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ROK Hound
April 26th 07, 11:36 AM
Posted this in another group I frequent and thought I'd try here
as well.

Just picked up a new cat yesterday at the Animal Rescue shelter. I
picked her up because she is less than perfect physically, and Koreans
tend to ignore or throw away people or things that are less than
erfect (I live in in Korea). The cat has, from what I can see, a cat
form of Lou Gehrig's; I can't think of any other way to explain it.
She's got the same kind of head shakes and she doesn't have 100%
control over the way her legs move. The few times she's been brave
(dumb) enough to jump off the bed without my help has resulted
in...how do you say? "Ass over tea kettle"?

A sweet cat to be sure, and very affectionate, but no one here can
tell me what it is she has, whether a muscle condition or nervous
condition or brain damage or what. Any place anyone know of where I
can ask questons and MAYBE get a starting point on the way to helping
her?

[ One person suggested a possible exposure to feline distemper before
she was born as one possible explanation for her condition. Any other
possibilities one might consider? As far as I know, she's always been
like this (as opposed to it developing over time). ]

Gail Futoran
April 26th 07, 05:45 PM
"ROK Hound" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Posted this in another group I frequent and thought I'd try here
> as well.
>
> Just picked up a new cat yesterday at the Animal Rescue shelter. I
> picked her up because she is less than perfect physically, and
> Koreans
> tend to ignore or throw away people or things that are less than
> erfect (I live in in Korea). The cat has, from what I can see, a cat
> form of Lou Gehrig's; I can't think of any other way to explain it.
> She's got the same kind of head shakes and she doesn't have 100%
> control over the way her legs move. The few times she's been brave
> (dumb) enough to jump off the bed without my help has resulted
> in...how do you say? "Ass over tea kettle"?
>
> A sweet cat to be sure, and very affectionate, but no one here can
> tell me what it is she has, whether a muscle condition or nervous
> condition or brain damage or what. Any place anyone know of where I
> can ask questons and MAYBE get a starting point on the way to
> helping
> her?
>
> [ One person suggested a possible exposure to feline distemper
> before
> she was born as one possible explanation for her condition. Any
> other
> possibilities one might consider? As far as I know, she's always
> been
> like this (as opposed to it developing over time). ]

Rescue groups don't tend to spend a lot of
money on diagnostic tests, for obvious
reasons. Do you have a vet you can take
your cat to? Diagnostic tests such as complete
blood count might reveal some cause.

I adopted a 4-5 month old kitten in October.
Her back legs didn't work properly, and the
first vet who saw her suggested the same
explanation you got - early exposure to
distemper. Mine didn't have head shakes, and
once she calmed down enough to be x-rayed
by my vet, it turns out she had a broken thigh
bone that was healing nicely.

So there might be a simple explanation, even
something your cat can get over with time
(and good nutrition), but I would recommend
a vet visit.

Gail F.

paws2 via CatKB.com
April 27th 07, 01:19 AM
...snipped...

>I picked her up because she is less than perfect physically, and Koreans
>tend to ignore or throw away people or things that are less than
>erfect (I live in in Korea). The cat has, from what I can see, a cat
>form of Lou Gehrig's; I can't think of any other way to explain it.
>She's got the same kind of head shakes and she doesn't have 100%
>control over the way her legs move. The few times she's been brave
>(dumb) enough to jump off the bed without my help has resulted
>in...how do you say? "Ass over tea kettle"?

Hi,

It sounds like your new kitty may have "cerebellar hypoplasia" or "ataxia".
Here are a couple of web sites for starters with info on both conditions and
the possible causes. The one on celebellar hypoplasia also has tips and ideas
on making your kitty's life more comfortable with her disability:

http://www.messybeast.com/disabled.htm and
http://www.fabcats.org/wobbly_kittens.html

It is imperative, and I can't stress this enough, that you find a good,
experienced, and compassionate veterinarian (I realize this may take some
doing given your location, but I'm sure there are other caring cat people
around you who might be helpful). You do need to have a thorough medical
workup done on your kitty so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.
There are several possibilities, including congenital defects, early
infection with distemper (panleukopenia), brain and/or limb injury, poisoning,
vitamin deficiencies, inner ear disorders, etc. You will need to get a full
blood panel which will also give you info on her kidney, liver function, etc.
I don't know how old your kitty is, but generally, if cats survive early and
kittenhood, they adapt well to cerebellar hypoplasia, particularly with
caring humans to help them.
>
>A sweet cat to be sure, and very affectionate,

Wonderful and it's inspiring that you adopted her. I delight in most animals
who cross my path in some way, but special needs and disabled animals have a
special place in my heart.

>but no one here can
>tell me what it is she has, whether a muscle condition or nervous
>condition or brain damage or what. Any place anyone know of where I
>can ask questons and MAYBE get a starting point on the way to helping
>her?

The above should give you some pointers for further search, but a good
veterinarian is key.

>[ One person suggested a possible exposure to feline distemper before
>she was born as one possible explanation for her condition.

This is a very good possibility.

>Any other
>possibilities one might consider?

See above.

>As far as I know, she's always been
>like this (as opposed to it developing over time).

Generally, cerebellar hypoplasia doesn't progress and cats adapt well and
compensate for their disability in very creative ways.

I hope some of the above is helpful and wish you many years and adventures
with your special new kitty.

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