Unintentional Eye Movement Average Cost

From 441 quotes ranging from $200 - 4,000

Average Cost

$1,000

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What is Unintentional Eye Movement?

The technical term for unintentional eye movement in cats is called nystagmus. Nystagmus as a symptom of vestibular syndrome in cats is typically caused by mild trauma to or a disease of the vestibular apparatus, located inside the cat’s ear. The vestibular apparatus is responsible for helping cats maintain their balance and coordination.

Involuntary eye movement in cats is often part of feline vestibular syndrome. This disorder of the nervous system will cause your cat to become less coordinated than usual, and may result in your cat falling to one side, walking unsteadily, or struggling to balance normally.

Symptoms of Unintentional Eye Movement in Cats

If your cat is suffering from involuntary eye movement, it is likely that the eye movement is indicative of vestibular disease or another type of trauma disease. Look for the symptoms to occur suddenly and often over the course of one hour. The symptoms can include:

  • Ataxia, or the sudden loss of control over body movement
  • Tilting of the head
  • Vomiting
  • Eyes darting rapidly back and forth
  • Drooping of the face (usually associated with tumors or an inflamed inner ear)

Types

While the symptoms may not seem very serious, it is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you begin to notice them. Nystagmus is not fatal, but it can be indicative of a more serious health problem, such as:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (deterioration of the retina)
  • Hyperviscosity syndrome (thickening of the blood)
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • Fungal infection
  • Head trauma
  • Nasopharyngeal polyps (growths in the throat, ear, and mouth)

Causes of Unintentional Eye Movement in Cats

The causes of unintentional eye movement in cats are not entirely understood at present. Most diagnoses of vestibular disease are determined to have an unknown cause. However, it appears that nystagmus as a symptom of vestibular syndrome is primarily caused by ear infections. For older cats, tumors may also be a potential culprit. It is also important to note that several cats that are affected by the syndrome are deaf.

Additionally, Siamese and Burmese cats can exhibit symptoms of vestibular syndrome, as it is often inherited at birth for these breeds.

Diagnosis of Unintentional Eye Movement in Cats

Currently, there are no special tests that your vet will conduct in order to determine whether or not your cat is suffering from vestibular disease. The vet will likely want to watch your cat try to move around, and is likely to ask how long your cat has been showing symptoms. They will also want to know your cat’s medical history, so be sure to provide them with this information.

Standard procedure for diagnosing vestibular syndrome is to perform neurological and ear examinations. If tumors or a more serious health problem are suspected causes, the vet may utilize other tests, including an MRI, an X-ray of the skull, cultures of the ear, or blood and urine tests.

Treatment of Unintentional Eye Movement in Cats

The appropriate course of treatment will depend on the underlying cause, if one is discovered.

Tumors

If nystagmus and overall vestibular syndrome are a result of a tumor, the vet or surgeon will likely perform a biopsy, followed by surgical removal of the tumor, if required. In some cases, laser surgery is used. Malignant tumors may also be treated with chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Tumors usually affect middle-aged and older cats.

Ear or Fungal Infection

Feline ear infections are typically treated with a course of antibiotics. Anti-fungal medications are also available to treat fungal infections. Severe and recurring cases of ear infection may require surgical treatment.

No Known Cause

A course of treatment will be prescribed based on the severity of symptoms. If your cat is vomiting or having trouble eating, your vet may prescribe medications that reduce vomiting. It is also essential that you monitor your cat while they eat, as they may experience difficulties.

Recovery of Unintentional Eye Movement in Cats

Fortunately, vestibular syndrome that has no known cause is usually a temporary condition that resolves on its own. The unintentional eye movement should clear up within a few days. In most cases, it won’t come back.

However, if your cat’s involuntary eye movement is a symptom of a more serious disease, the prognosis will depend on the method of treatment and the disease itself. For cats that experience recurring ear infections, invasive surgery may be required. This surgery may involve removing important parts of the ear, which can result in a loss of hearing.

If nystagmus is a result of a tumor, the prognosis is relatively good compared to that of other types of tumors. Cats that have ear tumors and are treated with a thorough surgery typically won’t have a recurring tumor for about three and a half years. The tumor recurrence rate is 25 percent.

If the nystagmus does not resolve on its own within a week, take your cat back to the vet immediately.

Unintentional Eye Movement Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Shadow
Long leg short domistic cat
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Dizzy , eye movement
Dizzy ,

Yesterday morning ihad woke up to find my cat looking drunk dizzy and her eyes were staring at me but also moving back and forth . I rang the vets and she is in there care now but I'm so worries as she is only about 1 and a half years of age . And was so happy and healthy the day before . She was responding to her name and knew who I was and where she was before she went but just knew she wasn't right .

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It is difficult to say specifically what has occurred to Shadow since these symptoms may be attributable to a few different conditions which may include head trauma, poisoning, neurological conditions among other conditions; without examining Shadow I cannot start to narrow in on a possible cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jezebel
Domestic long hair
9 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Eye Twitch

My cat randomly got a really bad eye twitch. She's been overly sneezing and they eye twitch just started and she had no control over her right side of her face.

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Angel
Hemingway
2years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

I have a cat she's about 2years old and we left came home and found that she was covered in urine and feces and her eyes were rolling back and forth back forth side by side and her head will not stay straight you have to hold her head like a baby she is def cuz I call her and she don't hear me what can I do to help her this is the second time this has happened

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It sounds like Angel is having some type of seizure, but other causes like poisoning, liver disease among other issues may also be the culprit; there is no at home treatment here and you would need to visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine the underlying cause so that it can be managed or treated. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Felix
DOMESTIC
4 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

eye ulcers
Blindness
Eye twitching

Medication Used

terramycin

My 4 month old kitten had mild trauma to the head during a car incident when I picked him up. He had severe ulcers in his eyes, and in the right eye he is blind. I just noticed that the whole right eye is twitching, and I don’t know if it just started or if I just started noticing it.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Any case of head trauma should be seen by a Veterinarian immediately, some symptoms or issues from a traumatic head injury may not present right again and may be delayed weeks or months. Without examining Felix, I cannot determine the overall severity; so you should keep an eye on him for now and visit your Veterinarian on Monday morning. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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jake
Maine Coon
4 years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

my maine coon ear goo so i took him to the vet. he had (as expected) an ear infection. he was given a shot and some ear drops yesterday. now he has nystagmus. will this clear up or is this another emergency vet visit?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
The nystagmus is most likely related to the ear infection, it doesn’t warrant an emergency visit but you should keep an eye on it. Ear infections may cause nystagmus (vestibular apparatus) or there are reports of nystagmus after the use of gentamicin. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Smokey
Man coon
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Eyes shaking not eating or drinking
Head Tilt

Medication Used

none

We have a cat that is about 2 years old. Today we noticed his eyes shaking from side to side and he can't stand . His head is also tilting from side to side. He refuses to eat or drink. Even with a syringe. What do I do and what could be causing this.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
It sounds like Smokey may have a vestibular issue which may be caused by an ear infection, inflammation, trauma, poisoning among other causes; however without examining Smokey I cannot say for certain. You should keep an eye on him, but I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian if you are unable to get him to eat or drink. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rose
Tortise
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Leaking eye

Right eye has moved off to the side and is leaking. Has never happened before and she doesn’t seem to be in any pain but I am a bit worried. It might be an infection. Still unclear.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
That does sound unusual, and an infection or growth behind the eye may be causing those signs. Since it is something that you have noticed recently, and is abnormal, it would be best to have Rose seen by a veterinarian, as I cannot examine her. They'll be able to look at her, see what might be going on, and get any treatment for her that she may need.

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Stevie
American Shorthair
Approx 10 weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

We found a kitten in a ditch today. He has an instead gait, he is tilting his head to one side and has nystagmus. He also has the worst case of ear nights I have ever seen as well as a flee infestation. He tilts his head to the right but also has constant involuntary head movements I would describe as twitching. He also has bilateral eye infections and appears to have an upper respiratory infection. All the local vets were closed but I am an ER
Nurse. I cleaned him up and applied flea power, medicine I had for ear mites, I dewormed him and started him on doxycycline per his weight (I’ve fostered kittens in the past so I had some in hand and know how to titrate by weight). He is eating and using the litter box but he appears to either be blind or have very little sight and I can’t figure out is this could be caused by his illness or if he perhaps has had some neurological trauma or congenital neurological issues.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
Firstly, whilst I understand you are a medical professional, I do not recommend the use of prescription medications (the doxycycline) without a prescription; we have a large problem with the liberal use of antibiotics and I urge owners to not switch antibiotics to different pets. There are various causes of a loss of sight and not having a previous history of the time before you found him leaves us in the dark; panleukopenia, cerebellar hypoplasia, trauma, congenital anomalies among other causes can contribute to these symptoms. I would continue with the supportive care which are are giving and look for signs of improvement, if you see no improvement you should visit a Veterinarian or your local Shelter Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Snowball
No idea
3 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sudden eye movement

I recently just got a kitten from a bad home life. He is not social at all but that’s not really my concern right now. His eyes seem to move from left to right quite often but he isn’t having any trouble eating , nor is he throwing up. We are going to take him to the vet sometime soon but I would really like some feedback on this. Thank you !

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Some kittens are born with cerebellar issues, or he may have had a trauma that caused a brain injury. If he is eating well and not vomiting and seems to get around okay, it may not be anything that you need to treat and he may adapt to it. It would be important if he does have a neurologic problem that he stay inside, and your veterinarian can let you know what might be going on when you have his appointment.

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Haley
dsh
1 Year
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Eye

My 1 yr old cat will suddenly develop uncoordination..eye nystagmus falling over..complete stiffness in front legs..could last days..then hes fine for months...what conditions could this be? When it happens i syringe water in his mouth and nutri cal. Please help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3314 Recommendations
This should be seen by your Veterinarian especially since the issue lasts for days at a time, numerous causes may be attributable to these types of episodes including seizures (and other neurological conditions), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), congenital deformities of the cerebellum, poisoning among other causes. You should have Haley checked by a Veterinarian as soon as possible to look for any underlying symptoms and to have her checked during an episode. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you so much....Haley has an appointment this afternoon although his symptoms have disappeared. Thank you so much for this website it is a blessing.

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Domino
Tuxeddo
15 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Eyes rapid moving back and forth

Medication Used

Amozicillin

My 25 week old kitten has had a respritory problem and ear problem that I've been treating with antibiotics and ear drops. It's been about 3 weeks since and out of nowhere he started shaking his head and his eyes are moving rapidly back and forth. He can't stand straight. It's not like a seizure though. What's going on???

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. Your kitten should see a veterinarian, if he hasn't already. He may have ear mites, or an inner ear infection that needs further care. Without examining him, I can't diagnose anything, but if you have seen a veterinarian and it has been 3 weeks and he isn't improving and now has started to develop these signs, he needs a follow up, as that isn't the expected response to medications. He sounds like he is having neurologic signs, and he may have an underlying immune disease. Your veterinarian will be able to determine whether he is having further signs of his previous problems, or if something more serious is going on. I hope that he is okay.

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Oreo
Egyptian Mau
7 Months
Fair condition
-1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Eye Twitch

My cat has problems with her right eye. Sometimes when she is blinking her right eye takes a little longer to blink. It’s like she poked it with something or hurt it.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1604 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Oreo may have a neurologic problem with her eyelids, or may have a problem with her eye. Without seeing her, I can't determine what might be happening. If you are concerned it would be best to make an appointment with your veterinarian and have her examined to see what might be going on and if there is any treatment necessary. I hope that all is well with Oreo.

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