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Dr. Dave
Dr. Dave, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4125
Experience:  21 years small animal general and emergency practice
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, our family cat is about 15 years old. He is in good health

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Hi, our family cat is about 15 years old. He is in good health on the whole, still playful and active, happy and purring, but he has a history of urinary problems which have been resolved by him being on a special diet for a couple of years to prevent crystals forming. However, the last few days just once or twice a day we have noticed a very slight head twitch...definite twitch and not a shake. Could this be something serious and we need to get him to a vet immediately? We are supposed to be going on a 3 week holiday and obviously we don't want to do the wrong thing by our Smudge cat! Thanks in advance, Janet.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Dave replied 2 years ago.
Hello, and thanks for writing in.
Sorry to hear that your Smudge has developed a new problem with the head twitch. There are various possible causes for head twitching, including various infections (parasite, bacterial, fungal), cancer (sorry to say that, but it's always on the list of possibilities when an unknown neurologic symptom shows up), or seizure activity. The special urinary food should not be causing the twitching.
The best thing I can recommend, is to have Smudge examined by your veterinarian, where they can do a full neurologic exam, which may indicate an underlying problem. Further tests may be necessary, such as specific blood tests. Another option whenever a neurologic symptom arises, would be a referral to an internal medicine specialist, or neurologist, so they can run more detailed tests (and have a higher level of expertise) to get to a diagnosis and potential treatment.
I hope this helps, Janet. Please let me know if I can help further.
Dr. Dave
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks for your reply ... do you think this is something that requires urgent and immediate attention or would it be safe to wait for 3 weeks until we return from holidays? Are neurological problems treatable? ..I somehow doubt it is parasitic/fungal problem.

Expert:  Dr. Dave replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your reply, Janet. With any new symptom, it's always recommended to get it checked out sooner than later, especially in an older cat like Smudge. Having said that, if the twitching is not getting worse, and he is not developing any new abnormal symptoms, you could likely keep a close eye on him until you are able to get him examined. Make sure he is continuing to do his "normal" stuff, such as normal eating, drinking, urinating, bowel movements, activity.
As far as neurologic problems being treatable, it just depends on what the underlying diagnosis is. For example, most infections are treatable, whereas a tumor may not be as treatable. If seizure activity is diagnosed, they can typically be kept under control with anti-seizure medication. I wish I could give you a more exact answer about that, but it really depends on the actual diagnosis.
Please let me know if I can assist you and Smudge further.
Dr. Dave
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, thank you very much for your help. I appreciate the advice.

Expert:  Dr. Dave replied 2 years ago.
You're very welcome - glad to be here to help out, Janet!
I hope everything goes well with Smudge, and I hope you have a nice holiday.
Take care,
Dr. Dave
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