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Manx Syndrome and muscle spasms

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

I have a one year old cat named Atticus. He has Manx Syndrome and is missing the last two vertabrae of his spinal column. He is incontinent and walks with a gait in the back legs. He is very active and runs and jumps with his siblings.

For some time now, Atticus has been having muscle spasms in his back legs. Knowing what I do about Manx Syndrome and its nuerological implications, this is not surprising. The vet has tried steriod injections, but this did not seem to help so we chose to discontinue the treatment. Lately, it seems as if Atticus is having at least 2 to 3 of these spasms a day, maybe more, as I am not here to monitor him in the day.

When he has a spasm, his back legs stiffen up. If he is sitting up, he usually rolls arounds and tries to bite on his legs. He sometime loses control of his bladder (though he is pretty much incontinent all the time). the spams last about 10 seconds or less and after he is fine. He gets up walks, runs, etc. Sometimes I notice that water (I have to wash him daily as he cannot clean himself) and him sitting in a squating position seem to trigger these episodes. He has also had these episodes when over exerting himself. He is an active cat. He jumps up on things sometimes that I would never think he can jump too. I try to keep him away from heights due to the fact he is more likely (and has) injured himself, not always being able to land on his feet.

I spoke to my vet again yesterday and he has suggested trying Atticus on methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer. I am doing research on this drug and its effects on cats with Atticus' problems.

Does anyone have a cat with similar problems? If so, what has worked or what might you have tried to treat the problem. I know that there is only so much we can do as this is a genetic disorder, however, I want to try something as least invasive as possible to see if it can help him.

post #2 of 4
No i do not have a cat with that issue.
I hope that someone here can give you some advice.
but it sound like you have doing all you can for him
post #3 of 4
Welcome to the The Cat Site,Shellbell and Atticus! If you posted this in the breeders forum, maybe some of the breeders there could offer advice? Atticus is a very lucky kitty to have you! I hope you can find a solution for him.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
August 7 Update:

I want to run this by ya'll. Any shared experiences, advice, or info anyone has would be welcome.

You can read the title post and surmise Atticus's history with Manx Sydrome. Every month and a half (approx) I have a UA done to make sure he is not having urinary tract issues due to his nuerological disorder. Saturday's test showed his pH was a couple of points high (8) and an increased # of WBC, more so than usual. There was no blood showing in the urine at that time. My vet was starting Atti on Metacam (sp) for possible inflamation in his lower spine that may be causing his spasms in back legs.

We did not put him on an antibiotic at that time due to him already starting Metacam, but the vet told me to get a urine sample in a few days an bring it back. Atti's levels on the UA run a little high due to his condition, but we try to be careful as to when to put him antibiotics, as he has a lifelong condition and we do not want him to get immune to them.

Sunday night, I found that Atti had blood in his urine (it was in puddles in his room, as he in incontinent). I immediately took him to the Emergency 24 hour vet, in the middle of the night, as I know kitty and urinary problems are not good. The ER vet thought his problem was more from bladder irritation and inflamtion, not a bacterial UTI. I know that only a culture can be sure. She gave him am IM of Metacam and a pain, anti-spasm medicene...opiate dirivative (sp). I took him to my vet the next day and he thinks it is more bacterial in nature as we have always been wary since Atti is incontinent and though I wash him 2 to 3 times a day, feces may be getting in the urinary tract. The ER vet said that aside from Atti's condition, that feces getting in this tract is rare. But Atti is not a normal cat. Having this disorder and incontinence, makes him messier than usual.

Anyhow, my regular vet gave him IM's of Penicilin and Betryl ( I think this is it, I am zoning out). It's a brownish pill that crumbles easily and much easier for Atti to take. I have him on the Betryl now twice a day and the Metacam, low dose. He is still showing blood in his urine, but I was told that should go away in a few days.

It could be that this is FLUTD (feline lower-urinary tract disease) and inflamtion, or a bacterial UTI. Maybe both? Not sure. But he is on medicene that will hopefully help both. The Metacam will also hopefully help any inflamtion in his lower back.

Sorry about the long post, but I have been worried about him. Aside from the medicene, I am trying to continue to keep him as clean as possible, without causing him added distress. His spirits are good considering, he is eating thank goodness. He is understandalby irritable and aggressive at med times. The vet stated that the opiate pain killer may have made him aggressive, but given that he is peeing blood, I tend to think he would be that way anyhow.

I continue to watch him closely. Was curious if you all had any advice, similar stories, etc.

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