Rhapsody had some kind of brief episode a little while ago, right
after breakfast (which he'd eaten with his usual enthusiasm). He was
sitting up, and then he sort of raised his left front leg and started
wobbling and leaning toward the left. His head was tilted slightly
back and leftward. He did not fall over, just leaned and wobbled for a
few moments and then slowly lay down. His breathing did not seem
abnormal during this episode.
A few minutes later he was up and walking around and eating other
cats' breakfast leftovers. It looked to me like he might have had a
He seems fine now, but I'm worried because the last time I had to rush
him to the hospital (where the ER vet was pessimistic about his
chances for surviving the night), the respiratory crisis was preceded
by what looked like a transient episode of ataxia, stumbling and
falling while walking, several hours earlier. It could be an early
warning sign that a major attack is coming. :-(
I called the hospital and reported this to an ER vet tech, who said
that she will update Rhapsody's doctor and (of course) that I should
watch him closely and call or bring him in if I start noticing
Does this sound like ordinary asthma? It looks to me like maybe he has
some neurological issues as well. There's obviously something going on
with his lungs (bronchointerstitial pattern on radiographs), and his
heart (murmur and moderate caudal vena cava enlargement; the
cardiologist does not believe his heart function is compromised at
this time), but would any of those account for transient episodes of
wobbliness without obvious respiratory distress (at least not until
several hours later)?
Last time he was in the ER, I talked briefly with the doctor who was
in that night (who was seeing him for the first time and is not the
main doctor in charge of Rhapsody's case there) about the possibility
of neurological involvement. Given that Rhapsody's mother was
under/malnourished throughout her pregnancy and the first few weeks of
nursing, and that Rhapsody has lagged behind his littermate in growth
and development, and often has an immature or ataxic-looking gait, and
seems prone to having major crashes where his body temperature drops
*and* his gums go white *and* he has labored breathing *and* he is
ataxic either during or shortly before the crash--given all that, is
it likely that he also has some brainstem abnormality?
Has anybody seen anything like this before?
Jim Sinclair jisincla@...