This is a post about my cat, Niki.
About two weeks ago after returning from a trip to California for computer training, I noticed that Niki’s left ear wasn’t symmetrical with her right. It was as if her ear had shifted down her head just a little so the tip was pointing farther down than her other side. I figured she had something in her ear perhaps and it would fix itself once the obstruction was removed.
This past week both Rita and I noticed that she’d lost a little weight. She’s always been a little on the chubby side (like me 🙂 ) so it’s something different. At the same time Rita mentioned and I noticed that she didn’t get high from catnip. We’d pour a couple of patches on the floors for the cats to eat and roll around in but Niki all of a sudden wasn’t interested.
This was also about the time that I noticed some oddness with her face. When she was happy, she’d talk to me. A little meow stutter. I noticed that her left lip didn’t come up with the right. Concerned, I did a visual test. I covered her right eye with the palm of my hand and approached her left eye with my finger. Even though I was able to touch her eyelid (and could have touched her eye), she didn’t flinch or blink. When I reversed it and covered her left eye and approached her right one, she flinched and pulled away. She’d also stumbled on the bed, catching herself and I noticed that she’d eat a little then walk in a circle back to the food to eat some more. The other thing was that her whiskers weren’t extended on her left side. She’s very expressive with her whiskers but her left side stayed against her face.
I thought maybe she’d had a kitty stroke. Concerned, Rita made an appointment with the vet for yesterday morning (Saturday).
We took her to the Humane Society vet clinic, got the paperwork filled out and after a few minutes was pointed to an examining room. I’d put her in a pet carrier so in the room, I removed the screws and took the top off so she would have a place to sit. She was interested in the glass block window so I set her up on the ledge.
The intern came in a minute or so later. I explained my concerns (which I’d also written down on the form) and he proceeded to check her out including the old rectal temp 🙁 He made his notes as we talked and then said the doc would be in momentarily.
I showed Rita what I was talking about with regards to the sight thing while we waited.
The doc came in and he checked her over again as we talked. We did discuss the possibility of a stroke and I explained what I’d seen. He took her back for blood and urine work. When he got back, he said that the staff had missed the signs I’d spotted. They did a “wheelbarrow” to check her front feet and she couldn’t stay on both feet. He suggested she might have Horner’s Syndrome which may have been caused by an injury or lesion on the spine. He did say it goes away after 6 to 8 weeks so she may be ok.
On the blood work, the numbers all were within normal range except for the creatine levels were elevated a tiny bit over normal (192 and 180 was top).
She also had a abscess on her tongue (*ow*) that might explain some weight loss. Her rear gums were red and infected looking as well so we’ve scheduled a teeth cleaning for April. We also scheduled a visit to the vet for Ariel just for a checkup.
For myself, the doc said the staff missed the signs and were amazed that I’d caught the various signs such as the whiskers only extending on one side. He said they thought I might be a physician or an engineer.