Dear Catster reader,

Almost two years ago, we invested numerous resources and rebuilt the Catster community. With new hardware, software and personnel, we did our best to satisfy the many users who shared their thoughts, pictures, questions, and love for and of their pets with us and friends. It was a thriving community with many users. We hoped, however, there would be more like you.

Times and habits have changed and we are sad to announce that the Catster community will be closing down on July 20, 2019.

Catster magazine, and the associated social media sites are NOT shutting down. We encourage you to continue reading the content found in the pages of the magazine and the web sites, commenting through the mechanisms provided and sharing your ideas and comments with us and your fellow readers.

Instructions for accessing pet profiles were shared with everyone in 2017. The instructions can be found elsewhere within the forum. AFTER JULY 20TH, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THIS CONTENT. And, effective immediately, we are no longer able to answer questions about the community.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you through our magazine and website.


Help with leg deformaties

Kelly burnsKelly burns Member Posts: 1
edited 21 August, 2008 in Cat Health
Hi I don\'t know if this is the correct section to post this in but here goes :-/ After losing my beloved old tom cat a few weeks ago I started the search for a new addition to our family, on Friday I received a call from one of my customers to say they had collect 2, 9 week old female kittens on my behalf :-/ The problem is when I went to collect them I noticed they were very thin, had fleas & they seemed to have problems controlling their hindlegs..........I put this down to them being placed on a slippery floor surface.................but oh was I wrong, these poor little mites have hindlegs that look like frogs, they are VERY splayed ? To the point they stick out at 1/4 to 3 angles, I have booked them in for a vets check on Monday, but I\'m looking for more info on what could have caused these poor little souls to have this condition ? In themselves they are eating & drinking well, using a litter tray, they are very playful & full of mischief, they can climb (she says as Kitty 1 runs up the arm of the chair & ponces on her head :))) They have no problems being handled & appear to like human companionship (confirmed by kitty 2 turning over for second nap on OH chest :-$) any ideas as to the cause of this condition ? My immediate thought was being raised on a slippery surface ? or possibly a congenital defect ? Your answers are very much appreciated Thanks in advance Kelly x


  • Crystal FoggCrystal Fogg Member Posts: 370
    edited 17 August, 2008
    It's really hard to say without seeing any pictures of what you are talking about. Leg deformaties can be caused by many things. A birth defect, an accident early in life, or even something like cerebellar hypoplasia. Do you know if the kittens where born this way? Where they feral, or where they born in a foster home? The more you know about their background and the onset of symptoms the closer you will get to finding an answer.
  • edited 20 August, 2008
    I doubt that the deformities are because of abnormal positioning in the womb or an ectopic pregnancy. Adult cats’ personalities are difficult to predict based on their behaviors as kittens. It sounds more like poor breeding, possibly inbreeding. In general, it is easy to introduce a kitten into a household with one cat because the kitten usually poses no threat to the resident cat’s status. In most cases, if a kitten tries to exert dominance, the resident cat usually puts the kitten in its place with a swat or two.
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 18 August, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear that your girls have problems with their legs. The comment about looking like they were on a slippery surface bought Cerebellar Hypoplasia to my mind too. It's good to hear they sound happy in themselves. Please let us know how you get on at the vet!
  • edited 20 August, 2008
    Cerebellar hypoplasia is a developmental disorder characterized by the incomplete or underdevelopment of the cerebellum. There is no standard course of treatment for cerebellar hypoplasia. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a progressive disorder. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a disorder found in cats and dogs in which the cerebellum is not completely mature at birth. The cat with cerebellar hypoplasia is abnormal from birth, though it may not be clear that something is wrong until the kittens are toddling around with some coordination. The cerebellum is part of the central nervous system though not exactly part of the brain. The cerebellum is obviously a complex piece of equipment.
  • Crystal FoggCrystal Fogg Member Posts: 370
    edited 20 August, 2008
    Cerebellar hypoplasia is a non-progressive disorder. Once the damage is done it does not get any worse throughout the animal's life. Their condition stays the same. Sometimes improvement can be noted in animals with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which is usually not an improvement of the condition itself, but an animal learning to compenstate for the disorder. While Cerebeller Hypoplasia, can affect some dogs, it is often only found in select breeds, such has been reported in Chow Chows, Irish Setters and Wirehaired Fox Terriers. It is fairly uncommon to see this condition in dogs, and dogs appearing to have coordination problems associated with this condition, usually have a similar condition known as Cerebellar Abiotrophy, which rarely occurs in cats, but is commonly found in dogs and horses. Cerebellar Abiotrophy, is characterized by by a wide gait and over stepping. Most animal workers, shelter volunteers, animal control officers, and even vets not specialized in the area of neurology often mix up these two conditions, particularly in the case of dogs. If either of these two conditions are suspected, and MRI and CSF tap should be preformed to rule out possible infectious causes for the neurological disorder and to determine the size of the animals cerebellum.
  • edited 20 August, 2008
    Cerebellar vermis hypoplasia occurs with a wide variety of genetic disorders, including nonprogressive autosomal recessive disorders as well as in sporadic cases. Joubert Cerebellar Vermis Hypoplasia is characterized by absent cerebellar vermis, molar tooth abnormality, ataxia, oculomotor apraxia, and mental retardation. Meckel Cerebellar vermis hypoplasia causes polycystic kidney disease, encephalocele, hepatic ductal dysplasia, and polydactyly. Symptoms of vici cerebellar vermis hypoplasia are agenesis of the corpus callosum, cutaneous hypopigmentation, cataracts, cleft lip, and combined immunodeficiency. Bardet-Biedl cerebellar vermis hypoplasia is characterized by mental retardation, pigmentary retinopathy, polydactyly, obesity, hypogenitalism, diabetes, Congenital blindness, and autosomal recessive Leber congenital amaurosis.
  • Crystal FoggCrystal Fogg Member Posts: 370
    edited 20 August, 2008
    It's important to note that while there are many different cerebellar conditions seen in humans, not all of these conditions have been recorded/noted in animals. This could be for two reasons, one either animals are not affected by all of the different types of cerebellar conditions found in humans, or two, not enough animals are kept alive long enough/research has been done to document some of these cases in animals. It is extremely important to note the difference between Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Cerebellar Atrophy syndromes. When an animal has a Cerebellar Hypoplasia syndrome, it is almost always, if not always, non-progressive. When an animal has a Cerebellar Atrophy syndrome, the syndrome is usually, although not always, progressive, and is often “characterized by [the] progressive loss of cerebellar volume...” – The Center for Brain Development When a disease is in a state of “hypoplasia,” the very word implies, “a condition of arrested development in which an organ or part remains below the normal size or in an immature state.” – Term Hypoplasia Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary When a disease is in a state of “atrophy,” the word implies, a “decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue; also: arrested development or loss of a part or organ incidental to the normal development or life of an animal or plant.” – Term Atrophy Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary Cerebellar Vermis, Joubert Cerebellar Vermis,. Meckel Cerebellar Vermis, Vici Cerebellar Vermis and Bardet-Biedl Cerebellar Vermis can occur in either a hypoplasia state in which they would most likely be non-progressive, or a atrophy state in which they would most likely be progressive.
  • Crystal FoggCrystal Fogg Member Posts: 370
    edited 20 August, 2008
    Sorry about that, that last part should have read as follows: In other words, all of the conditions you listed, Cerebellar Vermis, Joubert Cerebellar Vermis,. Meckel Cerebellar Vermis, Vici Cerebellar Vermis and Bardet-Biedl Cerebellar Vermis can occur in either a hypoplasia state in which they would most likely be non-progressive, or a atrophy state in which they would most likely be progressive. The non-progressive states can be confused with the progressive states when they are accompanied by more than one disorder. Hope that clears things up.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,807 ✭✭✭
    edited 20 August, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear that any kitties have to deal with these conditions! Purrs for you all! Moki--you've definitely done your research on this topic! Do you know if this condition is the same as in humans? What is the difference between cerebellar hypoplasia and atrophy? Thanks!
  • Crystal FoggCrystal Fogg Member Posts: 370
    edited 21 August, 2008
    Hi Beatrice, Let me start by saying a lot of research is still need to understand these syndromes in both humans and animals better. Unfortunately as I already pointed out, there are not a great deal of animals with neurological disorders that are kept alive long enough for detailed research purposes. Of those that are kept alive, many of their owners cannot afford, or do not live close enough to a facility which could run the tests needed to learn more about these syndromes. Based on that information, I can share with you what I do know about the studies published and so forth… I explained the difference between hypoplasia syndromes and atrophy syndromes in my last post. I will try and help clarify that information now. The term cerebellar hypoplasia simply means in layman’s terms, that an animal has an under developed cerebellum. For one reason or another, the cerebellum never fully developed from birth. Signs of this condition are present either present at the time of birth, or become apparent when an animal first starts to walk. Now with that said, there can be various causes for this condition. In humans the condition can be caused by a number of different genetic disorders and further research is needed to determine the exact cause of many of these genetic disorders. Basically, in many cases we know and can spot the symptoms, we just don’t know why or what caused them to occur. In felines, science has been able to pin point a more direct cause. Cerebellar Hypoplasia is noted most often in kittens who’s mother was exposed to the Panleukopenia virus (a.k.a distemper) during pregnancy. While in most cases the Panleukopenia is not passed directly to the kitten, the virus attacks the kitten in uterus and causes the cerebellum to be stunted. In other words when a kitten is exposed to Panleukopenia in uterus, the Panleukopenia causes the kittens cerebellum to never fully develop. While this is the most commonly noted cause of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in cats, as in the case of humans, there are a number of other conditions, which although less commonly observed, could in fact cause Cerebellar Hypoplasia to occur in a cat, or any animal for that matter, including an injury to the fetus during development, malnutrition, and bacterial and viral infections. The important thing to note here is that the condition, no matter what its cause remains non-progressive (hence the term hypoplasia) unless it is accompanied by another progressive condition (which in most cases, particular that of Cerebellar Hypoplasia caused by exposure to Panleukopenia in uterus, is not, therefore when exposure to Panleukopenia is the cause of Cerebellar Hypoplasia the condition is non-progressive.) When Cerebellar Atrophy is present, the condition is almost always progressive (meaning that it will continue to get worse throughout the life of the animal/human.) Just like with Cerebellar Hypoplasia there are a number of possible causes for Atrophy, many of which still need to be researched further in humans and animals. Some studies are being/have been carried out, on one type of Cerebellar Atrophy, known as Cerebellar Abiotrophy, in horses at UC Davis. Click here to read more about the study conducted on Cerebellar Abiotrophy found in horses conducted by UC Davis’ Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. The very first journal summary found on this link to UC Davis’s Shelter Medicine website Shelter Medicine, also highlights the fact that, Cerebellar Hypoplasia is, “reported infrequently in dogs.” Most of the tests that are done on dogs, point to various atrophy’s as the cause of the dogs condition. There have been some questions raised however if the Parvo virus found in dogs, (which is very similar to the Panleukopenia virus found in felines,) could/can cause Cerebellar Hypoplasia in dogs. Since Cerebellar Hypoplasia is seldom seem in dogs, further research is still needed. While Cerebellar Hypoplasia is most commonly found in the feline population, and Cerebellar Atrophy’s seen in dogs and horses, these conditions can and do affect the cross populations, although this is very rare…In other words, a dog can have Cerebellar Hypoplasia and a Feline can have Cerebellar Atrophy, but such cases are seldom seen/recorded. Here is a great article on Vet Pathology I found that will show you how Cerebellar Atrophy can affect the Cerebellum of a cat. The article also highlights the fact that seeing such a condition in a cat is extremely rare…There have been only a couple of cases recorded of it through out medical history (world wide.) To give you a better understanding of what the two syndromes look like, check out these videos: Cerebellar Abiotrophy: Notice how the dog over steps when he walks. This is a distinct feature of Cerebellar Abiotrophy… Cerebellar Abiotrophy In Dogs Cerebellar Hypoplasia: Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Cats With all of that said, when either of these syndromes affect animals, there causes seem to be different than what causes these syndromes in humans. Further research is still need on both these syndromes and in the future, who knows, maybe we will be better able to connect what causes the animals versions of these conditions to the human versions…only time will tell.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!