|Purred: Wed Apr 3, '13 6:44pm PST |
|On Wednesday, 3/27, I took my 15 year old tabby, Magic, in for a dental cleaning. While he was under, the vet removed a tooth and cleaned out his ears. The vet commented that he had some scratches in his ears, so we should keep an eye out for any excessive scratching. When I brought him home that afternoon, he was understandably very groggy, one of his third eyelids was exposed, and he was losing his balance when he shook his head. The vet explained that all these issues were normal following anesthesia, so I wasn't too concerned. He'd taken less of an interest in his food and water than usual for a few days afterward, but by Saturday, 3/30, he was eating consistently again and was acting like himself. Unfortunately his balance issues had gotten worse by Saturday. I called the vet and explained what I was seeing, and they thought he might have an ear infection. They prescribed tresaderm drops to be given twice a day. Despite the meds, his balance continued to degrade over the next couple of days. By Tuesday morning he could barely walk across the room without losing his footing a few times along the way, mostly falling toward his right side. I took him in to see the vet Tuesday afternoon. The vet couldn't see any signs of infection in the parts of the ear she could observe, and the eardrums were intact. They said it could be a middle/inner ear problem, and that the drops could be aggravating things rather than making them better. They took him off the drops and put him on oral antibiotics (clavamox) and steroids (pred-nisone). The vet suggested that if his balance didn't improve in response to the new meds he might have a neurological condition and need to see another doctor. It's now Wednesday evening, and he's had a total of four doses of the antibiotics and two doses of the steroids. His balance is even worse, to the point where he can't take more than a few steps without falling over.
He had blood work done about a month ago and a urine sample taken at the cleaning, and neither indicated any problems.
Despite the vet's comment about the scratches in his ears, I don't expect ear mites. The vet has looked in his ears twice and cleaned them out without comment about that possibility. If this was neurological, I wouldn't expect to be able to pinpoint an event that could have started the problem, the ear cleaning, and I would have expected to see a slower progression of balance problems. A rapid progression seems to suggest a spreading infection to me rather than a neurological problem, but I'm no vet.
Does anyone out there have any experience with steadily progressing balance issues follow anesthesia/cleaning or any thoughts about what Magic's issue might be? Could something the vet did during the cleaning trigger this? Is antibiotics the right way to go? Is there something other than an ear infection or a neurological condition that could be to blame?
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