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Q. My cat is tilting her head and has unsteady, jerky gait. She is otherwise her normal self: eating well, eliminating normally. Difference in pupil size

Answered By
DR. CHRISTIE LONG, D.V.M., C.V.A.

A. Your cat has three signs that make me think of serious neurologic disease. One is that her head is tilted, and this could indicate involvement of the vestibular nerve. The other is that her pupils are different sizes. This possibly indicates a problem with the oculomotor nerve, although older cats can have slightly differently shaped pupils due to normal aging changes. The unsteady, jerky gait makes me concerned about a possible problem with the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement.

The important thing is to get your cat checked out by a vet, because these signs could indicate a lesion in the brain, such as a tumor. The tumor grows and presses on these nerve, and the result is that we see changes like what you're describing. I'm not trying to scare you, but it should be checked out so that you can potentially start treatments that will help her.

Answered By
PAULA SIMONS

A. All of these symptoms correlate to a neurological disorder. It is important to have her seen by a veterinarian as this condition can impair her quality of life and her health may decline.


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