Horner's Syndrome

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Named for the- other famous- green tractor
Purred: Mon Jun 1, '09 11:15am PST 
A friend has asked about this issue in her BF's cat. Seems the syndrome can be idiopathic in cats (45%) BUT, in this case it developed when the cat came back from neutering. The syndrome is an indication of a number of underlying causes, including trauma to the thoracic Vertebrae.

In looking at the symptoms and and the underlying causes, and considering the report of it developing as the cat recovered from anesthesia, I am thinking the cat was mishandled while under anesthesia (cats under anesthesia are limp and if not supported and handled properly, can suffer neck trauma as well as spinal trauma).

Has anyone had a cat with Horner's Syndrome and has anyone heard of a link between poor handling of an anesthesized cat resulting in the syndrome?

This cat is now paralyzed on his right side along with the unequal pupils etc. He was physically fine prior to surgery. He is 2 years old.

Meow in- Loving- Memory

where is my Mom?
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 2:35am PST 
Oliver, that is so sad. I have not heard of this before. I do know that some cats react badly to the ketaset used to put them under and may jump a lot when coming out of it. If he was on a table or the cage door was not shut properly, he may have fallen and the vet will not tell you what happened. We are so sorry this has happened.
Purrs and warm cuddles ! Please keep us informed as to what you find.


Blue eyed- trouble maker
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 5:05am PST 
I was under the impression that Horner's Syndrome was caused by head or facial trauma. Kira had surgery to remove a polyp from under her solf palate which involved the facial nerve. The vet warned me that it could happen so when it did, I was not concerned. It went away within a week. Then she had a 'bullae osteotomy' surgery which would also effect the facial nerve and it was highly likely that it could happen again but it did not. It should be temporary and it is primarily cosmetic. But I really don't see how it would happen during a surgery that had nothing to do with the head or face. I would consult another vet. When in doubt, I am a firm believer in second opinions.

Edited by author Tue Jun 2, '09 5:07am PST



Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 5:19am PST 
I have Horner's Syndrome. I got it because my previous owners didn't properly treat an ear infection that I wound up having for well over a year. I wound up developing a ceruminous gland tumor (a type of cancer) in my ear because of the prolonged inflammation.

The Horner's Syndrome doesn't hurt me at all. It just means my one eye is a bit droopy, you can see my third eyelid more than you would in a normal kitt,y and I'm a bit drooly red face. The vet says the Horner's Syndrome won't really harm me. Sometimes the symptoms will clear up on their own, but it doesn't look like that will happen for me. That's OK though because my new Mom and Dad don't mind that I'm a bit drooly and I look a little funny.


Named for the- other famous- green tractor
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 5:28am PST 
Here is the link to Horner's Syndrome that actually describes it as symptomatic of an underlying illness:


And here is a table of the underlying causes although, in cats, it can be idiopathic in 45% or cases:


Note that leasions of the T1-T3 vertebrae can be underlying cause. What I am thinking is if the vet tech or cat handler at the clinic did not support the cat properly (or even dropped the cat shock) there could have been damage. It is very important to support and carefully handle cats that are anesthesized because all their muscles are relaxed and without tone. This leaves the cat open to spinal damage if mishnadled.

The cat in question is paralyzed on his right side. He has to be fed and watered by syringe as the throat is also partially paralyzed. He does do things like clean himself and use the litter box and he does managed to drag himslef around.. walk sort of...

They are taking him in for an Xray today. An issue of money has come up as well.. They have maxed out their Care Credit Account on this cat.

Sassy- (2001-2012)

Gorgeous- Armageddon
Purred: Tue Jun 2, '09 9:28pm PST 
They should push the vet to waive the costs of the xrays etc since this clearly occurred as a result of the previous surgery they did.

Horner's syndrome alone could just be from a pinched nerve but the paralysis on one side could be from trauma or a stroke during surgery. Hope they figure out what the problem is and can get help for their cat.


Named for the- other famous- green tractor
Purred: Wed Jun 3, '09 5:23am PST 
Here is the rest of the story.
The cat was neutered at a spay/neuter clinic for greatly reduced costs. They had to sign a non liability waiver.

When the cat developed symptoms, they took him to the vet who ran up their care credit account and seems to have missed the mark. They took him to a thrid vet who found a Polyp in his ear and the cat was reactive to that. A specialist will be looking at him tomorrow and probably removing the polyp, which may be a source of everything so far. IOW's it may not be related to the surgery but it may have surfaced as a result of the surgery.

Two things to note:
The cat is suffering from Vertigo (dizziness) but he is improving. His eye is again resp0onding to light and the pupil is beginning to match the other one (not there yet, but showing improvement). He is eating on his own.. but food has to be placed in front of him so he does not stand and "lose" the food from the effects of the vertigo.

I will report back when I hear from the owner what the specialist says.


I am so cute,- scratch my belly- mol
Purred: Wed Jun 3, '09 2:27pm PST 
wow Oliver, I hope he is getting better. Sure sounds like he may be.
Plz keep us informed.


Named for the- other famous- green tractor
Purred: Thu Jun 4, '09 6:01am PST 
He has more even pupil dilationtoday. That is a very good sign.

He goes in today for complete exam an possible removal of the polyp in his ear.

He is doing better and is objecting to taking his medication and is eating on his own now.

Jester- (1988-2007)

Purred: Thu Jun 4, '09 6:02pm PST 
That's good news. Glad he seems to be improving.

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