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Front/four legs paralysis?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have an indoor-only ~9-yr old female spayed cat. Wednesday 2AM she was running around normal, the next day Thursday 10am she could no longer walk. In particular she could not straighten her front legs, and scooted around on her "elbows" for a short time, while her rear legs would extend completely. After about 30 minutes of this I took her to the local vet.

Later that evening they said she would not stand at all anymore, but part of that (I suspect) was just stress of being in a strange place. They gave an antibiotic and a steroid shot (in case the cause was either a bacterial infection that I forget the name of [they told me at the time] or a fall injury). Blood and urine test didn't show anything alarming (slightly raised sugar levels).

Friday she showed no improvement so they did an x-ray and didn't see anything unusual with the spine at all, and gave another larger dose of steroids/antibiotics. Saturday morning there was still no improvement, so I took her home. The local vet said it could be a fall injury or could be a tumor on the spine or brain and that the next step was to take her to somewhere that could do CT or MRI imaging, and mentioned a cost estimate of $3000 US for that, which included some level of remedial surgery. I don't know how much the imaging alone would cost, but that will be my first question.

I have not had the chance to speak with the CT/MRI place at all yet; I plan on calling them Monday morning to discuss the details but this info was given to me on Saturday afternoon and everything's closed on Sunday.

The cat can still move her head/neck/trunk very well, and alternates between appearing as alert as normal (such as looking in the directions of any odd noises) and just curling up into a ball--though I am wondering if this is pain? Or just being tired. She did not appear to be in any pain that the vet could localize, and still doesn't. Since getting home, she does not vocalize like she's in pain at all.

She alternates between mostly lying on her right side, and sitting up on her haunches (but her legs are not well placed underneath when she sits this way, unless I move them). She defecated inside the carrier cage as I was driving her to the vet, and it appeared normal. She has urinated a couple times since coming home, but not defecated at all--though the vet said she refused to eat the whole time she was in there (two days) and now it is two days after that. She has eaten a small amount of food and water since getting home, but has vomited up some of the food.

When she is alert she will even play with toys. If a stick is moved around on the floor she will try to put one of her front paws on it, but can only LAY her paw on it--the ability to press down seems to be completely gone. She will occasionally try to pull herself around on the carpeted floor, and will even stretch her legs normally (both front and rear legs) just like she did before this problem started. If she is laying on her side and I dangle a toy in the air, she will feebly attempt to grab it with her front paws.

Sorry to be so lengthy, but I'm putting in everything I've seen.
I have looked around much online since yesterday morning and not seen anything similar reported.

Does this sound at all familiar to anyone? The vet did not recall any condition that caused paralysis primarily in the front legs.
~
post #2 of 19
I sent you a private message.
post #3 of 19
Good grief.

I would get her to a specialist with the necessary equipment and expertise to make an accurate diagnosis.

Sending vibes that you get the help you need.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
This morning I called the local vet and they referred me to
Veterinary Specialty Services in Manchester, MO. I got an appointment and took the cat there this afternoon, and they would begin on it the next day.

The vet there thought that it appeared neurological and not physical, said it could be as bad as cancer or as easy as a vitamin deficiency but other than that did not really guess what it is either. Most paralysis in cats affects the rear legs most, not the front and in this case the fronts are much weaker than the rears.

They gave me an estimate of $850-$1400, and I had to pay $700 up front. The list starts off with a myelogram and some blood and spinal fluid tests, and ending with a CT scan and has a bunch of other things in there I dunno nutting about.
~
post #5 of 19
I hope you get some good news!

&
post #6 of 19
Thank you for getting the right kind of help for your sweetie pie.
It says a lot about who you are.

Sending major vibes that serious disease is ruled out and a simple, quick solution is found.
post #7 of 19
Lots of prayers for an easily diagnosable and treatable condition - and prayers for you as well.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update--the cat is still not really walking, but is doing somewhat better.

The invoices from the two vets are here-
http://www.norcom2000.com/users/dcim.../cat/info.html

The first (smaller-amount) one is from the local vet, and the second is from the other. The first vet couldn't determine anything, except to rule out several common possibilities.

The final diagnosis was that there was some kind of spinal infection, as the white blood cell count in the spinal fluid was very high. The second place ordered four more tests on the spinal fluid but hasn't reported back with the results yet. The last vet said that he would likely try one of two antibiotics (Clindamyacin and Doxycycline) so he just prescribed both.

I tried a couple days myself and couldn't get the cat to take the dang stuff, so I boarded it back at the local vet for a couple weeks to make sure they could do it. They said today that it is alert, it is eating and trying to walk around more than seven days ago when I brought it in again. It was vomiting fairly often when I got it back from VSS but the local vet says it's not now, so that may have been a side effect of all that VSS did to it.

The second place was stumped as well. He did say that the CT scan showed that there appeared to be two areas of infection in the spine--one in the neck and the other right below the shoulders, and that the myelogram fluid would not penetrate normally. There was no indication that the infection entered through the skin.

I left the business and vet's name un-blacked in case a similar situation should occur to anyone else. (Veterinary Specialty Services in Manchester MO, Mark Anderson)
~
post #9 of 19
poor girl. what is Her name?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
The four tests were the ones on the invoice--Cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis, ehrlichia and FIP. All of those came back negative.

Cat's official name is Ginger, but the previous owner never called it that, and neither do I. Mostly just "cat".
~
post #11 of 19
for Kitty. Any updates?
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
The cat is at home now and slowly getting better so far.

Her back legs are almost normal strength, but the fronts are still very weak. She can walk ~20-25 feet if she's really determined but usually only goes 8-10 feet before stopping to sit for a few minutes. She is not eating much but then it is possible that she's just eating proportional to her activity level, which is much lower than normal. She also tends to hide a lot, but I think that is just the leftover stress of her veterinary travels.

There never was any conclusive diagnosis. They gave me some more antibiotic to give her, but the cat is very resistant to that. The local vet said there were some other antibiotics that could be tried but I declined for now; the cat is already significantly improved since this happened, and the vet could not offer any guess as to how much or low long recovery would take anyway.

-----

I also realized that I made a mistake in the original post: I spread {the last time I saw her normal} and {the time found her crippled} across two days, when both these events happened on the same Thursday morning. I saw the cat running around the house at 2AM, but by 10AM (eight hours later) she couldn't walk.
~
post #13 of 19
Hi there, I am sorry you and your kitty are going through this, and hope she pulls out of it very quickly - it sounds like she got a weird virus, perhaps?

I had a similar case with my puppie years ago, but mine was a bit worst.... we really got near death.... it took him about 6 months to walk again... in the beginning, when it started, the paralysis came with diarrhea and vomit - he got so bad that the only thing he would move for weeks would be his eyeballs...
Long story short, one day I left to the University and my mom took him to the vet to send him to the bridge... as a weird twist of fate I called to check on him, and she told me... I ran to the vet, and found him in the back room... alone, on the dirty , humid floor, where there was probably cockroaches and rats... He, the freaking vet, just left my baby there to die! He wasn't even on a cloth, or a blankie, or nothing! OHHHHHH you didn't see me - I BECAME A MONSTER!!!!!! I flew out of that room yelling screaming like a mad woman, from the top of my lungs, how could you b*stard do this to MY BABY!!!! Well, no way to make this story short.... Anyways, I took my baby from that monster, and from that day on I was on a mission to get him better.... and he did get better.... 100%.... but it did take a while - as I said 6 months to walk right.
He went through different "animal stages" he was a snake for a while... then he jumped like a goat.... then he was finally a dog again... Nobody ever found out what was wrong with him - The reason I thing it was a virus is that no antibiotics worked... Time, care and love were the only thing that really worked. Granted, I did use some pretty powerful anti-inflammetory brasilian plants that are not available here, unfortunately...
One thing for you to pay very very close attention though: please please make sure she eats... This is extremely important, and it surprises me that vets don't discuss this issue more often with their patients' parents... Make sure she eats at least 150 calories a day - this will prevent her from getting a very serious, potentially lethal disease called Fatty liver disease. Even if it is cat junk food, give it to her - it is imperative that she eats...
many many vibes for her, and hugs to you -
post #14 of 19
Cat would not have had a chance to recover, if you had not given your all to get the right kind of medical care.
Also, the care you are giving Cat at home is making a huge difference.
I am so glad that you are seeing positive progress in Cat's recovery.

Sending love and continued healing to your sweet Cat.
Thanks for the update.
post #15 of 19
Bless you for caring for kitty, and I hope things continue to get better for you. It's frustrating, for owner and doctor, alike to not be able to get a specific diagnosis...but sometimes all you can do is rule things out and treat for symptoms.
post #16 of 19
Hi, I just joined the forum to try and solve some cat problems. Long story short, I have had an orphaned kitten drama going on here for almost three weeks. One of the three has no use of the back legs. Otherwise appears normal. The kittens appear to be about 5 weeks old. The vet has determined only that nothing is broken by way of xray. Anybody have any ideas on this? The posts here give me hope, but I don't know what to do!
post #17 of 19
Doug - I am so glad your kitty is slowly improving. That must have been so scary! (And probably still is)


Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
I had a similar case with my puppie years ago, ...
Long story short, one day I left to the University and my mom took him to the vet to send him to the bridge... as a weird twist of fate I called to check on him, and she told me... I ran to the vet, and found him in the back room... alone, on the dirty , humid floor, where there was probably cockroaches and rats... He, the freaking vet, just left my baby there to die! He wasn't even on a cloth, or a blankie, or nothing! OHHHHHH you didn't see me - I BECAME A MONSTER!!!!!! I flew out of that room yelling screaming like a mad woman, from the top of my lungs, how could you b*stard do this to MY BABY!!!! Well, no way to make this story short.... Anyways, I took my baby from that monster, and from that day on I was on a mission to get him better.... and he did get better.... 100%.... but it did take a while - as I said 6 months to walk right. -
And Carolina - THAT IS HORRIBLE! Thank God you got there in time!
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by threecatowner View Post
Doug - I am so glad your kitty is slowly improving. That must have been so scary! (And probably still is)




And Carolina - THAT IS HORRIBLE! Thank God you got there in time!
I know! Can you imagine??? Almost 15 years have past, and it still takes me to tears to think about walking into that vets office, looking for him, room by room, just to find him at the dirty floor at the storage room... Lucky him (and me). I lost it. I just lost it. In a way I think God sent me there... Because there was something that made me call my mom at that exact minute, and allow me enough time to drive there. Thank God!
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanannemarie View Post
Hi, I just joined the forum to try and solve some cat problems. Long story short, I have had an orphaned kitten drama going on here for almost three weeks. One of the three has no use of the back legs. Otherwise appears normal. The kittens appear to be about 5 weeks old. The vet has determined only that nothing is broken by way of xray. Anybody have any ideas on this? The posts here give me hope, but I don't know what to do!
Welcome to TheCatSite jeanannemarie,
Because this thread has been open for some time, more members might see your question and give you feedback about your kitten's back legs if you started your own thread in this health forum.
You could title it "kitten/back legs paralyzed"
Sending vibes that you find some answers for this little kitten.
Please make yourself at home.

Keep on healing Cat.
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