Feline Vestibular Syndrome
Your cat’s vestibular system, which is inside the inner ear, is responsible for a wide range of things. It’s responsible for balance and sense of movement, which is of utmost importance to felines. It also helps cats keep images in focus and other things. Feline vestibular syndrome limits your cat’s ability to keep his posture or balance.
This disease mostly affects older cats, although any can be affected. Vestibular syndrome in cats if most often idiopathic. That means that vets won’t be able to pinpoint a specific cause for its development.
As mentioned, this condition causes cats to have trouble maintaining their balance. Your cat will appear dizzy and start staggering around. He may even run into walls or other objects or be unable to walk in a straight line like normal. Only one ear may be affected with feline vestibular syndrome, and your cat may tilt his head to a particular side, indicating which ear he’s having problems with.
There are many different things that can cause balance problems, not just feline vestibular syndrome. Some of these include ear polyps, chronic middle ear infections, or even cancer in the ear. With vestibular syndrome being commonly idiopathic, these other conditions will need to be ruled out before a conditional diagnosis can be made.
The vet will need to go over your cat’s complete medical history, especially looking for past ear infections. A complete examination of the ear will also need to be conducted, as well as a neurological exam. Your cat may even have to undergo a CT scan or x-ray of the head if feline vestibular syndrome is suspected.
After a diagnosis of this syndrome has been made, your cat may not need any treatment. Episodes typically go away after just a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you’ll need to ensure that your cat doesn’t stumble into anything that will harm him. Make sure he has soft bedding and other soft objects around him.
Sometimes, cat vestibular syndrome requires hospitalization. Medications to fight nausea can be quite helpful. IV fluids can also be helpful with this inner ear disease.