Special Need: Neurological Pathology
Within ten seconds of meeting Bialy, you can tell there’s something different about him, and it’s not just his super-sonic purr or the way he gleefully bounces off the wall. Bialy has…well, a big head.
No, it’s not an ego thing; Bialy genuinely appears to have an oversized cranium. While his massive head only serves to make him cuter, it’s also cause for concern about our little love. If Bialy’s only “symptom” was his super-sized head, we might conclude he was just a unique-looking kitten. But our little guy is also prone to serious wobbling each time he walks, and he will often totter over during particularly vigorous play. In addition, Bialy has a pronounced case of strabismus, or misaligned eyes. Bialy’s big blue peepers face downward, in opposite directions.
So what does all of this mean for a little guy hardly bigger than a hamster? Presently we’re not quite sure. Since Bialy is so young (6 weeks old as of 9/10) and small (just north of 2 pounds), we’re not yet able to investigate with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Without this definitive test, we can’t be certain what’s causing his curious condition. If Bialy is strong and healthy enough for an MRI at age 9-10 weeks, he will return to the neurologist for this expensive but essential test. This noninvasive exam will help the neurologist to visualize the detailed internal structure of Bialy’s little brain, and equip us to effectively treat whatever is going on in there.
In the meantime, our vet is concerned that Bialy may have one or more neurological conditions. The best possibility is cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a disorder in which the cerebellum (the part of the brain controlling balance) does not develop normally. A cat with CH walks with his legs widely placed, places his feet clumsily, and leans against the wall for support. At rest, there are no obvious problems, but once he becomes focused, or tries to move, tremors and wobbliness become evident. Although the kitten may appear “spastic,” cats with this condition are happy, able to eat and use the litterbox. It is a non-progressive disorder, so it should not change during the cat’s lifetime.
One thing is certain: whatever we can do for Bialy, we will do. We are devoted to this little survivor, and we’ll give him every chance at a long, happy, healthy life.
Little Bialy is the last one in the world to suspect there’s anything “wrong” with him. This little comedian loves life, people and romping with his sisters Baguette and Beignet (who are equally unaware of Bialy’s “difference”). He’s a first-cast snuggler with a purr to rock the house, and we hope that there’s an amazing family out there for him. In the meantime, you can help us to care for our special little guy as his sponsor.