We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia: Wobbly Cats

Cerebellar hypoplasia occurs when a part of the brain, the cerebellum, is underdeveloped. The cerebellum is responsible for regulating and “fine-tuning” motor movements, including posture, balance and coordination. Cats that are affected by this condition are called wobbly cats, as they cannot fully coordinate their movements.

This condition occurs when kittens are affected by a virus in utero (in their mother’s womb) or in the very early stages after being born. It is when the cerebellum is developing, and the cells are rapidly dividing. The virus is a panleukopenia virus, which means that a type of parvovirus that likes to attack rapidly dividing cells. It results in the cerebellum developing to a smaller than normal size.

Kittens affected with this condition can show a few differences in their movement, including:

  • Ataxia: a stumbling or wobbly gait when walking and running
  • Intention tremors: increased tremoring as the cat tries to focus on, or touch, an object
  • Hypermetria: exaggerated or over-extension of the limbs
  • Wide-legged stance
  • Diagnosis of this condition can be confirmed with an MRI of the brain – which reveals a smaller than normal cerebellum but is most typically a “suspected” diagnosis based on the clinical signs. The lack of coordination is first seen as a kitten when they are learning to walk but does not worsen or change as the cat ages.

Most kitties affected by this condition can lead to healthy, happy, normal lives. For more severely impacted cats, lowered litterboxes and avoidance of stairs would be needed. Cats with cerebellar hypoplasia need to stay indoors to avoid the dangers of poor coordination in the outside world. Vaccination of all cats to protect them against the panleukopenia virus is advised to help prevent this condition.

At Fairmont, Dr. Parker’s kitty has cerebellar hypoplasia and is affectionately called Tipsy because of it. Check out the videos to see how Tipsy moves!

Written by: Dr. Christina Parker, DVM



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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 519-453-2940. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call you to discuss the details. We will then return your pet to your vehicle and payment can be processed over the phone (using a credit card).

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle. We do have our online available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button. There is free delivery for orders over $100.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Fairmont Animal Hospital