A cat’s gait is affected by the developmental disorder known as feline cerebellar hypoplasia. Here are some crucial details about the illness and what can be done.
If you’ve ever seen a cat who wasn’t quite able to walk straight, whether it was on the internet, in a shelter, or on television, you may already be familiar with feline cerebellar hypoplasia. What is this illness precisely, and can a cat recover from it?
The Basics of What It Is and What Causes It
The developmental condition known as cerebellar hypoplasia can affect cats. When the cerebellum, the area of the brain that controls balance, coordination, and fine motor skills, doesn’t develop properly, it leads to this condition. Fortunately, neither the condition nor its signs, feline cerebellar hypoplasia, are unpleasant or contagious.
This disease usually affects kittens after a pregnant cat contracts panleukopenia virus infection. In the end, the virus preys on rapidly dividing cells and propagates from the mother to the young kittens. In the last few weeks of a cat’s pregnancy and the first few weeks after a kitten is born, the cerebellum frequently experiences a phase of rapid development and expansion. You may have already guessed that the area is now exposed to the virus’ attack as a result. But it doesn’t follow that every kitten in a litter will experience this. Cerebellar hypoplasia can occasionally afflict an entire litter, although it can also occur in a single kitten.
More possible explanations include genetic factors, stress, chemical exposure, and dietary deficiencies. For instance, if a cat is mistreated while she is pregnant, the result could be cerebellar hypoplasia in the offspring. Those kittens whose developing cerebellums sustain brain damage may also develop the condition.
The Symptoms: What They Look Like
The signs of cerebellar hypoplasia may become apparent soon after delivery or right away. However, the signs will frequently grow noticeably worse as soon as a kitten starts to stand and walk. This frequently happens at around six weeks of age.
The severity of the symptoms will depend on how much of the cerebellum was impacted. The severity of symptoms may vary according on the kitten’s developmental stage at the time of the occurrence.
Typical symptoms of feline cerebellar hypoplasia include the following:
- Sloppy, unsteady, jerky walking, inability to judge distance, falling, and toppling over are all common symptoms.
- Tremors (These vanish as the animal nods off. They can include head and limb tremors as well as intention tremors, which take place when the pet wants to move, such as during play or eating.
- Moving in swaying steps
The condition of hypermetria, also referred to as “goose-stepping,” has diagnoses and potential treatments.
Regrettably, a laboratory test cannot detect cerebellar hypoplasia. Your veterinarian will benefit from having a list of your pet’s symptoms and a health history while performing a physical examination. In order to rule out any further medical disorders that might be causing your pet’s symptoms, your veterinarian might additionally recommend a complete blood count, blood chemical profile, urine, and electrolyte test. Additionally, your veterinarian might ask for an MRI to determine the size of the cerebellum (a kitten with cerebellar hypoplasia would have a smaller cerebellum).
The lack of a cure for feline cerebellar hypoplasia, which results from poor brain development, is a severe additional problem. Cats can still live regular lives and develop coping mechanisms even if the sickness will always be present. Additionally, once a kitten has beyond the kitten stage, the issue often doesn’t show any signs of developing further or getting worse in a kitten.
You can alter your home if your cat has cerebellar hypoplasia to help reduce accidents and harm. You’re permitted to neuter or spay your pet and have more cats in your home. However, a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia must always be kept inside. Consult your veterinarian to ascertain the extent of your dog’s problems and what can be done to ensure that your cat can live a happy and comfortable life.
CH Cats: Compassionate pets for individuals with disabilities
Cats with cerebellar hypoplasia are ultimately just lovable pets with particular requirements that deserve homes. If you’re willing to adopt a kitten or adult cat with CH, you should think about browsing in shelters and foster networks to find your new furry best friend.