People search for information about home treatments for vestibular disease in cats. I will try and answer the question but with some trepidation because the advice is always to take your cat to your veterinarian. Home treatments should be treated with caution. However, the news that I can bring on this subject is quite good. The condition in most cases resolves itself but please read on.
Perhaps people search for information about home treatments for this disorder because it is quite common in cats. The disorder concerns the vestibular apparatus which is called the labyrinth. It is in the inner ear of the cat. There are three semicircular canals. They are stimulated by gravity and the cat’s movements. The canals send signals to the cat’s brain to allow it to maintain balance and for orientation. When there is inflammation of the labyrinth the cat suffers from vestibular disease. The inflammation is called labyrinthitis.
The cat being unable to orientate himself has problems with balance, wobbles, falls over and has trouble righting himself. The cat may lean against the wall for support or crouch low to the ground. There may be rapid jerking eye movements. The head may be tilted to one side. There may be vomiting and deafness.
A common cause for this condition is an inner ear infection. There are other causes such as: stroke, head trauma, brain tumour, brain infection, drug intoxication and thiamine deficiency. Sometimes the condition is congenital (inherited). Apparently Oriental breeds have a predisposition. Siamese kittens with this condition may be deaf. There is no cure. There might be an environmental cause in the north-eastern United States as there is an increase in cases of vestibular disorder in July and August in this area.
Idiopathic (unknown cause) vestibular syndrome is the most common cause of labyrinthitis. It happens suddenly.
The home treatment concerning idiopathic vestibular disorders is to wait as it can resolve itself. In 2 to 3 days the cat may begin to recover. Apparently, in most cases the cat resolves the matter by himself within three weeks. Some cats may retain a permanent head tilt, however.
It is advisable to see a vet about this condition despite what I have written based on an excellent source because during the recovery period the cat will need supportive care and it would be sensible to seek veterinary assistance on the matter.
Source: Page 342 of Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.
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