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Neurologic Problem - Please respond!

ske
August 9th, 2010, 11:25 PM
I originally posted on the rear leg weakness thread, but my baby girl's symptoms have sadly progressed, and I'm hoping someone has had experience with a similar problem and can offer some support/guidance:

I have a 12.5-year-old female ragdoll, Pandora, who has always been prone to bothersome health issues- food allergies, horrible teeth (despite several dental procedures under anesthesia), digestive issues, etc. These have been more or less manageable, until now. Last weekend, she tried to jump onto the windowsill, missed it with her rear legs, and fell. I did a double-take, but dismissed it since she's been a bit accident-prone for as long as I've had her. I did watch her more closely, though, and suspected she was maybe feeling a little stiff, but didn't get concerned until Thursday evening, when I noticed that she would take a few labored steps and then stumble or sit. She was walking on her hocks.

I took her to the vet Friday morning and he did a full physical exam, urine test and bloodwork. All of this checked out normal (no diabetes), and he diagnosed her with neuropathy. He prescribed prednisolone 5mg, which she began taking immediately. Since that time, she has worsened - now her head/neck sways back and forth (similar to a cat with CH if you've seen one), and she stumbles and can only take a few steps before either falling/rolling or needing to sit.

We had a second trip to the vet tonight, who now thinks it is possibly/likely a brain tumor. I am just sick at the thought of losing her, but can't put her through the long drive and anxiety that come with a visit to the neurologist.

Since my return from the vet tonight, I've seen info on other websites about feline vestibular disease, and I've started to hope (perhaps foolishly) that she may actually come out of this. Has anyone had a cat with vestibular disease? Am I crazy to hope that she could recover?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read - needless to say, it will be another sleepless night for this devastated mommy.

14+kitties
August 9th, 2010, 11:34 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this with Pandora. It is very difficult dealing with a sick pet. I took the liberty of PMing Dr Lee, our wonderful vet, to see if he could give you some help.
We do have a member here who's dog suffers from Vestibular Disease. Hopefully she will come on soon. I had thought one of mine had showed signs of it last year but it's turned out he isn't.
Good luck. :pray::fingerscr:goodvibes:

ske
August 9th, 2010, 11:43 PM
14+kitties, I'm so grateful for your help and your kind words. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dr Lee
August 10th, 2010, 01:07 AM
All of this checked out normal (no diabetes), and he diagnosed her with neuropathy. He prescribed prednisolone 5mg, which she began taking immediately. Since that time, she has worsened - now her head/neck sways back and forth (similar to a cat with CH if you've seen one), and she stumbles and can only take a few steps before either falling/rolling or needing to sit. Has anyone had a cat with vestibular disease? Am I crazy to hope that she could recover?

It sounds like we have neurologic signs that have begun with the rear limbs and have progressed to now include neck/head, front and rear limbs. If this is the case then it is not consistent with vestibular disease. Vestibular disease will be a generalized loss of balance. While a tumor in the brain may also affect the vestibular system, with the dropped hocks, it appears that more than just the vestibular system is being affected.

Unfortunately a neuropathy is a very generalized term and without an MRI/etc it is going to be difficult to understand the underlying cause. Tumor, inflammation, infection, vascular/stroke, etc. are all possible causes. I agree with your vet, without an MRI, prednisolone was a good choice. I am concerned that the signs have worsened despite this therapy.

A blood pressure may be helpful to make sure that there isn't hypertension which is leading to brain hemorrhage. This would be manageable. Time and control of hypertension (inexpensive, safe medication) would be the key. If there isn't elevated blood pressure, and prednisolone is not working, then without a neurologist, I am very concerned about Pandora.

I hope that this has been of some help. :pawprint:

ske
August 10th, 2010, 07:07 AM
Thank you so much for your response, Dr. Lee - at this point, I'll keep praying for nothing short of a miracle.