When your cat is acting strangely, you notice. Vestibular Disease in cats is characterized by head tilting, vomiting, and droopy face along with unnatural eye movements. As pet owners, none of us like it when our pets are sick. We want to get them help right away. Veterinary Neurology and Imaging of the Chesapeake located in Annapolis, Maryland, has your pets’ best interests at heart. We strive to provide all animals with the best quality of life possible. Specializing in nervous system disorders, we offer MRIs, CSF (Spinal Taps), and Baer testing on animals, which allows us to diagnose and treat nervous system disorders.
WHAT IS VESTIBULAR DISEASE IN CATS?
Vestibular disease or feline vestibular syndrome affects the cat’s inner ear, which controls balance and coordination. Known as the vestibular system, the inner ear’s working also control vertigo and dizziness. Disorders disrupt these processes. Siamese and Burmese cats are most susceptible to these problems.
WHAT CAUSES VESTIBULAR DISEASE IN CATS?
- Head trauma
- Infections, either bacterial or fungal related
- Allergic reactions to medications
- Exposure to toxins
- Idiopathic (unknown)
DIAGNOSIS OF VESTIBULAR DISEASE IN CATS
There is no test that specifically tests for vestibular disease. If you notice any unnatural symptoms such as head tilting and eyes moving erratically, contact your primary feline veterinarian. After updating your cat’s history, he or she will run tests such as ear exam, eye exams, blood tests, and possibly cultures of the ear. Once vestibular disease is suspected often a neurological veterinarian is consulted for a definitive diagnosis.
A neurological veterinarian such as those at Veterinary Neurologist and Imaging of the Chesapeake are veterinarians who have undergone additional training in the nervous system and its disorders, which include the brain and spine. He or she has many more tools available as well as years of experience and knowledge in the nervous system. CT scan or MRI is often called for, allowing the neurological veterinarian to see the structures in depth.
TREATMENT OF VESTIBULAR DISEASE IN CATS
Often, the symptoms are treated rather than the disease itself, which is probably the case here. If the cause is an infection, antibiotics will be given to rid the cat of the infection, restoring the cat’s normal balance and eye functions. If the cat is vomiting, anti-nausea medication can be prescribed or a change in diet ordered. If the cat has cancer, radiation and chemotherapy options are available. Surgery may be required if the cat suffers from chronic ear infections.
PROGNOSIS OF VESTIBULAR DISEASE IN CATS
Vestibular disease is not life-threatening. Three weeks is a typical recovery time. Due to the cats natural lifestyle of jumping up on things and getting into hard-to-reach places, it is recommended to keep a close watch on your cat while it’s recovering since risk of fall and injury is high with this neurological disorder.
While vestibular disease may be scary, it is often completely cured. Likelihood this condition will reoccur is slim. Veterinary Neurologist and Imaging of the Chesapeake in Annapolis, Maryland, offer quick diagnosis and treatment options for all your pets’ neurological disorders. Contact us today!