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Help, my sweet Aurora has Horner's syndrome!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Aurora was diagnosed with Horner's syndrome today, which results from some sort of damage or irritation to the sympathetic nerve. I have no idea how this happened, because it came on just so sudden. Her right eye is messed up (the third lid is showing) and she has trouble walking. (She falls over). My vet thinks it may be due to an ear infection, but it can also be caused my something else. She is treating Aurora for the ear infection at the moment to see if this clears things up. Has anyone else ever had this problem I am worried sick, Aurora is my baby.
post #2 of 25

I am sorry to learn of this. My neighbor's horse has this condition but because of the age of the horse, they aren't really doing much about it- Diablo is 23 years old. I assume that you have done an internet search for good sites about this? Also does Dr. Mike's website talk about it?

I just checked and it does:
post #3 of 25
This is so unfortunate about your sweet Aurora, you must be so upset. I do so hope this clears up after treating the ear infection. Please keep us informed how she is feeling.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have been reading quite a lot about it on the web. My vet was really good at explaining things, but the part that has me worried, is that she could also have a tumor in the chest area that puts pressure on the nerve. Right now, Aurora is on a treatment for her ears. There was some wax in her right ear that did contain a large amount of bacteria and yeast, so they are hoping that the infection in the ear is also affecting the nerve. If this is the case, once the infection clears up, the nerve irritation should go away and things will get better. But, if it isn't the ear infection causing this, we are looking at something that could be worse. She doesn't want to eat either. Of course, if she has any kind of vertigo, I can see why she wouldn't. I had vertigo last summer for 2 months and it wasn't fun. I would be walking and then I would get very dizzy and feel like I was going to get sick. Aurora was our first Pixie Bob (Pixie Bobs are part bobcat) and having her is what led me to getting Amber. I feel bad becuase she isn't with me at the computer. Aurora is my shadow, she follows me everywhere and always sleeps next to my head with her huge paws in my hand and always purring.
post #5 of 25
Forgive me if this is a foolish question, but I wonder if antivert, which you may already know is prescribed to humans for vertigo, can be given to cats?
post #6 of 25
It is not a foolish question, but it is not advisable to give human medication to cats without a vet telling you to.

John, have you tried all the tricks to get her to eat? Nuking the food in the microwave for a few seconds...rubbing acidopholous granuales on her gums? Trying her with baby food- either chicken or turkey? Adding a tiny bit of catnip to her canned food to stimulate her appetite? If she is nauseated, provide her with a patch of cat grass she can chew on and feel better.

Don't think what if she has type of thoughts. Keep your thoughts positive, and only cross the what if bridges if they come up.

I will put her in my prayers- she is a beautiful girl.
post #7 of 25
I meant, of course, only with the prescription and careful supervision of your vet!
post #8 of 25
I thought it sounded similar to vertigo as well.
post #9 of 25
I am so sorry to hear Aurora is sick. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers I also hope that once the ear infection is cleared that everything else clears up.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy, I will try some of these tricks. She will walk up to the food like she wants to eat. She smells it,but then just stands there looking at it. I know her favorite treat is raw turkey, all my cats who want it will eat it twice per week. I usually feed them dry Eukanuba, but I also have canned turkey or chicken for a treat. I will keep everyone updated.
post #11 of 25
Hi John and Teri!
I wanted to toss in what I'm researching as far as our ordeal w/Sasha and when your thread popped up I recalled how kind you were to Freddie and me last Fall and sending us your gorgeous photos. I am readaing on the internet the palpebral nerve function - which is tied in to Horner's syndrome. While Sasha does not have Horner's, he is experiencing issues related to the third eyelid and some type of paralysis w/that in relation to the hypothalamus nerve which is located in the brain stem. This is due to the head trauma from the coyote taking a big whack at him. I have read a LOT on the internet/Google in treatment and prognosis of palpebral nerve issues (third eyelid) with either external or internal injuries and Horner's. Most of it is in medical research jargon, but enough to make out what they are really saying in English. ~~ don't know if this is helpful or not, but wanted to toss it out.
Keep us posted! I am very interested in your case.
post #12 of 25
Poor sweetie. Hope Aurora feels better real soon.

Sphinx has had Horner's once since we adopted him. One of his vets (who actually speciallizes in eye diseases) explained what is is and what may be causing it. He wasn't worried and that it could take up to a few months to recover from it but he did in a couple of weeks. He gave him some antibiotics just to play it safe since he is prone to infections due to age.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I really do believe that Aurora's problem is due to an inner ear infection, which I have read can effect the nerves as well. She looks like she is dizzy or drunk when she walks. At the moment, she just ate some raw turkey and she seemd to really go crazy for it. This is one of her favorite treats. This is the first time I have seen her eat in a few days. I would rather have seen her eat the cat food, since it is more nutritionally complete, but at least I know she got some food in her. I added some water to it too. Now, I have to see if she will hold it down. She ate a little this morning, but ended up vomiting. I gave her a good brushing too, she was looking pretty ruffled. I told her she was such a pretty girl, brushed her good and had her purring.
post #14 of 25
OH, I'm so glad you and Aurora had that special time together! Sorry she is still having trouble with walking and vomitting. Her symptoms are so similar to when a human has an inner ear infection. Please let us know how she feels after eating her turkey!
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Update on Aurora
I am very happy to say, that there has been some improvement. She is now eating some cat food, not just the turkey and she is also drinking some. She is far from being 100 %. I know and can tell this is going to be a long road to recovery. She still holds her head tilted to the side and walks like she has had to much to drink, but a few days ago, she wasn't even walking. Her eye looks better too. It is still dilated, but the inner eyelid isn't showing much at all. Thanks to all of you for caring I will keep you posted.
post #16 of 25
Thank you for the update. I've been concerned about your sweet Aurora. I'm so glad to see she is beginning to eat better, is drinking some and is up and about. I look forward to hearing of her continued progress back to perfect health!
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I would say Aurora is about 75% of her normal self I am keeping my fingers crossed that she continues to improve
post #18 of 25
My older cat Forrest developed Horners after a simple ear clean at home. Horners can be caused by a middle ear infection or a mass in the chest. Chest x rays would be a good idea if the antibiotics don't work. If you think your kitty is uncomfortable you could ask your vet for some anti-inflammatories (like Metacam) to ease pain and inflammation. I did a round of strong anti-biotics with my cat but it just took time for the horners symptoms to disappear on their own. Forrest was very quite and withdrawn so I tried metacam to make her feel better and she perked up right away!
post #19 of 25
Aww poor thing.. I've been reading that there's a sort of eyedrop.. (ophthalmic epinephrine drops)that might help..

not that It's helpful at all but this is the first time I've ever seen a pixie bob and they're so cute I could just squeeze 'em til their eyes pop out.. how big to they get? do they play with doggie toys because they can stomp the monkeys out of a kitty toy, and where exactly do you find a size 11 cat bootie? theyre great big paws are well.. huge...! I bet SoftClaws would never work out.. but I want one.. I'd walk it and scare the neighbors..
but I'm sorry she's under the weather.. we're all praying it's just the ear infection and it'll go away.. apparently there's a temporary form of it as well.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Aurora is doing much better. She is back to doing most of her bad things, like jumping up on the kitchen counters. She holds her head almost normal now and I haven't seen her lose her balance in a while. I am almost certain that it was an inner ear problem becuase of her extreme loss of balance. I do not think a mass in her chest would cause her to lose her balance, lets hope not any way. She goes to the vet on Monday for a check up.
Turltecat, the picture i posted at the beginning of this thread is a Pixie Bob. The picture in My signature is Amber, our real Bobcat. I wasn't sure which picture you were talking about. But, Pixie Bobs can get quite large. Aurora was about 13 1/2 pounds and our male Pixie Bob is approx 18 pounds. Amber weighs 20 1/2 pounds, but she is only 11 months old. It takes about 3 years for the bobcat to reach full weight and size.
post #21 of 25
That Is Fantastic!
post #22 of 25
aww well I'm at least happy to hear she's doing better!
but they do gots big feets!! lol I think big footed cats are extra double cute If I weren't already having my heart set on a van, I would have my third baby be a pixie bob.... somehow, I suspect that the rest of the family is relieved (*envisions Molly hiding on the ceiling fan)
post #23 of 25
Great news!
post #24 of 25
Glad to hear she's doing better, and hope today's visit to the vet goes well!
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, Aurora does have some big feet. She is polydactyl on all 4 feet and has 2 extra toes on each front paw. The front feet are split, looks like she has mittens for feet
Her trip to the vet went well today. She is about 95% back to normal. The vet said it could take about a month for some of the effects to completely go away. So, thank God all has been going well for my baby.
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