Managing Your Cat's Vestibular Problems Following Polyp Removal Surgery

Cats are generally sure-footed animals, able to walk atop the narrowest of fences with the greatest of grace. So, when you saw your beloved pet stumbling around like a clumsy relative after too much port at Christmas, it would've been a very alarming sight. Your vet will not have been quite as alarmed as you; vestibular problems are not uncommon in cats. The vestibular apparatus is the system responsible for maintaining balance and posture as well as aiding the body's orientation within space. It is essential for regulating movement and keeping objects in focus while the body is moving. Vestibular symptoms occur as a result of diseases, illnesses and ageing, and humans can suffer from them too.

So, your cat's vestibular problems were being caused by Nasopharyngeal Polyps (non-cancerous growths), and have been surgically removed with success. Why is your normally graceful cat still struggling to get across the room without falling into furniture? Should you be concerned?

At this point, you shouldn't be too concerned. It is not unusual for a cat to have vestibular problems after an operation to remove polyps. Mostly, these symptoms resolve themselves as your cat recovers--this can take up to a month, following surgery. However, in some cases, where surgery has caused permanent damage to the inner ear canal, these symptoms may well be irreversible. For now, you can err on the side of optimism and assume the symptoms will disappear soon. You'll need to take extra measures to ensure that your cat's recovery is not hindered by injury as a result of an accident. The following steps should help.

Try to confine your cat to an area of your home that is safe. You'll want to keep them away from furniture they will usually jump on to minimise the risk of falling. 

Give your cat assistance when it comes to eating and drinking. Move food and water bowls closer to your cat, and offer them foods and drinks that you know they like.

If your cat was prescribed nausea medicine, this should aid in reducing the sicky feeling that comes from dizziness. Make sure you keep on top of the timings for medicines. Without them, your cat may vomit. 

If your cat is very unstable, then using a litter tray will be difficult. Carry your cat to and from the litter tray at regular intervals and be prepared for accidents to happen.

Be vigilant when it comes to looking out for post-op problems and act fast if you have any concerns. Keeping your cat safe during this recovery period will ensure a speedier recovery.