What can you do for ataxia in cats?

Cats

Is your cat suffering from ataxia?

If so, your cat may be suffering from ataxia. Ataxia in cats, otherwise referred to as a loss of balance in cats, is a health problem more common in domestic cats. Treatment for ataxia in cats requires veterinary attention. For more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of ataxia in cats, keep reading here at AnimalWised.

Can a cat with ataxia live with it?

If, however, the ataxia has been treated early or affects a cat from birth, they can often learn to live with this condition. In some cases, treatment for ataxia can be offered.

How is idiopathic vestibular disease treated?

In the case of idiopathic vestibular disease, there is no specific treatment. Animals must be kept confined in a safe place where they will not injure themselves. Supportive care may include assisted feeding and fluid administration if the cat cannot eat and drink. And anti-nausea medication may be used if the cat is vomiting.

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What is feline Vestibular Syndrome?

Feline vestibular syndrome is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes a lack of coordination in cats. The condition often manifests suddenly. Cats affected by vestibular disease tend to fall to one side, tilt their heads, and experience unintentional eye movement.

How long does it take for a cat to recover from vestibular disorders?

The home treatment concerning idiopathic vestibular disorders is to wait as it can resolve itself. In 2 to 3 days the cat may begin to recover. Apparently, in most cases the cat resolves the matter by himself within three weeks. Some cats may retain a permanent head tilt, however.

What is sensory ataxia in cats?

Sensory ataxia often involves damaged nerves or compression of the spinal cord. This inhibits the cat’s proprioception (spatial awareness of self). A great number of diseases or occurrences can cause ataxia to develop in cats.

What should I do if my cat has ataxia?

Assisted feeding and IV fluids may be necessary if your cat isn’t able to eat or drink well. Some types of ataxia cannot be cured, and supportive care may be recommended to maintain quality of life.

What kind of ataxia does a cat have?

This type of ataxia is called a vestibular abnormality, or vestibular syndrome. Finally, the third source of ataxia is localized to the cerebellum, the part of the brain where fine motor movement is coordinated. These cats often look normal at rest, but when they start to move, their limb movements can be quite exaggerated.

Is vestibular disease in dogs treatable?

Disorders of the vestibular system are commonly encountered in domestic species of dogs and cats. Proper diagnosis is key to successful treatment, with most forms of vestibular disease being treatable. Diagnosis can be aided by the history obtained from the client, as well as careful examination of the vestibular system.

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Can a cat with ataxia use the litter box?

If your cat has ataxia, it may not be able to make it to the litter box without some difficulty. This means that your cat may eliminate outside of the litter box. To avoid this, you should place your cat in the litter box once every few hours to make sure it can go to the bathroom properly.

What are the symptoms of cerebellar ataxia in cats?

Cats with cerebellar ataxia generally have a wide stance and exaggerated, large steps. They may have head and/or body tremors and swaying of the torso. An ataxic cat may look like they are drunk, with a wobbly gait, swaying, and increased drowsiness.

What is the life expectancy of a cat with ataxia?

If the ataxia is cerebellar as a result of feline distemper virus, these cats can live a normal life expectancy with just a bit of support at home. They are affected from birth, so they do not know life in any other condition. This form of ataxia is not painful, despite the incoordination the cat experiences.

Where does ataxia come from in a cat?

Finally, the third source of ataxia is localized to the cerebellum, the part of the brain where fine motor movement is coordinated. These cats often look normal at rest, but when they start to move, their limb movements can be quite exaggerated. They typically also have head tremors.

Can a cat get vestibular disease from hitting the bottle?

It usually happens without warning or as result of a concurrent condition, and can affect cats of any age. The most common symptom of vestibular disease in cats is dizziness. No, your four-legged friend hasn’t been hitting the bottle…but it may look like she has! Repetitive eye movement (nystagmus)

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What to do if your cat has vestibular disease?

In cases of middle- or inner-ear infection, appropriate antibiotics or anti-fungal medications will be used. In idiopathic vestibular disease, treatments aimed at reducing motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting are used. Many cats will require assistance eating and drinking during the initial stages of the condition.

How long does it take for a cat to recover from vestibular?

Radiation and chemotherapy can treat malignant tumors, which typically affect middle-aged and older cats. Recovery and prognosis are typically excellent in cases of idiopathic vestibular disease. Cats typically make a full recovery within three weeks.

Can thyroxine cause vestibular disease in cats?

It can lead to peripheral or central, acute or chronic vestibular syndrome. In most cases, vestibular symptoms disappear within 2 to 4 weeks after initiation of thyroxine administration. For more, take a look at our article about obesity in cats.

How is idiopathic vestibular disease prevented?

There is no known prevention for idiopathic vestibular disease. Routine health care and physicals including diagnostic tests can identify—sooner rather than later—any underlying conditions that could possibly cause vestibular disease.

What are the symptoms of sensory ataxia in cats?

Ataxia, Vestibular Disease in Cats. A typical outward symptom of sensory ataxia is misplacing the feet, accompanied by a progressive weakness as the disease advances. Sensory ataxia can occur with spinal cord, brain stem (the lower part of the brain near the neck), and cerebral locations of lesions.

What is sensory ataxia?

Sensory (proprioceptive) ataxia occurs when the spinal cord is slowly compressed. A typical outward symptom of sensory ataxia is misplacing the feet, accompanied by a progressive weakness as the disease advances. Sensory ataxia can occur with spinal cord, brain stem (the lower part of the brain near the neck), and cerebral locations of lesions.