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9 wk old kitten w/problems with her back legs =/

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am very worried right now. (Long story)

People in my neighborhood have cats and leave them outside, unaltered, and just let them repoputate and/or get ran over. So we have aferal colony doe to this and I am positive that we are the only family in the neighborhood taking care of them, feeding them, and despriatly (sp) trying to trap them with our trap.

In the last week 4 of our ferals that have avoid our attempts to trap them, have been ran over, on the interstate that is right behind my house. All of those ferals that got ran over were in our cat enclosure at one point, but we put plastic all around the cage, leaving air vent-too keep them warm in the freezing cold. For some reason this year, after I put the plastic on, it created a sort of vacume when the wind blew-the air would get in the cage, but there was only one way in and out for air, so the pressure built up until the cage door came open. This was a month ago. We have 2 enclosures, only one opened, but half of our cats (all of the cats in that one cage) were ALL out. So we set the trap, and trapped the cats, and still are trying to get the last of them. So far we have 2 left to trap (that we know of, not sure how many, if any more kittens there are).

Anyways we caught several kittens that we had never seen before that were ferals (I put them in the enclosures with the others), you can tell when you have a feral in the trap-haha. One kitten I cornered between the shed and the cat enclosure-I saw that she was now walking right, sort of falling on one back foot. I ended up getting her and took her to the vet.

Anyway, we took her to the vet, after hours, with all of those charges, he did a xray-nothing, watched her walk, felt here, bent this, pulled that and said that it must be a nerve that she could have pinched in a fence or something of that sort. He said she doesn't seem to be in pain, wormed her, and told me to have her on cage rest and call him back in a week and tell him how she is and we will work from there.

This was 2 days ago, I have been taking her out daily massaging the leg, bending it like she is walking on it-just trying to get back the proper function. She is a little trooper, and has never hissed, offered to bite, or even growl. In fact if she forgets where she is and that you are holding her, she will purr, till you move, then she stops and tries to get away, lol.

My whole point of telling you guys my long and drawn out story is that today I took her out to see if there are any improvments, and now she drags one leg, walking with the other, THEN switches legs-dragging the other and using the other. At no point has she dragged both of them at the same time (back legs). Right now I have her in my room, in a med sized wire dog kennel, w/a short litterbox, bed, water, and food.

Does anyone have any reconmendations for me to make her more comfy, or what some other things I can do to help her? Does anyone dissagree with anything above that my vet said? I am worried that it could be a pinched spine or something. I promised her though, that if it is something that is irreversable, painful, and will make her miserable, that I will take her pain and misery away and not let her suffer. I have not given up hope that it's curable yet though, but I have a baaaad feeling.

Please, from the bottom of my heart, help me...
post #2 of 20
I'm really sorry, I have no advice for you..I just wanted to send many vibes fro the little one I hope someone comes along soon to help you
post #3 of 20
I'm not sure I understand... did the vet tell you to massage and manipulate the kitty's legs? If not, you might want to try stopping that for awhile. Seems like "cage rest" might mean that kind of activity is not desirable.

This is quite a mystery, especially the part about the problem switching from left to right and back again! But I do have a theory: maybe there's some kind of swelling in the spinal area that's pressing on the nerves and making it difficult or painful to use the back legs... and maybe, as the area begins to heal or perhaps gets reinjured in some way, the location of the swelling is moving around, affecting one side and then the other.

That's just a guess -- but if I'm on the right track, it seems like it would be best to leave the kitty's legs alone and see how they progress on their own. I say that because when I have back trouble, I sometimes do so much to my back that, after awhile, I don't know whether what I'm feeling is the original pain or something new that I've caused with all my heating pads and massagers and such! :-)

I surely hope your little one gets over this and grows up healthy. Please keep us posted!
post #4 of 20
Sorry your having so much trouble with that poor kitten! She sounds lke a sweetie pie. I was wondering if it might be something neurological since she keeps switching legs. Did they say anything about that? Also good luck and I hope you figure out whats wrong with her. Please keep us posted!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, he said it is most likely nerve damage or neurological...

I will stop massaging the leg for a few days and see if anything changes. She has me SO worried, I have never had a kitty with something this bad. =(

When she switches legs, it's within seconds... I am keeping hope though, she is so sweet and beautiful, I will have to get pics soon for you guys.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
ETA- I also have a heavy blanket over her cage to prevent our nosey cats from harassing her, LOL! No problems so far with the other cats-in fact Cody seems to have a soft spot for her.

I had her out last night, checking for any swelling, and she really, really wanted me to let go of her so I did, and she wobbled over to Cody, sat in front of him, looked into his eyes, and started purring. <3
post #7 of 20
Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post
Yes, he said it is most likely nerve damage or neurological...

I will stop massaging the leg for a few days and see if anything changes. She has me SO worried, I have never had a kitty with something this bad. =(

When she switches legs, it's within seconds... I am keeping hope though, she is so sweet and beautiful, I will have to get pics soon for you guys.
Alot of cats can do very well with neorological problems. My Kitten (black+white in my siggie) landed on her head as a kitten and suffered severe brain damage. Shes been able to recover pretty well and you can only sometimes tell theres something not right about her. She twitches sometimes and she sometimes spaces out completely. Im pretty sure someone on here had/has a kitty that has a neorological problem. I cant remember who though. I would love to see pics when you get a chance!
post #8 of 20
Leave her in the cage for awhile and don't massage her legs unless the vet specifically asked you to. Create a small cave-like area inside the cage where she can go in and just sleep. It could be anything, it could be genetic, there is a viral disease that also affects the back legs, it could be a result of inbreeding, or an injury even an early indication of a heart problem. If she were mine, I would allow her only limited movement by putting her in a larger cage where she can move around just a bit, but not jump on things. Some injuries don't show up on x-rays that is just the way of it sometime.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I am calling the vet tomorrow for the one week check in. I am 100% sure that I found where the problem is. I was petting her and found a spot where she is missing some fur-like it was rubbed off somehow-and it's over the middle of her spine.

So to me, it looks like she got caught under something while she was roaming around (she is a feral that I caught) and it did something to her spine. She is a little worse than she was when I took her to the vet. I will see what the vet says when I call tomorrow.

She is pitiful, she can't scratch her ears like normal cats, so when she sees me coming and her ears itch, she holds her head down like she would if she could scratch it, so I open the cage and scratch her ear wherever she wants me too, poor baby. She's learning how to train her humans. =) She is just a sweet heart, she trusts me, but is scared of everyone else, we'll work on that later, after she gets better.

Oh yeah, she doesn't have ear mites, thats not why her ears itch-it's just the normal ear scratching that all cats do.
post #10 of 20
I think you're right, that must be what happened, bless her heart. Please let us know what the vet says! I'll be thinking good thoughts for the little one.

And yes, isn't it amazing how good they are at communicating their needs to us? Their ingenuity never ceases to amaze me...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here she is, in all of her cute glory!!!! I think I have fallen in LOOOOVE!!!!! <3

I have names her Bella, I have always loved that name, and my fist cat's name was Isabell-she looked simease too.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
You can sorta see how I have her cage set set in those pics. She is getting more tame every second, and she has finally, for the fist time, walked up to me to be petted and loved on on her very own!!!

EDIT-She looks a little older in those pics than she really is, lol, I will have to get a pic of her next to a dollar so you guys get a idea of how big she is.
post #13 of 20
She is beautiful!! I hope you can get some answers from the vet. You are doing a great job for this beautiful baby. I know some cats can adapt to easily to change. My Sam lost his use of back legs and we made him a wheelchair and he adapted to his disability. Keep us posted!
post #14 of 20
Oh my!!! is she gorgeous or what

From what you have described it does sound neurological,It is possible she may have an infection in her injury,there are a lot of nasty bacteria hiding away in metal and wood,and if the skin is broken,which by the sound of it,it was,It could be a Streptococcal infection which can have similar symptoms if it were to get into the sensitive area of the spinal chord or the bone.
I would ask your vet to investigate the possibility..she may need anti-biotics.
post #15 of 20
What a gorgeous kitten! She's lucky to be in your care. Keep us posted... I'm sending good vibes...
post #16 of 20
what a lovely girl!
post #17 of 20
She is beautiful, hope things work out well for her.
post #18 of 20
This probrobly has nothing to do with what is happening to your girl, but when my Luna was a kitten, she has very similar problems. When the other kittens from the litter were running around, she would be running behind them with her back legs all shakey and sort of splayed out and dragging. We were worried she'd not get better and she may have problems all her life. Here is a picture of the way she would hold her legs. (Please pardon the nursing momma)
I even took her to the vet and he said nothing was wrong with her, that she may just be behind developmentally. A couple of weeks later, (and after many jokes that we would have to get her 'wheels') she was fine, running around with the rest of them. I drew my own conclusion after seeing her body type and the fact that she has siamese in her (like your girl does too!) that her back legs were growing so fast that she didn't have time to learn how to use them as they grew, so it just took a little longer. That probrobly doesn't help and my diagnoses may have been way off.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your replies and kind words!

Bella is pretty much the same as she was last time I posted here, she's still wobbly, but is still using her legs. The spot I found wasn't a open wound, it's where fur was rubbed off, but it could have been a sore at one point. Her hair is growing back though. Though I have noticed that she has a sort of dip in her back, right where her patch af fur is missing

I still have her on cade rest, terrified that she will get worse, she does get a few hours of playtime at night.

I am debating taking her to a much more expensive vet (who has a very good reputation)-to get a second opinoin. But we really do not have the money. I will take her if she worsens at anytime to that vet no doubt, but right now she is ok, not really progressing, but she's not getting worse either.


She is a real sweetheart. Cody watches her and checks on her often-and she purrrs when she sees him or the others. Right now she's more partial to cats rather than humans, but she has never offered to bite, growl, hiss or any of that. And she will purr when I pet her, awww.

Once again than you all so much for helping me through this, though the journy will not be over until she is better.

Question: Do any of you think that giving her vitamins or supplements (for felines) would help reverse, or heal whatever is going on with her back. Or maybe an arthiritis medicine of some sort? Does anyone know of any good ones that really work? Brands?
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
You can sorta see the dip in her back here...

Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post

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