Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CrazyBird » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:56 pm

I posted about a calico with swollen joints that I picked up on Thursday. It was a busy day for me, as I also picked up a second kitten, completely separate situation and circumstances.

I was called to pick up a kitten that had been dumped in a busy parking lot. He seemed like an easy case, just a bad case of URI. By the following morning I had noticed that he had no use of his tail. He went to the vet that day (Friday) and turns out he has an injury to his spine/tail.

He is able to walk very well. His tail hangs limp. He has no control over his bladder/bowels. He does not leak urine if I express him several times a day. He will get into the litterbox to do number two, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. But he has been known to go poop while laying down relaxing, with no apparent knowledge to him that he is even going. I think he has the sensation that he has to go, just not the muscles/nerves to make it happen.

He went back to the vet today to get Prednisone for his injury, and he is currently on Clavamox for his URI (which has cleared up very nicely already). While at the vet, it was suggested that since he has not shown any improvement with his bladder control since Friday, chances are he never will. This is completely different advice from what I'm reading online. I'm reading that recovery is possible (partial or full) but it takes TIME. Most timelines I've seen range from 3-6 months.

I don't want this little guy to suffer needlessly. But I certainly don't want to prematurely write him off as 'unfixable' because the vet isn't giving him enough time to heal.

I don't mind the daily care, the cleanup, the effort....... how does it look for him, as an outsider looking in? Does he just need more time? Or is there an initial "window" of time in the beginning, that gives some idea of possible future recovery that I'm not aware of, or no?
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby sdrakkan » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:32 am

Nerve damage can take a long time to heal. Since he can walk well, that does at least isolate where the nerves have been damaged. He sometimes has bowel control so it probably was a crush injury only damaging part of it. If he is a kitten, this is a MUCH better situation than an adult cat. He is still growing so this brings up the chances of almost complete recovery. Sucky part of nerve damage...is that nothing is certain. Keeping him URI-free and clean will be important. Keep expressing him and encouraging litter box activity.
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby Bendy Kitty » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:56 pm

sorry but your vet is wrong about the recovery time. nerves take a lot of time to heal. if the spinal cord is actually broken, then you know it won't come back. that was the case with our lil guy Legume, who coudl run around fine but had no bowel/bladder control. he was our introduction to the world of expressing animals.
i cannot stress enough to express him and avoid urinary tract infections and urine scald. keeping his bladder empty and his skin clean are the best things you can do for him.
nerve function most definitely CAN return, and if he is feeling like he needs to BM sometimes that is a good sign. Watch the tail carefully as he may injure it and not know it. nerve dead tails often need to be removed because they literally start falling apart.

paws crossed for this little guy! you certainly have your hands full!

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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CrazyBird » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:29 am

Thank you, sdrakkan and bendy. I was pretty sure that it would take a lot longer than a few days to see improvement on such an injury, but the vet I'm forced to use insists that there should be some change by now, and since there wasn't, it never will get better. This man is not my favorite person in the world and I often question anything he says.

So, Lucky little kitty got to go see a different vet last night, and we have new hope. He did say it would take longer, to keep him on Pred for 10 days and go from there. Said as long as someone is expressing him, keeping him clean/dry, and willing to do all of this stuff, time may be all he needs. He did say there is always that chance that he will not regain control of the bladder/bowels but we have no way of knowing that RIGHT NOW.

For now.....we continue to treat and hope for the best!
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby Bendy Kitty » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:00 am

so glad you were able to switch vets!!!!
the first one sounds like a dud.
this one is actually willing to treat and work with you, it will make a huge difference.

please keep us posted!!!! :)

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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby sdrakkan » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:29 pm

Having a vet that can work with you is SO important. I never found one for Stewie, and I think had I found one (I tried 4, 3 wanted him euthanized) that maybe his outcome might have been different. I wish it was easier to find a good vet nowadays...

Glad that he is going to be working out keeping this kitten happy and healthy!
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CrazyBird » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:51 pm

Hi everyone, wanted to give a little update on this kitten and see what you all thought.....

Kitty spent two weeks on Prednisone. He just recently finished it. Within this time, he regained complete use of his bladder, and is no longer needing to be expressed.

His bowels....a different story.

He is definitely getting in the box, and it all starts there. He gets in position, starts to poo, but he always comes out before he's done. This means quite a mess, on a regular basis. It's not *too* bad when it's solid, but with the meds, stress, etc., it's not solid very often. I've had to take to crating him the majority of the time (large, large dog crate) because I was literally bleaching the ENTIRE bathroom (including walls, sinks, toilet, tub, doors, you name it, he covered it) several times a day.

His bootyhole appears to be relaxed. All the time. I saw it clench and tighten a few times when I had him on his back hand-wrestling with him, but other than that, not alot of butt action going on.

So. What do you all think of his progress? Since he has since regained bladder control, is there still hope for the bowels? Or since he regained bladder and still has little luck with the bowels, is that a sign that there is little chance of that changing?

Or do I need to give it more time before I start worryin' about that?

The tail is still completely limp, and I feel it will need to come off. I'm still working with a vet obviously, but he keeps saying wait and see, wait and see....
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby Bendy Kitty » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:09 pm

unfortunatley 'wait and see' is the best advice right now, i know it is frustrating.
if you've seen his anus contract that is a good sign, there is some nerve function there. better than just totally lax. but will it come back entirely? no one can really say.
just keep praising him when he tries to poop in the box. nerve control can take months to recover so i wouldn't give up hope, but it is frustrating.
VERY glad that he has bladder control back, that is great.

we feel for you with the cleaning, really, we do! keeping an incontinent kitten is incredibly messy! crating them is the easiest solution.

purrrs n headbonks

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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CrazyBird » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:36 am

I don't mind 'wait and see' as long as that is still an option. I don't want to give up hope. :) What I want, is for him to either make a full recovery soon, or to really start thinking about diapers so he is introduced to them at a young age, hopefully making it easier on EVERYONE to get him to leave them on.

Yes, it is extremely messy. :( But I don't hold it against him. He can't help it, and he really DOES try. For the lack of control, he sure does make an effort to at least get it started in the litterbox. :) I think seeing him in the crate is harder than cleaning the room when he messes. He is a constant PURRRRRR and thinks EVERYTHING is a toy. He's a wonderful little kitten and I feel bad that he's stuck in a crate for the majority of his day..... I spend as much time with him as I can, but it's not enough, IMO.
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CarolC » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:11 pm

If you saw his sphincter tighten during play, maybe more play therapy would be beneficial if the vet okays it. I would definitely give it time, too. The mess you are describing is way too messy, this is not normal. You pointed out the meds, maybe that is problem. I can tell you for sure, even pets with zero bowel control do not ordinarily make this kind of mess everywhere, there is something going on. He must have something else going on with meds, or diet, or I don't know, viruses or parasites or an imbalance of intestinal flora due to the antibiotic? Whatever might cause a kitten diarrhea. I would focus on getting the stools normalized and you won't feel the diaper is so necessary. When you've got something you can pick up with kleenex and never know it was on the floor, life will be entirely different.
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby GabrielDeafBlindPupFamily » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:46 am

I'm with everyone on this for the kitty mess. Something is upsetting the digestion process ...
Is he drinking alright?

What a process this has been for you!

And CarolC Where DO you find those emoticons! that's adorable. I need your scrubbie on my kitchen floor.
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby Bendy Kitty » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:20 pm

you can try giving a little bit of mashed up sweet potato or pumpkin (no sugar or anythign added) many cats will eat it plain. if not, try mixing it with the foot. babyfood sweetpotatoes work well, too, but are a lot more expensive. alittle bit of active culture yogurt is good, too.

i'd worm the kitten with a good general wormer like strongid (gets everything but tapes and is VERY safe, even if you megaoverdose them you won't hurt them). if that doesn't do it, i'd look into metriniadzol (flagyl).

carol, when you are done scrubbing karen's floor, come on over....

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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby windhorse » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:55 pm

I noticed that there hadn't been an update to this post in a while. How is the kitty doing?
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby CrazyBird » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:50 pm

I'm sorry I never updated here.... I thought I had.

Kitty ended up gaining control of his bladder, but never his bowels. Though his poos eventually firmed up some after a change in foods.

He did have his whole tail amputated, and once he healed, he was adopted!
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Re: Kitten w/Tail Injury, Lack of Bowel/Bladder Control

Postby janew » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:43 pm

Great news! Thanks for the update...it is always great to know these guy's outcome. I hope Kitty lives long & happy!
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