Unsteady Kitten...Rear leg weakness

marie0604

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I have five foster kittens from the same litter, and one of the kittens has an atypical gait and rear leg weakness. She walks like a much younger kitten and falls over when she runs. She is also much smaller than most of the other kittens in the litter (she and one other kitten are the same size), but she appears to be healthy otherwise. She eats, plays, and acts like a typical kitten. But, there is definitely something "not right." It doesn't appear to be a spinal injury because her tail doesn't show any signs and both legs are affected, but I could be wrong. I don't think it's CH, but again, I could be wrong. She was treated for round worms and ear mites, but this problem has been evident since at least 4 weeks old.
 

ldg

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If it's not spinal/neurological, I'm familiar with three problems that cause something like that. One is CH - but that affects the entire body, and the head shakes when they're interested or excited. The second is called "August Disease" which is caused by a type of parasite. In some animals it makes them walk around in circles. Our Shelly had it - it made his back legs weak, and he'd slip when trying to jump up on stuff. If he were a little tiny kitty when he had, it, I expect it would sound like what you've described. There is no treatment - it is self-limiting.

That said - the third is that the same symptoms exhibited in a cat with an inner ear infection. That needed treatment.

No matter what happens here, I think the kitty should go to a vet. If it's a continuing infection, that could be a problem longer term, so that really ought to be ruled out.
 
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marie0604

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Hmm...it doesn't sound like any of the things listed. I don't think it's CH because it's only the rear end of the kitten affected. I did notice that another kitten in the litter does seem unsteady on one side of his back end as well, so it definitely could be something mom had while pregnant, I guess. I would love to take them to the vet, but these guys were not intentional fosters...I stumbled upon them in a feral colony and no local shelter/rescue would take them. So, I'm doing the best that I can until I can come up with some money.
 
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marie0604

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Currently unemployed grad student. I can barely afford to feed them. If they get worse or act uncomfortable, I will borrow money from someone. But, for the time being, the kitten has been maintaining the status quo for the past three + weeks, so I don't think it is something progressive. I'll have to get her diagnosed before I can allow her to be adopted, so she will be seen. I was just trying to come up with an idea of what it could be--thank you!
 
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marie0604

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No, the movement is unsteady/unpredictable but it is limited to the back legs and much, much, much less severe. If I can figure out how to upload a video, I will. It's not even noticeable at first glance, it's very mild.
 

mrblanche

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The CH has a wide range of severity, from a little awkwardness to a total disability to stand.
 
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marie0604

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Just wanted to update those of you who posted suggestions. I took the kittens to the vet because they were getting runny eyes, and while I was there I asked about the wobbly kitten. They vet looked at her and said that she didn't have any ideas, they it could just be that her cerebellum is immature and will either get better or worse with age. She gave them an anti-parasitic and meds for ear mites. Hopefully it helps. (However, when I got home this afternoon the other affected kitten appears worse. So, I guess we're back to square one.)
 
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