The Serious Side to Cerebellar Hypoplasia
For years I lived in an ignorant state of bliss.
My first cerebellar hypoplasia cat, CG, had such mild CH characteristics and progressed so quickly that I never had to experience the serious issues that many CH cat parents face on a daily basis. That is, until we adopted Ellie.
Ellie is my sunshine. She’s my sweet, tiny girl who’s ready to give a kiss to anyone (or anything) at any time. I have never seen her in a foul mood, and I simply cannot imagine my life without her now. She is, however, truly a cerebellar hypoplasia cat. And this week we’ve been reminded that more times than I’d like.
The week started with a discovery by my husband. One of Ellie’s chipped canines has chipped a bit more. She’s been eating and acting fine, but we’re still monitoring it just in case. I’m toying with the idea of having her canines removed at some point, because I worry that if we get them capped, they may simply chip again.
And that was just the beginning.
Monday after work I discovered that Ellie had pulled out one of her claws. After taking a deep breath and doing some detective thinking, we realized that it must have happened during one of her tumbles off our 3-foot-tall cat tree. I had noticed a brownish smudge on the tree’s carpet when I left for work Monday, but thought it was from her rear. We later found the bloody claw on the floor near the tree.
Fortunately, she’s running around as if nothing is wrong. The whole nail has torn off, but as with cat claws, a tiny one is growing in its place / was growing under it. It was tender, and we realized it did hurt her when we washed it, but a few moments later she was running around cheerful as ever. So we can be thankful for that.
In the meantime, we’ll be watching carefully for any changes, namely infection. And I’ll be doting on her more than ever — even if my husband thinks that’s impossible.
To be honest, I never thought anything like that would happen. I’ve heard it happen to other kitties, who have had to go to the hospital, but I always thought our cats didn’t have severe-enough cerebellar hypoplasia characteristics for anything like that to occur. But I’m here to tell you that it can.
That said, you can’t live in fear worrying about if and when your cat will injure herself. Ellie loves the cat tree and sits on it constantly. Never could I have imagined that it would have been the cause of an injury. And I know she’d be heartbroken if we took the tree away.
The fact is our CH kitties, as wonderful as they are, are prone to accidents, and we need to be ready for that. Certainly, we can take precautions to make our homes safer, and we can also prepare financially by setting up a savings account for them in case of emergency.
And at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that this is one of the reasons why we adopted them. They have special needs, and we want to help and love them — no matter what.