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bad balance

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Firstly I apologise, this is a bit of a long post. Basically one of our cats -Willow- has bad balance. I'll give you a bit of her history; she was born feral in a woodland near a farm, at five weeks old her mother was hit by a tractor. She was trapped by a sanctuary I used to work at after a few days of the mothers death. Myself and other staff spent hours socialising Willow, she was a wild animal and really did not like humans. After weeks of work she was ready to go to a new home, I had fallen in love with her so she came home with me to live with our two boy cats.

Since we first met Willow we noticed her balance wasn't very good, but it wasn't that bad either. We put it down to her age, that kittenish pondering walk, the vet didn't think there was anything abnormal. But as she grew we noticed that she would fall over in situations the boys never would, and when she jumps, she misses her target as often as she hits it. She doesn't seem to have that automatic way a healthy cat can judges it's physical position and balance in relation to it's environment.

So we took her to the vets again, and the vet suggested that she may have had herpes as a young kitten which can cause balance anomalies. When I researched it I couldn't find anything about infant herpes to do with cats, as if it doesn't exist. Could there be another factor causing this imbalance?
post #2 of 6
There IS something that kittens can get that causes motor related balance problems, but for the life of me, I can't think of it ! It's something pretty common, that I think cats are vaccinated for , but if the mom isn't... Darn! If I think of it later, I will come back. Maybe someone else knows what I'm talking about. A cat our old vet had, had the same problem, which is why your question sounded familar. Wasn't herpes, though .
post #3 of 6
I have a cat who has balance problems whenever he has the slighest inflammation in his ear. This just started a year ago when he was about 13 yrs old. My vet says she has no idea why he would have so many problems with ear infections.
post #4 of 6
It is possible that she has had Panleukopenia (distemper) and somehow survived it.
High fevers can do neurological damage.
It's also possible that she has or had an inner ear infection.
post #5 of 6
vestibular decease - inner ear causes balance issues.

Have you Vet check her ears closely!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies guys

I've done a bit of research into vestibular disease and distemper. The long term symptoms of distemper, after a kitten has been affected between the third trimester and 2 weeks old, are almost identical to Willow's symptoms. The vestibular disease symptoms are similar only in that there is balance problems. We shall go to our vets and get her ears checked and to discuss the after effects of distemper. Thanks again.
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