Hi, I wrote earlier about how my 5 month old kitten (at the time- he's now 6 months old) was having problems w/ his back legs. I took him to the vet the day after Thanksgiving & when the vet stretched out one of his legs, he cried out but the other side seemed fine (he was not vocal on that side). They did xrays but everything was fine but when they stretched that same leg out again, he cried so they thought it was a strain/trauma, gave him a steroid shot & said he should be better in 2 weeks. Well he didn't really get better. Sometimes he seemed to walk a little better, but he was obviously having balancing problems. He can't jump on chairs which was never a problem before, he falls over getting out of his litter box, even if he scratches on one side & is leaning too much on the other, he'll fall over. He's always falling over. I have been unemployed for the last week & a half & have been able to monitor him much better. Before that, my roommate was unemployed so she was watching him. He seemed to be depressed & sometimes his eyes look glassy, like he has no soul or no will to live, then at other times I see that playful kitty look & he'll sometimes play a little w/ me though it's just putting his paw on the piece of string (he doesn't seem interested in any of his other toys anymore, doesn't run around like he used to, etc).
About 4 days ago he had a pee accident in the kitchen so I started to worry but thought maybe it was just a freak thing. But now he hardly goes to his food dish & I have to bring him his food in my hands & get a small glass of water & bring it to him. He'll eat like he's starving & drink like he's soooo thirsty. He hasn't had another accident again but he hasn't poo-ed in at least 3 days (sorry, I don't know how else to phrase that). He's also been scratching his ears & face like crazy & the inside of both ears now are red (not bleeding yet but I wouldn't be surprised if it does start soon due to his incessant, vicious scratching). The vet couldn't give me any information about that. He checked for ear mites, none. He thinks Niko might have some form of epilepsy or another neurological disease & gave me a referral for a Neurologist for Niko. The tech also said it might be that Niko has reached the peak of his development & I might have a "special kitty" but the doctor warned me that I might need to feed him all the time b/c they're not sure if he knows or remembers where his food/water dish is. His front paws work well but the back kind of drags when you put him down & he has slight tremors. The vet said that the reason for this, as well as the reason he wasn't poo-ed yet & had the pee accident on the kitchen floor is b/c he cannot feel the bottom half of his body & doesn't know that he has to go until he HAS TO go. The vet couldn't give me any answers about Niko's itching ears or how it might be connected w/ a neurological problem. They said a consultation usually costs around $80+ & then it depends upon what the Neurologist might need to do to further determine what is wrong with him. I'm unemployed & the little room I have on my credit card is what I have available to pay for a visit (unless they have payment plans). The tech mentioned that they might have to do an MRI. If that's the case, does anyone have any idea what that would cost? I'm hoping not more than $600 but I almost doubt it, thinking it can run up into the thousands of dollars.
I'm sad b/c I hoped that when I took Niko to the vet this time they could help me w/ at least one of the problems if not have the answer & cure for all of them. Niko is a shelter cat & they think it's something he was born with. I'm sadder because the reason I got Niko was b/c I lost my cat of 10 years (Lucy) to DKA/ kidney problems & she died on September 23rd of this year. I cannot lose Niko too. I don't care if he's a "special kitty" as the tech put it, I will do everything I have to do to make his life as comfortable & happy as possible but have no idea on what type of life expectancy he has, I guess I have to just find out from the neurologist what exactly is wrong with him. They said he doesn't seem like he's in pain & he seems like a happy kitty & that b/c he's so young, that he might not remember what it was like to be able to run around like he did & he's used to his condition of falling over & not being able to walk right. In that case, I'd be kind of happy b/c to him, he'd be living a "normal" life. They told me to just make sure he's not losing weight & that I might have to feed him & give him water all the time or he might die of starvation. I might have a job by the end of this week or early next week (hopefully) but then I'll be limited to how often I can feed him. The tech suggested that I might think about buying a big kennel or leaving him in a smaller room w/ his litter box & food so he "knows" where it is. But that takes away so much of a cats freedom, although recently he hasn't been moving from his "new spot" on the computer desk between the monitor & keyboard. Maybe I just need to get multiple dishes & put one where it's easily accessible for him along w/ others that are in areas that he does wander to every now & then. He is a beautiful kitten & I love him so much. I just wish he was a happy healthy kitty, running around, jumping high to try to get the piece of string or his fish on the fishing pole, or he'd carry his mouse around w/ him like he used to. All he seems to want to do is sleep or clean himself & lay down.
Sorry I'm rambling, there's just so much information that I don't know is pertinent or not to his situation, but thought maybe someone has gone through this & has some experience w/ this. Lucy was never sick. I took her to the vet once for ringworm on her head when she was a kitten & then her yearly checkups & shots, until September. I have no experience w/ a sick cat other than Lucy in her final 2 days & Niko. I'm thinking that maybe his scratching has something to do w/ allergens, maybe dust mites or something since he used to sleep under the bed all the time when he first started "acting weird" so tomorrow I'm going to vacuum the whole house, under the beds & furniture. I also want to give him a bath but it snowed again in Colorado & is so cold that I don't want him to catch a cold. The tech also warned me about getting water in his ears b/c it might cause an infection. So if I can't give him a full bath, maybe I'll just try to wipe him down tomorrow after I vacuum. I'll call the Neurologist tomorrow & see when they can schedule an appointment for us.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this & I also want to thank anyone that has any advice for me. I need it.