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The Serious Side to Cerebellar Hypoplasia

April 19, 2012

CG on his adoption day.

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.

Ellie lost her pinkie claw on her right paw.

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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Paciotti permalink
    April 19, 2012 8:45 am

    I hope little Ellie is okay. She sure is sweet. Dotty and I send our love.

    • April 19, 2012 8:46 am

      Thank you so much. She’s acting fine, but she still winces and cries if we touch her toe. Fortunately, I think it’s getting better — it may just hurt a bit for a while 😦

  2. April 20, 2012 7:15 am

    Very good point, Amanda.

    I only found out that Tardy broke his sternum when I took him in for something else. Another time, four years ago he had his hip dislocated. The surgery didn’t ‘take’ and now he has an artificial hip. His wonderful body created the artificial hip, isn’t that amazing? I’m sure if we had a full body X-ray, we’d find a few more surprises. Tardy also has a very hard time coming out of anesthesia, a VERY scary thing! One time he had to go under, when he was coming back his tongue slid down his throat and we though he had died (since he basically stopped breathing). He had to spend the rest of the night in an oxygen tank. It was one of the most horrible nights in my life.

    • April 20, 2012 8:12 am

      Oh my! It’s amazing what they can live through. Poor Tardy, I hope he came through it OK.

  3. April 20, 2012 7:19 am

    Poor Ellie! Purrs to her… another thing that can be done is to keep a first aid kit. Splints for sprained paws might be something to consider keeping in the house, I always keep turmeric, comfrey and Manuka honey for human and cat needs, if any wound gets infected, honey is about the best healer there is, even human doctors have honey dressings! Comfrey speeds up healing and turmeric is antibacterial and antifungal and I’ve found it can soothe skin allergies on cats too, mixed 1:4 with unscented talc [it’s a bit strong for application to any open wound otherwise]. These are some of the few things that are safe for both cats and humans. Or if you prefer, get antibacterial cream from the vet. An eyepad is also a good idea to keep in the hopes that if you have it, you’ll never need it, in case of a fall onto something that damages the eye [God forbid that it happens but sometimes freak accidents DO happen. Paranoia is worth a thousand if onlys]

  4. April 26, 2012 10:04 pm

    The only injury ours had was when he tried to jump/pull himself onto the bed and slammed his chest on it. Had a nasty bruise and scared the bejesus out of us, but he was fine in a couple week. I’ve fostered a lot of cats, but strangely, he seems to be the smartest, apart from pushing his limits occasionally!

  5. Sabba Bar-Av kitten is Shmootzy permalink
    October 24, 2013 2:41 pm

    we have a found in our yard at 10 days old male kitten who has been today diagnosed with CH He has gone from meowy, rambunctious to so sad over his several days staying at our Vet, who he met a few minutes after we found him. so He is now about 6 weeks old. Adorable and seemingly totally dependent to be fed and massaged to urinate and etc. His meow is gone. How do we grow him past this stage to be like all those videos?????


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