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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.

So my 3-year-old kitty Ziggy Stardust is stumping his vet, and I was wondering if anyone here had an experience similar to mine.

At first, he was diagnosed with a corneal abrasion/ulcer, given meds and sent home. He responded well to treatment, apart from being angry that he had a cone on his head. My regular vet rechecked him, said he was better and that I could discontinue treatment. But his symptoms came back, and on a second recheck, the doc saw signs he wasn't entirely better, so we did some more meds.

I was scheduled for a recheck on Monday (7/25), but on Saturday night his eye started looking bad again. I found a vet that was open on Sunday, who said Ziggy's eye was all healed from the abrasion/ulcer, but he had his third eyelid raised, his other eyelids were droopy, and the pupil was constricted, so he suspected Horner's Syndrome. He couldn't see any immediate cause from a limited exam of his ears, eyes, and mouth, and we were going to do a more comprehensive exam if he was not better in a week or so.

But the next day, his weird pupil was no longer constricted. In fact, it was bigger than his regular pupil (and still is). I took him back to the vet, who admitted that he was sure it was Horner's and is stumped by this new development. I have an eye specialist appointment on Monday (the first day I could get in), and in the meantime, the vet instructed me to just watch him and bring him in if anything changes. He's eating normally, he's acting pretty normally, and although i freak out at every twitch he makes, I'm pretty sure all of that is normal for him also.

My vet thinks it's something neurological, but he also said he should have more symptoms—in his words, "Other than the abnormality in that eye, he looks incredibly healthy." And he admitted he was stumped. Ziggy has had a collection of assorted odd symptoms, including head shaking (but no ear infection), a little bit of drooling, and some assorted twitches when he sleeps that seem normal. I've called the vet about these symptoms, and he said they didn't concern him. I'll probably take him in tonight just to ease my mind anyway.

I know he could have a million different things, but I was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on possibilities. Are there any questions you think are important to ask the ophthalmologist? Any symptoms you think are really bad signs? Has anyone experienced anything like this with their cat before?

Thanks for reading my absurdly long post!
 

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Boy, I wish I could offer some sort of intelligent insight or had some similar experience from which to draw, but I can't and I don't. Nothing you've described sounds at all familiar to me, but it would have me worried if it happened to one of my cats. I'm glad you're getting him in to see an ophthalmologist (congrats on spelling that correctly), but I wish you could have gotten an earlier appt. My mind automatically jumps to the worst case scenario, which I will spare you since it's unfounded conjecture at this point. I will simply say that your cat is, indeed, fortunate to have such a vigilant and dedicated caretaker. That already puts him ahead of the game in terms of prognosis.

I wish you the best possible outcome. Please keep us updated.

Laurie
 

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Your post isn't absurdly long. You should see the novels I have written in just one week of being a member.
Has the vet thoroughly checked your cats teeth? My cat recently had an emergency situation and apparently a tooth infection can cause a whole host of promblems. I remember a couple symptoms him talking about was the drooling and head shaking thing.
I hope you get the answer you're looking for. Let us know what happens
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Laurief, thanks for your hopes that all turns out well. I will keep you posted.

Shoshana89, that is an interesting idea about the teeth. I was assuming everything was related to the eye problem, since it's likely its neurological and impacting a lot of things. But it's certainly possible that it is unrelated. The vet absolutely did not get a good exam of his teeth, unless you count when Ziggy bared his fangs at the vet to hiss when he walked in the room, or when he tried to bite the vet while his temperature was being taken. He is a terrible patient, and I am shocked that he has gotten through all his tests so far without being sedated.

He still seems to be doing pretty well and not showing any additional symptoms or appearing to be in any pain. Hopefully he'll continue to at least stay stable and the ophthalmologist will be able to determine what's going on. But if anyone else has any theories, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for your input.
 

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This collection of symptoms is nothing I've seen before either. Since your vet is stumped, I suggest you find a clinic at a veterinary school...I would think there would be one near Chicago. These clinics typically have all the latest diagnostic equipment and a whole host of specialists...basically cutting edge. I have found that when my local vet is stumped it becomes trial and error...all the while the cat may not be feeling well and I'm stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a good idea. I'll definitely check out veterinary school clinic options in my area if the ophthalmologist isn't able to give me any answers on Monday.
 

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Your symptoms may be hitting the edges of diagnostic cat medicine so if your ophthalmologist can't give a clear diagnosis- trawling veterinary books for possible diagnoses before seeing another expert will give you the best chance. You'd be looking for the "Dr House" of cat medicine otherwise.
 

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I hope you find out what's wrong. Recently one of my cats went through about 2000.00 worth of diagnostic work until they could tell me what was wrong. It ended up being something dangerous, but easily treated (and inexpensive to treat thank god) and shes much better. Not to joke at a time like this, but ziggy stardust... cute name, and maybe he's taking after his namesake? From what it sounds like he's got one large pupil and one small? Bowie has that!
 

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Hey, sounds similar to what happened to my Kobie. He was shaking his head and kind of tremoring his head so I took him to the vet. They cleaned his ears and almost immediately his pupils went weird. He developed vestibular disease which resolved in a few days but the Horners syndrome persisted. He never drooled, but he did stop eating and I never could get him to start again despite intensive care and multiple vets/specialists.

SO my advise too is to see a specialist. Neurologist or opthamoligist or even dentist (there could well be a dental problem causing or contributing to this) I think going to a teaching hospital or a specialty center where he could potentially be evaluated by any number of specialists at the same time may be idea, as he isn't a good patient.

Next step for Kobie was a CT scan, but we had already ruled out all other issues so we were certain it was a brain issue/tumor. Didn't see the point in spending a grand on a test that was just going to confirm what we already knew with no hope of treatment or recovery. Not saying this will be the case for Ziggy, just sharing my experience.

Keep us posted! Praying for you and Ziggy Stardust!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey all. So I went to my regular vet's office today to check on Ziggy's breathing, which I thought was wheezy. The vet examined him and said his breathing was fine, his ears were fine, and that the irregular pupil is getting more and more normal. It is only slightly larger than the regular pupil now. She advised that I cancel the ophthalmologist appointment and that we recheck him in a week, and she expects it to continue to get better.

Oh, and as far as the teeth and ears go, she got a better look at them this time, and his ears were fine. His teeth are kind of dirty, but nothing she said would be causing all this.

She also said when things like this that start to get better with no real explanation are generally caused by inflammation or infection that the body fights off. So she saw it as a great sign that his eye is continuing to improve. So I'm hopeful he'll continue to get better. I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks for all your great advice and support!
 
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