Mama Kitty's Three Kittens with Neurological Issuesby Miranda Martin on 09/13/11
Three of Mama Kitty's kittens, Smokey, Polo, and Mila, were showing signs of incoordination and loss of balance as they grew older. At first, it was thought the three kittens were hypoglycemic because after they would exert themselves playing for an hour or longer, they would begin to lose their balance and get the "wobblies". At times, they would also fall over to the same side. Within an hour, they would be perfectly normal again. When these episodes occured, they were given Karo syrup to elevate their blood sugar levels. It appeared the Karo syrup helped. After continued episodes of the wobblies, it was determined that the problem was more serious than low blood sugar. During these episodes, the kittens were not in pain and were alert. They just didn't have good coordination to get from point A to point B.
Feline panleukopenia virus was ruled out based on testing, thank goodness. This virus, also known as FPV or feline distemper, is almost always fatal in kittens. Needless to say, a lot of tears, er, I mean puddles, were shed when this was considered before the test results came back negative.
Toxoplasmosis was the next suspicion, and medication was administered. Currently, the episodic symptoms do not appear to be improving but they aren't worsening. After consulting with our vet again and a neurologist, neurological diseases/ailments are being considered. Some of the diseases are degenerative while others would allow the kittens to lead long, happy lives. We are waiting on blood test results and will send in a sample of blood/urine to the Univeristy of Pennsylvania that provides testing for certain diseases at a very reasonable price.
During the time of trying to figure out the cause of the wobblies, Smokey and Polo were adopted. Each adopter was advised of the symptoms and that an undiagnosed neurological problem existed. The adoptive families are very concerned, of course, but they also realize that Smokey and Polo need a home even more since they have special needs. The adopters are truly caring, selfless individuals because they understand the kittens need special care. Smokey and Polo are very loved, happy, and spoiled in their new homes.
Woofs and Books will continue to work with our veterinarian and neurologist to try and determine the disease/ailment. Smokey, Polo, and Mila, as well as all the other homeless animals, deserve a chance at a happy life. As Mama Kitty and her kittens were Woofs and Books' first rescues, the experience of dealing with a degenerative disease for the three kittens has been truly heart-breaking. The silver lining has been making sure Smokey, Polo, and Mila are loved and happy each day as well as finding caring, selfless families to continue to provide them happiness, support and love.