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cat is circling

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My 20 year old cat began circling a few days ago and within 24 hours she could barely move. The vet gave her an inflammatory medication and she recovered quickly. He thinks there may have been a clot thrown to the central nervous system and there is swelling.
She is home now and I am giving her 1/2 a tablet of prednisolone twice a day. She started circling again this evening. I gave her the second dose for the day and she calmed down.
Has anyone had experiences like this? I am wondering whether I will need to give this to her for the rest of her life.
post #2 of 29
I am venturing to guess that your cat is reaching the end of its life. If you ever observed your cat or dog circling before bedding down, this is a nesting behavior. Your cat may be doing this in preparation for death. It may feel reluctance but may eventually sucumb to the inevitable.
post #3 of 29
I only know a friend who had a cat handed in at her surgery walked around in circles and was found to have neurological problems.

I'd take her back to the vet to be checked over if i was you but let us know what happens
post #4 of 29
Prayers for your cat. I hope everything will be okay.
post #5 of 29
Your cat might have what is called vestibular decease.

Here is a link for more info.
post #6 of 29
Vestibular disease (or vestibulitis) is a possibility. It occurs mostly in the Northeast US and seems to affect cats during late summer into fall. It's a strange condition because the cause isn't known, it's difficult to diagnose, and there's no treatment.
Vestibulitis resolves on its own - you just have to wait it out. However, you need to know that this is, with as much certainty as possible, what is affecting your cat. You don't want to make assumptions when it comes to neurological conditions.

The best thing to do would be to take your cat to a feline neurologist. Ask your vet for a referral, or call the nearest university vet school. You need a specialist to diagnose this problem, since it could be anything from a stroke to an inner ear infection. You want to get a diagnose quickly so you can start treating it immediately.
I would do this ASAP if she were my kitty.

You've obviously taken very good care of her to get her to 20 years of age. Best of luck to you and your girl - please let us know how she's doing.
post #7 of 29
Meower, I don't have any advice, but I do have prayers for you and your kitty. Please let us know how she's doing.
post #8 of 29
Many things are possible - dementia, vestibular disease, a stroke, FIP, a tumor...

Since your cat is very elderly, you will want to talk to the vet about your options. You may wish to run a full panel of diagnostic tests, possibly including an MRI, to find out exactly what the problem is. Or you may wish to forego diagnostics (and the associated costs) and treat the symptoms to keep her quality of life as high as possible. While I would definitely explore alternatives to daily Prednisolone for a young cat due to the risks of long term use, I would not have the same hesitations for a cat who is 20.
post #9 of 29
I think it would be a good idea to have your cat checked out thoroughly too. You've received some excellent advice. I just wanted to add that I'm praying for you and your kitty and that I sincerely hope it's nothing serious and that she will soon be well again. God bless you and your baby.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
The vet thinks my cat was throwing blood clots. She has been okay for the last five days and has not been circling or loosing leg function. She is going to have her heart sonogramed on Monday. She is being weined off of the prednisolone and is taking 1/2 baby aspirin every three days.

She has been a real trooper over the last four years. She has kidney disease and has subq fluids given to her every other day and eats special kidney diet food. They didn't think she would make it past two years. Her kidney levels are all only slightly elevated so hopefully we will get her heart under control. She looks very healthy for a 20 year old cat.
Thanks for all of your responses.
post #11 of 29
Has the vet given you baby aspirin for her, as I thought aspirin was dangerous for cats? If she has kidney probs, she could have something else underlying like hypertension. I hope you do get it sorted.
post #12 of 29
I am so sorry about your kitty. I dont have any good advice I am afraid but I think others have already covered that.
My Winston is also 20 and has kidney probs. He has also been prescribed prednisolone since his diagnosis for CRF. I really thought I had lost him that day as he had jumped onto the bed and fell off. His hind legs had gone from under him and he was dragging him self in circles using his front legs. I will never forget the look on his poor frightened little face. He gets one prednisolone tablet every other day and has not, to the best of my knowledge, lost the use of his hind quarters again. He does get a bit wobbly from time to time and does have some muscle wasting in that area.
I am sorry this is not a positive or encouraging post and my thoughts and best wishes are with you and your kitty.
post #13 of 29
Meower, just wanted to check in on your kitty. Is she continuing to improve (I devoutly hope?) The latest news you gave us sounded extremely encouraging. Is the med you're giving her the same as "Prednisone"? If so, I'm currently on that myself (for just a few days)--due to some kind of allergic reaction that landed me in the emergency room a few nights ago! No, I wasn't seriously ill--nothing like anaphylactic shock--just desperately miserable from itching and skin flare-ups that were driving me mad!!! Prednisone is very powerful stuff but when used properly it can work wonders. (I for one would have been totally bonkers by now!) Anyway, please do keep up us to date on your baby's progress--she's a remarkable and wonderful old girl and I know you love her dearly! Sending bunches of hugs to you both!
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
She seemed to be doing better, back to her normal self for about a week. She is definetely not doing well today. Might have to take her into the vet again today, although I don't think they will know what to do.
I had a heart doctor and nueroligist look at her during the time she was doing better. The heart doctor said she has a pretty good heart for a 2 0 year old and he doesn't think it is her heart. He thinks it is something nuerological. However, the nuerologist couldn't find anything wrong either.
She has been on 1/2 tab prednisone every day and 1/2 tab aspirin every third day.
post #15 of 29
Wishing only good news for you and your sweet girl. Sounds like you are doing everything humanly possible to help her, you must love her so much! Please give her a kiss for me and do spoil her absolutely rotten--she sounds like such a sweetheart and she has such a wonderful mama to love her!
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
My cat recovered for a short few weeks and was taking prednisone daily with a little aspirin every third day. I had two specialists check her out, a heart vet and a nuerologist. The nuerologist didn't find anything(she was acting fine by then and the heart doctor vet said her heart was very strong for a 20 year old.
After about a week on the two drugs, she began to vomit. I took her off of both medicines and the vomiting stopped. The other night I noticed one of her eyes was bloody. The vet thought it might be trauma from my other cat or a possible tumor from the back of the eye. He treated it with some medication but the eye became worse. She was not eating and sadly I had to put her to sleep so she would not suffer any more. My heart is broken after having her for 20 years I can hardly take it.
Thank you for all of your advice and kind words.
post #17 of 29
Oh meower, I am very sorry for your loss!! I know how hard it is to lose a treasured friend!!

You have my prayers and condolences.

Know that she is at the rainbow bridge now, and is no longer in any kind of pain! She will be so excited to see you when you arrive!!

My deepest sympathies
post #18 of 29
I'm so very sorry to hear about your cat. You did all that you could for her. 20 years is a good long life for a cat. And I hope knowing that she is no longer in pain will give you some comfort. Prayers for you.
post #19 of 29
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sure she is looking down and purring and you right now, thanking you for everything you did for her during her life.

RIP sweetie.
post #20 of 29
I'm so very sorry for your loss I'll move this over to the bridge for you
post #21 of 29
I am sorry about your loss. How hard after 20 years to say goodbye. I know that this will probably not comfort you, but I had a 18 yr old that had what the vet believed to be a stroke and was put on a steroid treatment also. She continued to live until age 20 but her quality of life really was not very good after that time. I'm certain that she is smiling down upon you for all the love and care you provided her all of these years. You will see her again
post #22 of 29
Oh my Meower! I was'nt expecting this!!!I am soo sorry for the sudden loss of your baby. I know she was showing signs of illness, but it still happened too fast I hope you can reflect on the good times you shared with her,and rest knowing she is in a better place out of pain. RIP sweet kitty.
post #23 of 29
I'm so sorry to hear about your cat... it's so hard to lose a friend that has been around for so long... you are in my thoughts

RIP sweet old lady
post #24 of 29
Condolences on the loss of your companion and family member. While I envy you having a kitty live to be 20, I do greive with you for this terrible loss! May your memories bring you comfort!

I'm glad you are a member of TCS, with others who love cats.

Rest in peace, little kitty. You were blessed to be so loved in life, and now will know nothing but happiness and full health forever.
post #25 of 29
Condolences on your loss of your special, long-time friend. She left this world knowing she was loved and she joins a wonderful group of TCS cats over RB. Please feel keep us updated on how you are doing - an empty cat-sized hole in the heart is so painful. May your many years of happy memories of your cat give some comfort. Susan
post #26 of 29
I am sorry about your loss. ...I really figured How hard after 20 years to say goodbye.. My deep condolences to you.....

RIP Sweet angel!
post #27 of 29
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you.
post #28 of 29

I am posting a reply here although too late for condolences for others seeking info.  Cat circling etc. is a common symptom of parasites (FIE, feline ischemic encephalopath causing rodent flies) that may be fairly safely treated by broad acting antihelmintics such as Ivermectin

post #29 of 29

Thank you so much for giving another possible diagnosis, especially with the elderly it is important to correctly identify what is wrong and treat it as quickly as possible. I had a tech tell me once that the Prednisone I was giving an elderly cat would cause problems if used long term, I replied that he was dieing from cancer and had no long term, and if this made him more comfortable I would give it as long as he needed. There is another forum up at the top for 'cat health' (click on 'forums'), feel free to post there too, it really might help someone .Always ask the advice of your vet before using anything like Ivermectin, only TINY amounts are used and need to be correctly measured. My vet has treated my ferals with it for ear mites because it usually takes care of this problem with one dose, and it is a inexpensive med too.Insulin syringes were used because of the tiny amounts. Once again, thank you, and welcome to the Cat Site! 

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