat’s nausea. Do not attempt to self-treat your pet, always consult with your veterinarian before hand.

Care

Your kitty is going to be more dependent on you at this point. Daily routines such as eating and getting to the bathroom will be difficult. You can make your pet’s life easier by placing their food/water dish closer to their bed, hand feeding maybe needed as well along with physically carrying your four-legged friend to the bathroom. Make sure to keep your pet indoors and away from stairs.

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