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Thread: Cerebellar hypoplasia (video of Amy)

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    Poor Nakita.. Looks like there would be some sort of surgery to shut off that nerve or whatever that gives her that feeling that makes her attack herself like that. What does the meds do, clam her down, soften the feelings in the area where she attacks herself? I wish there was some I could get for Amy.

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Deep-N-Heart of Tx && My Babie's Hearts

    Cerebellar hypoplasia (video of Amy)

    Oh Dear Amy you are a Gift to your meowmomie.. I wish I could just hold you sweet adorable baby.. Thank you meowmomie for taken & keeping this baby in your life..

    ~~~Thank You Very Much {Kim} kimlovescats for the Grand Siggy~~~

    [[ Furr Babies are Like Potato Chips **** No One Can Have Just One ]]
    ****** Kindness, Mercy & Justice to All Living Creatures ******
    {{{{{Everyday is a Gift = That's why it's Called the Present }}}}}
    ((( Each Day With Our Pets is a Surprise Package Waiting to be Opened )))
    <Sunsets are God's Reminder to Us That At The End of the Day We're All In This Together>

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Alaska: Where the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
    Thanks for posting this, Laura. I had never seen a CH kitty in action before. Major LES. After seeing it, I truly marvel at the photos of Amy climbing to the top of the cat tree! That girl is very determined!
    Ask your vet about microchipping. ~ It could have saved Kuhio's life. And it cost Halo hers. Ask your vet about Polycystic kidney disease ~~ Rest in peace Willy
    Loved by Lisa

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    East of Houston

    The video was great! It looks like you really did help a lot of members learn what a CH kitty is. I'm not a regular poster, but am a long time mom of many s/needs babies with a variety of s/needs. We also are moms currently to five CH babies, having lost our MaxMan who had severe CH (unable to sit stand or walk on his own) and a laundry list of other disabilities, last October. Our CH babies range from moderately severe to mild CH, but all have several other disabilities besides the CH (blindess, deafness, epilepsy, food allergies).

    Before I talk to you about Amy, I wanted to clarify some of what you posted from Wikipedia. Actually CH occurs when a mother cat during her pregnancy comes in contact with a virus called panleukopenia or cat distemper or several other names the virus is known by. It can also happen when the mother is vaccinated for panleuk and the vet/caregiver does not know she is pregnant. The virus attacks the cerebellum - the portion of the brain that controls balance and other fine motor skills. It also attacks other rapidly replicating cells - usually the optic cells and hence the reason that many CH cats have vision issues also. Depending upon when in the pregnancy the mother contacts (or is vaccinated) panleuk exposed kittens can be reabsorbed, aborted prematurely, still born or born with CH to varying degrees or completely normal. Usually it is only a single kitten in a litter, but entire litters have been born before all w/ CH.

    While sometimes it is obvious at birth, as in the case of MaxMan who had it not been for his other mother would not have survived because he could not propel himself to his mother and once there wasn't even able to hang on to her nipple. Normally it is not until the kittens begin to right themselves and try to walk that you realize "something isn't quite right". The litter mates are scampering and wrestling and toppling, but getting right up. The CH baby is still trying to get his legs under him and once up, immediately topples, but as many have said - the sheer determination is already apparent. CH babies do not give up!

    True CH never gets worse - it never gets better either, but as kittens get older up until about two years of age, they learn to compensate and seem 'better'. After about age two - what you see is what they will be able to do the rest of their lives. The one time that older cats with CH actually do seem to get worse is when they have had a weight gain. We took two brothers who had been surviving in a feral colony for two years but because of food competition from normals and cold weather, were severely underweight. They are both moderately severe in that they walk two steps and topple, walk and topple. Once they got up to normal weight, neither was able to get up long enough to take steps, they lost their climbing ability also - but again determination kept them trying and now they are back to where they were when we first got them.

    CH symptoms range from mild - they walk like little drunken sailors or will walk stiff legged little 'goose steps' to severe - barely able to walk or not walk at all. Some CH kitties 'circle', some shake like those souped up cars, some have mild to severe head intention tremors (head bobbing) which is exagerated when they get excited. Some can walk a few steps and fall, get right back up and go on. Others fall and then 'freeze' for a few seconds before they can right themselves. Others cannot sit, stand or walk on their own - even with PT. None of these babies are in pain and all with a loving caregiver can and do live wonderfully happy lives - MaxMan had severe CH and his laundry list of other disabilities - he was the happiest spoiled kitty that ever lived.

    Feline herpes (is a virus not a bacterial infection) does not cause CH, nor will malnutrition, poisoning, injury or accidents. CH is only caused by pan leuk virus. These other things can mimic some of the CH symptoms and as such a vet consult should be done to address and help these issues. CH is not a 'disease' - it is a condition caused by a virus and as such is not contageous to other cats, your dog, guinea pig, birds, the kids or you. The cat will have CH all its life, but will not die from CH. There are many CH cats who are celebrating birthdays in their teens.

    However, dogs who are born with cerebellar hypoplasia normally do get worse as they age and ultimately do die from the condition. The CH that dogs contact is not caused by the same virus as that of the cats.

    Now as to Amy - I viewed both videos and watching them, I cannot see the progression of getting worse that you mention. I do see that she has gained weight from one video to the next and as I said above this will cause the condition to "worsen" to us until they again learn to compensate by getting their balance etc. There are other things that do mimic CH and if Amy truly is getting worse, then you will want to talk to your vet about possible tests to run because while she may have Ch she could have something else going on - an infection, tumor, toxo, etc. If you would like, contact me via PM to exchange email addys and we can discuss further.

    Sorry group for this being so long, but since Laura was so gracious to share the video of her baby and a bit of CH information, I wanted to chime in with the corrected facts. As with all special needs babies, with a loving caregiver and a few MINOR adjustments, CH babies can be a wonderful addition to a family. They are fiercely independent, incredibly determined little guys who once you have loved one, you will wonder how you could have lived without one (or five LOL) as a member of your family.
    Some people have lives, others have cats........

    MomMom to the FuzzyButts
    Spirit Cat and the Mooseheart Mumpkees

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    mumpkees....HI there and welcome to Pet Talk and glad your found you way to this thread. You sound like you are the person I have been looking for, someone with a world of information and EXPERIENCE! I will be pm'ing you really soon!

    I have to admit I DO have a problem expressing myself correctly so forgive my mistakes..

    Along about the time Amy made her worse decline, I had noticed her physical appearance had changed somewhat. Before, she had a short full body and suddenly she seems long and lean and her face was different too. That was most noticeable since my daughter commented on how much prettier her face was... It was like she took a growth spurt and matured in her face overnight. I looked at her for days and kept asking her "Why are you so much prettier to me now?"... I even stopped at the vets office and asked them if she could have took a growth spurt all of a sudden and they kept saying she couldn't have. Her weight has stayed the same but I swear she has gotten longer and more mature looking... I monitor her weight close, knowing she can not get heavy. Also, there are other factors I think that have worsened her condition that I will PM you about so as not to bore everyone else. I am so thrilled that you found this and responded!

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    In my garden
    Laura - you are not going to bore anyone in this thread. As you can see from the posts, we all appreciate knowing more on this subject. It is, of course, up to you on switching to pm'ing, but please post information here also so that we can educate ourselves. I really like the informational threads.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    East of Houston

    To RussianBlue RE: feline hyperesthesia

    I'm currently dealing with Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome with Nakita. It's a neurological disorder (possible seizure activity) that makes her attack her hind legs and back and sends her racing across the room (it looks like she has been shocked).There is no cure (or known cause) for that but there is meds that I may have to put her on since her 'episodes' seem to be increasing. I'm trying everything (nutritional, environmental, stress reducing etc) to see if I can control them before applying the meds.

    Besides CH babies, we have two with FHS. FHS is thought to be 'related' to epilesy. We also have an epileptic dog (all of her 13 years) and two blind CH cats with epilepsy amongst the group. There is an excellent yahoo group for feline epilepsy and many on the group have FHS cats. I have some information I can share with you as will others on the group. Is your baby on any meds? We currently have both on meds - Junior's FHS is under control (after he literally chewed off his rear outside toe and was steadily working on the next toe - scary awakening to the condition). CrazyBoy is on his second medication and while he isn't self-mutilating yet, he lives up to his name and we will soon be trying to figure out what our next treatment option is going to be. /mari (mumpkees)
    Some people have lives, others have cats........

    MomMom to the FuzzyButts
    Spirit Cat and the Mooseheart Mumpkees

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    trenton, new jersey

    Video of Amy

    What an extraordinary girl you have there! Watching Amy in the video did cause major LES but I can't help but love her even more now. She's so determined to do things herself. Isn't it amazing what love can do? You are one extraordinary Meowmie!!!!!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Up North. Where all your troubles freeze and fall off.
    The poor thing, she's such a sweetie. I feel so guilty now because at first I thought it was just the tape. Give her a hug from me.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The West Coast of the USA
    THank you so very much for telling me about these CH kitties!!!
    It's sad what they have to go through, but it seems that they can compensate almost as well as other cats do in some areas, and are always the most spoiled.
    I'm glad that my Clover does not have CH, but even if she did, I would not give her up for the world.

    -*I am over at Melinda's house right now, and Clover is sleeping under the bed as I type this.

    I'm thinking that if I ever do run into a CH kittie, I will be sure to do all I can to give it loving care, because even with their disabilities, they are just as special and wonderful as any other felines out there.



    ^Boyfriend^.....^Me!^...............^Clover^...... ........^Echo^

  11. #41
    I noticed you said you use 'puppy pads' - not sure on the cost of these - would these be more/less expensive than the regular 'blue pads' used for people beds. They come in 2 sizes. I used them for my kitty - Goose. She was old & frail and sometimes had an accident. I went to Wal-mart and purchased a large plastic storage container. I cut the front (one of the long sides) down to about 3 inches, sloped the sides up to the back - put the pads in there for her to use. Such a 'customized' litter box could be cut to accomodate Amy. The sides might help her stand also, once she got in.
    Bless you for taking care of a special needs baby

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Wow, I am glad Shadowcat pulled this thread back out. I have always heard people talking about CH cats. I had NO idea what it meant, really.
    My weakest thing is to see animals in pain or anything like that. I can't watch horse races or westerns because I'm afraid of them falling down.
    This video of Amy had me bawling my eyes out. I just had to keep telling myself......she is not in pain. Is she? How is she now compared to this video?
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    I am using the people pads now as someone suggested to me that they sell at Sam's Club. They are a lot bigger and it is way more for the money per case. ($26 for 120 pads compared to $17 for a small package of the doggie pads) I have used the storage container for her and she used it for awhile, now the others use it and she uses the big corner box Mike gave me. She likes the big corner box because there is room for her to fall over if she is having a bad day, 3 sides to hold her in but the pads are where she usually goes. She still can not caculate how many times she will fall over, how much trouble she will have getting up verses how bad she has to go. There are times she can make it to the pad and not make it any further and she knows that is OK and will use them.

    I have also used a pet carrier with a puppy pan in it and she used that some but not much. I haven't found anything they like as much as that corner box that Mike gave me.

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  14. #44
    Laura, Amy is a sweetheart, that's for sure. My Creamsicle, in the beginning, was diagnosed as a CH kitty, then later with vestibular hypoplasia instead because it affected her hearing and she's deaf. Creamsicle was way worse than Amy in the beginning. She couldn't stand at all. If I stood her up, one step and over she went. But my vet, recently retired for the second time, put her on medication and she rapidly improved. Cgirl's head swung so violently from side to side like a pendulum that she couldn't eat on her own. I had to hold her head to be able to put food in her mouth. She could use the litterbox but then, of course, she fell over in her own mess almost every time. If you look at her now, though, her head only swings slightly and she does what I call the salamander walk. She never falls over now but she does get a little ahead of herself occasionally and will fall down steps. She's so much better than she was when I rescued her at 6 weeks old. She'll be 6 years old in Sept. For the life of me, I don't remember the name of the medication she was on. But I can call my vet's office and have them look through her records if you like. PM me if you care to. No matter what, though, she's sweet and you'll receive countless blessings with her in your life.

    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Sigh, how sweet and touching to read all about Amy and see this video. I am glad to see this thread again.

    Laura, may I join with everyone else in saying how lucky and blessed Amy is that you, rather than 999,999 out of a thousand other customers, were the one to take her home. Many thanks to you and her so much for your lives together and for sharing your and her lives with us at PT.

    Last year I saw a thread (this one?) about Amy and CH, with a video of her. I was alarmed and saddened at first but saw what a good life you were giving her (and she was giving you too). And I learned something about Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which I had never even heard of before that.

    That made all the difference a few months later when a tiny kitten came to our shelter who couldn't stand up long and wobbled and fell over when he tried to get anywhere. Because of you, Laura and Amy, I wasn't alarmed and didn't feel helpless with him, and I was able to help reassure other people there about him. Everyone fell in love with little Elmer, as he was named, and after a few weeks I wound up adopting him myself!

    He is a bigger boy now, and he still wobbles and falls over a lot but doesn't let that stop him from doing what he wants to do. He is not bullied by the other cats. In fact, he and Poppy, who is a year older, often get into chasing and wrestling matches with each other, and Elmer gives as good as he gets. When Poppy has had enough, she jumps up on something to get away, and then he can't get her. He also likes to stalk and grab at moving objects like twitching tails (occasionally even getting the one attached to him!).

    Recently he has mastered getting up on my bed! He leaps up high enough he can grab on to the top with his front claws and pull himself up the rest of the way.

    He is able to get into and use any litter box handy, though it is a bit of a climb and fall process. He lies on his side to pee but can stand and wobble to poop.

    Laura and Amy, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Elmer and I are both very grateful to you, and Elmer regards Amy as his beloved mentor. Because of you, Elmer has a home and he and I have both had our lives enriched.

    AND... Elmer met his sweetie Taccoa, another adorable CH kitty, here on Pet Talk!

    Here are some pictures of him, the first from last October shortly after he came to live with me, the next in December, and the third one this past March.

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    I've been Frosted (thanks, Elyse and Karen!).

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

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