Cat with no use of hind legs

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.

Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby ksdaddy » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:51 pm

Hi all. I'm new to the forum so I apologize in advance if I re-hash stuff that most people already know.

I have a 12 year old dilute torti (an exclusively inside cat) and last Thursday I noticed she was unsteady on her feet. Friday her back legs were flopping around when she would (slowly) walk across the room. By Sunday she was unable to walk altogether. I took her to the vet Monday afternoon and she suspects a tumor near the spinal cord. She expressed her bladder then and told me how to do it. I've been expressing her bladder ever since with no real difficulty but at the same time wondering if I'm doing it right.

The vet gave her a methylprednisolone shot and told me to bring her back on Saturday. What I took away from the conversation was that we should see some improvement by that point if it's ever going to happen.

Georgette is in fine spirits and seems content laying on a towel in the living room. She eats and drinks with some difficulty because she's fat to begin with and has a hard time propping herself up and eating. Her attitude is great, she seemsto love attention as always and purrs constantly.

The whole 'disabled pet' thing is new to me. I have no idea if she will recover any use of her hind legs. I pinch her hind feet once in a while and I think she pulls away a little but maybe that's just me being hopeful. I don't know if 3 or 4 days is enough for any change to occur or if it could take longer... I just don't know.

If a cat can have a contented life with no use of her hind legs then I'm more than willing to do my part. At this point I don't know what 'my part' is...

Any guidance you can offer would be great. This is all new to me.

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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Christine » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:00 pm

What an absolutely beautiful cat! We have many cat experts here with lots of support and helpful advice. Congratulations on learning and doing the expressing right off the bat. With your vet's help, you will perfect your technique. Ask her to watch you do it and perhaps wait 10 minutes and do it again to make sure you completely emptied her bladder. As you can see, around here, a handicapped pet can still be a happy pet.

Four days is a very short time to see improvement, depending on what the problem is. Is your vet going to do anything more to get an exact diagnosis?

Others will be along with some real answers for you.

In the meantime.... :welcomeheart:
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby ksdaddy » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:36 pm

The vet did mention X-rays but said the odds of actually seeing anything were slim. She said the nearest neurologist is about 350 miles away and that an operation could be way up in the thousands of dollars and still might not fix the problem. I'm okay with her giving the steroid for now and I will be patient, I just don't have anything to gauge an improvement with, time-wise. She said the steroid is 'long-acting' but of course I don't know how long. She did say that if it helped I would likely have to bring her in for a shot every few weeks, which is fine.

Georgette was a shelter cat. 'She' picked 'me' in 1999 and she's been ruling the house ever since, along with a 15 year old Golden Retriever and a little gray stray cat that showed up our porch in 2001.
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby critters » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:42 am

Several months is a more probable range for seeing improvements, and they'll probably come. I'd stay with steroids for awhile, and I, too, congratulate you on getting expressing so quickly!!
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby RumDiet » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:24 pm

KS - we had a very similar problem and are very lucky to have an A#1 animal hospital just a couple of miles from where we live. We found our kitty "Peep" next to his cat door last Thursday - unable to move his hind quarters - or tail. We took him to the hospital where it was determined he suffered a Saddle Clot - that is a clot from his heart that lodged in his aorta artery near where it branches off into the hind legs. It was caused by an enlarged heart. Almost a week later Peep is on heart meds, and is comfortable, although the prognosis is guarded. We are hoping for the best, and hoping for some recovery of function in his legs. If your cats legs are cold, you may want to have this condition checked out. Peep is peeing on his own, but has not pooped, and I came to this board looking for instructions of how to express his bowel.
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Christine » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:31 pm

Glad you found the reason for your cat's problem and that a treatment is working for you. I hope you found the information about assisting with bowel movements and that is working also. http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... _the_Bowel

Don't hesitate to ask if you need help. Thank you for sharing this information and Welcome!

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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Bendy Kitty » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:31 pm

blood clots are usually quite painful to teh cat, but they do often cause hind leg paralysis. if she had a clot, her feet would be cool or cold so that is one thing to check.

steroids will reduce swelling but can take weeks to show improvement. I would exercise her hind legs by making them move through normal motions. She looks very veyr happy in that pict! gorgeous girl (batting eyes at the pretty girlcat).

check her hind legs for any sores if she drage them. you might see if she will tolerate wearing a shirt that her hind legs could rest on and that would help them slide. MANY handicapped cats live happy lives. Cats don't spend time feeling sorry for themselves, they just keep going and doing what they want. I'm glad your vet showed you how to express her, that makes a huge difference in keeping he rclean and healthy.

please keep us posted! and WELCOME to the board!!

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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby ksdaddy » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Georgette went back to the vet the other day and there's no improvement. However the vet said she's in no pain, her quality of life is good, and she's content. We gave her another steroid shot. She props herself up a lot and claws around trying to move. She's pulled herself onto the floor but can't do anything beyond that. She eats well and I help her pee. She has BMs too, although not often. My only gripe is keeping up with the bladder expression. I check her periodically and her bladder doesn't feel like it has anything, then an hour later she's peed on her blankets. Not an issue as to cleanup, I just feel bad puttng her back on her bed with wet (washed) fur.

I'm prepared to buy her a mobility cart if that's a good idea. It would help my wallet if I could find a used one. Any suggestions?

Here she is on her bed a few minutes ago. Disregard the eyes, she's not really possessed!

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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Christine » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:52 pm

I am thinking that once you get a routine down with the expressing, there will be no more surprises for either of you. I have seen where people who express will take a little break between trys and have more success that way. How often are you able to express her with your daily schedule? Have you considered diapers for in between times? You said that you were not sure you were doing it
correctly. The next time you go to the vet, have her watch you and confirm and advise

The cat experts will chime in, but I've heard them say that, generally, cats don't really like the carts and yours sounds like he is already taking the situation into his own "paws" by pulling himself around. As long as he is not rubbing his legs or bottom raw doing that, he may have already adjusted to his "new normal" If the dragging is causing a problem, there are all kinds of solutions for that too.
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Philacatshia » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:58 pm

I can offer a little advice on expressing bladders. We get more out more easily when we express Bully when he's fresh from a nap; sometimes we even pick him up while he's sleeping to do it. Relaxed muscles make it a lot easier. By the time he's restless and active, it's a big struggle.

With Bully, if we express his bladder well three times a day then there are never leaks. He tends to leak when 1) it's been more than 12 hours or 2) we've not been thorough enough. If you're doing it more than twice a day and she's still leaking, then you're not getting it all. I don't know female cat bladders, just male, but with this one, the bladder shape/size/position changes a lot after the first big squeeze and I have to go searching for it again. It seems to get closer to the ribcage and spine the smaller it gets.

You're doing great, though. It took me two weeks learn how to get ANYTHING out.
Bully is a 5 year old male cat whose tail was run over by a car. His tail was amputated. His bladder & bowel are expressed at least twice a day. Main problem: he has appalling gas. Suggestions are sought and welcomed.
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby ksdaddy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:20 pm

We lost Georgette last night. She was alert, active, happy until about 9:00. I looked over at her on her bed and she was laying down and breathing erratically. I picked her up and she was just limp and over the next five minutes her breathing became more labored. She had what I would call seizures. It was over within five minutes.

My only consolation is that I did everything I could.
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Bendy Kitty » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:02 pm

very sorry to hear this!!!
you did, indeed, do everything possible. I'm glad it was quick, and she died at home with the people she loved.
i think that is the best any fur can ask for.

purrrrrs for your broken heart

bendy
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby CarolC » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:32 pm

Oh, no! I am so sorry. She was the very picture of a much loved, contented cat. I could see in her face you had given her such a good home where she could become a full, complete person. I am glad it was easy at least. I am so sorry for your family.

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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby ksdaddy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:54 pm

We've got enough photos of her to fill a dozen scrapbooks and I even thought to take a few videos with my phone. Here she is on 12/27:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiPOf_dOJJY
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Re: Cat with no use of hind legs

Postby Christine » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:22 pm

I am so sorry! Georgette is absolutely beautiful and, as others have said, your love for her is evident. How lucky you were to have her as long as you did and she was to have found you. She went peacefully and on her own terms ,at her home surrounded by love. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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