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Are You Sure Your Cat Has CH?

March 25, 2013

The other day Tanja posted a great reminder on Martha’s Facebook page: “Not every wobbly cat is a CH cat.”

She linked to a very important post she wrote for the February 2012 issue of the CH Kitty Newsletter, which starts like this:

Photo courtesy stevegarfield

“Most CH cats are wobbly. But not every wobbly cat is CH cat. No one should ever assume that a cat has cerebellar hypoplasia just because he or she is wobbly. We all need to take the time to properly educate ourselves. Cat parents have said goodbye to far too many cats because the correct diagnose was not made … simply put, someone “assumed” the cat had CH when in fact it did not.”

I’m so glad Martha brought this up, because honestly it’s a hard truth to share. In the five or so years I’ve had CG, my first CH cat, cerebellar hypoplasia awareness has increased a great deal – especially online. While that’s a blessing in one sense, it has also caused complications.

Several years ago when someone encountered a wobbly cat, their first thought was to turn to their vet to find out what was going on. Today, many folks turn first – and sometimes only – to the Internet.

The Internet can be a great place, but it’s full of misinformation and can make it easy to self-diagnose things – including cerebellar hypoplasia. But that doesn’t mean that the self-diagnosis is correct. In fact, many misdiagnoses can occur.

Misdiagnosing a condition as cerebellar hypoplasia can lead to serious consequences. As Tanja puts it, a false diagnosis  will lead many people to believe that a cat is not seriously ill, and thus needs no immediate medical care, treatment, or therapy.

I’ve met a number of “CH” cat parents who have faced horrible heartbreak because their cat’s true condition was never properly diagnosed. They lived under the assumption that their cat had CH, until their cat’s condition took a turn for the worse, and it was clear the cat didn’t have CH but another serious condition.

I’ve written a number of posts on this and similar situations, hoping to spread awareness that many conditions have similar characteristics as cerebellar hypoplasia:

Photo courtesy AlmazUK

The only way to truly find out a cat’s condition is to take him to a properly trained and knowledgable veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. Your vet may be able to tell if your cat has cerebellar hypoplasia, but the only 100% official way to know is by having certain procedures and tests performed. Read this post to find out more.

I know for some of you, having your cat properly diagnosed can be a huge step.

It can be a financially expensive decision to make, plus it can be a major challenge to find a knowledgeable vet in your area – if not your state.

Plus, there’s always the fear: What if it’s not cerebellar hypoplasia?

These concerns are all very real issues, but so is ensuring your cat’s health and future by having a proper diagnosis done. It’s only right, and it’s only fair to your cat. It also means that you can properly care for your cat, no matter if it is cerebellar hypoplasia or something else.

So please, if you’re not sure if your cat has cerebellar hypoplasia, please read up about CH basics and find a vet familiar with CH in your area for a proper diagnosis. You – and your cat – will be glad you did!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    March 25, 2013 10:45 am

    There isn’t anyone in my area that is real knowedgeable about CH. The 2 kitties I have came to me as kittens with severely infected eyes. The 2 vets that treated them were only concerned with the eyes. Finally one of the vets told me they had CH. But the little girl had more issues than CH. She has mild seizures. An MD neurologist came to my house and explained more to me than the vet. Your blog & other sites have been extremely helpful. The vet did not recommend any tests. From everything I have read, I am comfortable with the diagnosis. Your blog has been a life saver for me. Thank you!

  2. Martha Vitez permalink
    March 26, 2013 5:56 am

    Thank you for posting this article.
    I am truly grateful to Crystal Fog of Moki The Wobbly Cat for sharing her knowledge with me.
    Tanja (Martha’s human mum)

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