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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 31121
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat walks forward, stops,lifts its head then does a backward

Customer Question

My cat walks forward, stops,lifts its head then does a backward somersault before staggering to its feet and carrying on, Why? The cat is 14
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Fliss 2. Her backward somersault and subsequent ataxia ("drunken sailor") indicate a severe vestibular (balance) disorder in a geriatric cat. Vestibular disorders are further clarified into idiopathic (unknown cause), peripheral (involving the inner/middle ears), and central (involving the cerebellum and/or brainstem). I would be concerned about a malignant process at her advanced age. I need to consider a partial seizure resulting in her vestibular behavior as well.

A careful neurologic exam is indicated and we're likely to need to MRI such a patient - an advanced diagnostic inappropriate for Fliss 2 in my mind. Please let her vet know what you're witnessing. I'm afraid, however, that we're quite limited as to what we might do for Fliss 2 at this time.

It's 4:30AM here but I promise to reply late this morning if need be.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for this. She disappeared for 3 years and has lived rough. I aim to make her last weeks/months comfortable for her.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Yes, good hospice care at this time may well be the most prudent manner in which to address her.

I'm going to check back with you in a weekfor an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.