Neurologic mystery kitten! Seeking input from CH kitty owners

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

Pangur Bán

Purred: Tue Oct 30, '12 2:02pm PST 
I have two kittens, 14 weeks old, who were given to me by a friend's neighbor. Their parents and siblings are healthy. The boy, Pangur Bán, is the one who has issues. He has always been the clumsy one but we never thought anything of it. His sister Aisling is fine. 4 weeks ago we took them to a clinic to get vaccinated- they received their 4-in-1 distemper shot. Two days later Pangur suddenly lost all motor control. He exhibited symptoms identical to cerebellar hypoplasia, aka wobbly cat syndrome. He did not appear to be in pain, but fell over drunkenly every time he tried to move. We rushed him to the EV and they held him overnight for observation. They told us that he is perfectly healthy- bloodwork was fine, no toxins, FIV/FELV negative, very energetic, bright eyed, and alert. They ruled out poisoning, toxoplasmosis, and physical injury. The neurologist had no explanation and said he was a very interesting case, since cerebellar hypoplasia is noticeable from birth and Pangur's gait had always been a little clumsy but never anything like what happens during his "episodes." By the morning all symptoms had disappeared except for the occasional tremor in his hind legs and they sent him home with us. Since then he has been normal about 97% of the time. He's frustrated that he can't play with his sister when it happens. Today was his first episode in a week or two, and it broke my heart to listen to him yowling pitifully as he tried to chase his sister around but his limbs just didn't work. He's sleeping on a pillow next to me now and will likely be back to normal when he wakes up. Has anyone here had a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia that came and went? Could it be related to the distemper vaccine, since distemper in vitro is what causes cerebellar hypoplasia? I know an MRI could most likely confirm whether or not he has CH, but I already maxed out my credit card just taking him to the EV and they told me the MRI would be $2,500-$3,000, which is just not possible for me. Does anyone have any insight or ideas? Please ask me any questions if you need more details. Thanks for reading.

Pangur Bán

Purred: Tue Oct 30, '12 3:06pm PST 
Just to add some background details I forgot:

The vet said that he is not in pain as far as she could tell.

Both kittens eat Wellness dry kitten food and split a can of Wellness wet kitten food once a day, and they are great drinkers. I pinch his back skin sometimes to make sure he's hydrated well and it always springs right back. His sister and none of their other siblings (in other homes) have any health issues.

He is the largest of the litter by far. Short and stout with short thick legs, and he weighs nearly twice what his sister does.


No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
Purred: Thu Nov 1, '12 4:08am PST 
Dear Pangur Ban's Meouwmy....I know nothing of this infirmity, but I just wanted to put your thread up to the top again, so someone with some knowledge of this may see it....

All best wishes and hopes to you both



Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Thu Nov 1, '12 11:53am PST 
This doesn't sound like CH since that's something they're born with, but it does sound like a reaction to the vaccine. This happened to fellow Catster memeber Leo: http://www.catster.com/cats/1000247. He saw a neurologist to get diagnosed and helped and I'm sure his mom will help you as much as possible. Best of luck!