or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › older cat, back legs going out
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

older cat, back legs going out

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
My older cat, Skeezex, is headed out I think

She's about 16 now and I've noticed the past week or so that she seems to be losing the use of her hindlegs.
She slips alot on them and walks very very slow. This happened to another cat of mine too about this age, he eventually couldn't use them at all and we had to have him put down because he seemed to be in alot of pain/miserable.
I just noticed some cat urine on the wood floor in the room she sleeps in so I'm worried she's losing function of all her hind parts. My other cat had been given some sort of shot to supposedly help the muscles in that area but it seemed to speed the process along instead of help it so I dont really want to do that again.
I'm going to bring her litter box to a more accessable place for her so she's more comfortable. She doesn't seem very happy right now. She was always running around and hunting and playing and she can't do that now. She was also always very vocal whenever anyone came near her/pet her, and she isn't doing that hardly at all. I don't want her to suffer.. Is getting her put down the best way to go?
post #2 of 40
I would first take her to the vets and get her a full workup- blood panels, x-rays the works. Because of her advanced age she could have anything from arthritis setting in to internal breakdown, but honestly, your vet would be the one to make the determination as to what is wrong with her. If a change in diet and some medication would make her comfortable, isn't it worth the price to pay to find out? She could have a spinal injury or a blood clot, but again a professional should guide your decision. I do not know one vet who when aware of a cat suffering, would not offer gently the option of euthanasia. But get her checked out first and foremost before going further with any actions.
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
I of course want her to be happy and healthy but i cant afford to get all that done. It's not that im a jerk or cheap its just that i dont have any money. Also this is what happened to my other cat and nothing we did helped.
post #4 of 40
flyte no one would call you a jerk or cheap, especially in the light of the advanced age of your cat. Perhaps a simple blood panel run will hold the answer for you and you can go from there? I know what you are talking about, I had a beautiful cat here who got feline hyperesthisia, unfortunately my vet didn't know anything about it and he over medicated Bacardi as I was trying to convince him to look at the research material I found. Bacardi responded badly to the meds, and had a grand mal seizure and died in my arms. You do what you can within the limits of your means and hope for the best.
post #5 of 40
Cat's with diabeties can do this also. I would take to the vet and see what your vet suggest. I do know from experience, I had a 16 year old kitty and as her time was coming I asked my vet what would be a sure sign and she told me she would loose her bodily functions (laying in her pee)....that's how I found her one day when i went home for lunch....I immediately loaded her up to take to vet to do the ugly but my Missy didn't let me make that choice. One the way, as I was petting her and tell her all was okay (she was steadily purring the whole time) she looked at me and gave a big like sigh and died. I still went on to the vet and she "packaged" her up very nice for me to take home and bury.

I miss her to this day, there will be no other Missy. She was a blue haired persian.

Cathy
post #6 of 40
I was just going to say the same thing about Diabetes. This same thing happened to my Sister's cat. He was diagnosed with diabetes and had to go on insulin. She also gave hime kelp which you can get at any health food store and sometimes in the big grocery store. This brought down is sugar levels quite a bit. He lived a good 5-7 years after his diagnosis. He did not die of diabetes, but of lung cancer.
post #7 of 40
Hi Nora,

I do have sugar cat....Her name is Cloey and she is my baby now. She will be 12 October 3. I give her two shots a day of insulin and control her diet with special food (only she gets and other cats hate me for this, hehe). I even monitor her blood glucose levels at home myself. This coming January will be 2 years for her being a sugar cat. Here is her picture:
LL
post #8 of 40
Yes, diabetes can and often does cause nerve damage in the paws as it advances ... it is called diabetic neuropathy.

I also had a diabetic cat, in fact, I have had three of them. The last one, a beautiful little Seal Point Siamese named Chloe, was also recently (back in April) diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and sadly, I was forced to euthanise her on July 28.

Diabetes (if this is what is wrong with your Skeezex) IS a treatable illness. I won't lie to you and say that it is easy, nor is it inexpensive. The sad truth is that the leading cause of death among diabetic cats is euthanasia because people don't want to be bothered with sticking to the restrictive schedule, absorbing the expense, and dealing with the host of other health issues often associated.

On a brighter note and of interest to diabetic cat owners, Purina has come out with their new food formulated for diabetic cats - it is called DM for Diabetic Maintenance. A 4 pound bag of the dry food, which my little Chloe loved, costs about $17 here in Virginia - and it was instrumental in lowering her blood glucose levels. We were able to reduce her insulin requirement from just over 3 units twice per day to a little less than 1 unit twice per day.

Please take your Skeezex to the vet and have them do a complete blood panel including organ function as well as urine labs. There are many options besides euthanasia.

If you, or anyone here, needs assistance with a diabetic cat, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck to you and to Skeezex,

Gaye Flagg
post #9 of 40
There are many things that can cause those symptoms...if you have a regular vet perhaps you could call & explain your situation to see if they could work out payment arrangements? Princess Purr posted a helpful link recently for when we're having a tough time financially:
http://www.hsus.org/ace/11875

Low potassium levels can also cause hind leg weakness - if your cat is drinking a lot and urinating a lot due to kidney problems or diabetes it can flush too much potassium from her system, causing weakness. This is something that must be determined by a vet, though - the supplement type and dosage must be prescribed for your cat. My cat was on medication for low potassium (due to kidney failure), and one day I saw a diabetic cat with the same back leg weakness my cat had & mentioned the possible potassium link to his owner, who in turn mentioned it to his vet - turned out he had the same problem & medication helped him too - the vet had missed the problem initially.



Because you brought up the issue of putting your cat to sleep, I'd like to share this with you -

If you reach a point where you feel you've done everything you can & are considering having her put to sleep because you wish to spare her suffering, this is a good link to read: http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/euthanasia.htm

I had to make the difficult decision last year for my girl - she had reached a point where there was nothing more the vet could do for her, she was suffering, so I had to put my own pain aside and do what was best for her. I do not regret that decision...she had lived a long, full life, and I did everything I could for her, including giving her a kind end to her suffering. She left this world resting in my arms, listening to my voice, purring softly.

I sincerely hope and pray that your cat will be with you, happy and healthy, for a long time to come. However, if you do reach a point where you need to make the toughest decision, we will be here for you.
post #10 of 40

Hi

 

Can you tell me how much kelp she gave the cat each day and in what form. My cat is in really bad shape.

 

Thank You

post #11 of 40

@:gusnewt, the post you replied to is from 2003 so they will almost certainly be be long since gone.  Suggest you start a new thread and tell us about your cat and his or her problem.

post #12 of 40
my cat Skeezix (Siamese, male, 13) is going through the same thing. He had some 'accidents' in his sleep a couple months back and sometimes seems to forget what he's doing. I also dont have a lot of money to take him to the vet so I'm in the same boat you weere.
post #13 of 40
I hope you have taken your baby to the vet by now and I hope it is something that can be treated. When I read that her back legs were going out the first thing I thought of was kidney failure. Then when you wrote that she is urinating on the floor that also supported kidney failure. I know this condition all too well, I have lost many cats to kidney failure and although not all of them showed the same symptoms, what you are seeing are two very common signs of this disease. The number one reason that felines pass away is from kidney failure and it is very common, even in younger cats, but a 16 year old cat is even more likely to develop this. When their kidneys go out, they become very weak in the back legs, and generally weak all over, thus urinating and sleeping in it is a common thing I have seen. They are urinating outside of the box to show you that they don't feel good, and/or because they don't have the strength to walk to their box every time. Their appetite decreases, they feel very nauseous, weak, they can't jump, and they urinate outside the box. It may not be too late for your kitty if she can get some IV or SQ fluids, but the sooner you find out exactly what it is, the better chance you and she have of making her feel better and hopefully extending her life. I wish you and her the very best.
post #14 of 40

Your pet certainly needs to be looked at. IT could be anything from kidney disease to Diabetes...to a deficiency of potassium, secondary to kidney disease.

With the back leg weakness and the urinary mishaps it sounds like it MAY be kidney related and this could be at least treatable, not curable and your cat could at least have a better quality of life for awhile.

 

As far as money for the visit you can also apply for carecredit, it is a healthcare credit card used for veterinary care... www.carecredit.com/vetmed/

 

You could also ask your vet for a payment plan, usually they are agreeable to this.

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowmeow219 View Post

my cat Skeezix (Siamese, male, 13) is going through the same thing. He had some 'accidents' in his sleep a couple months back and sometimes seems to forget what he's doing. I also dont have a lot of money to take him to the vet so I'm in the same boat you weere.


you can also apply for carecredit, or work with your vet on a payment plan as I am sure your vet would understand .

 

Even if I could not afford the visit, I would find a way... that is me though. Start with some phone calls , perhaps the Humane society could give you some phone numbers of some charitable organizations, call your vet, explain situation, see if they are willing to work with you, apply for carecredit....

 

Good luck......

post #16 of 40

just noticed this is an old thread.. so guess suggestions are no longer needed....

post #17 of 40

my daughter's Shadow cat lived to be 19 1/2 but suddenly lost use of hind limbs then continence,   cats are prone to blood vessel clots, nothing you do or pay for will fix it , get the animal in a comfy confined area with easy access clean water, clean  litter .   small portions of the  best food you like to give it and watch for a day or two if it is wetting itself, gently clean and dry keep warm .  limbs will lose function this is an ascending as a clot growing( would make sense), call around to check for best price for euthanasia at your local vets if you do not have a relationship with one.  xrays and blood work are pricey, give to the local shelter in honor of your animal but save 300 or more on this end of life pattern, let the animal know you love it, gently pet and care for it.  this is where most of us live, there are the few that can spend like crazy but you make the choice

post #18 of 40

My 14 y/o cat was fine yesterday when i fed him.  Within a half hour I noticed he was walking funny.  Within an hour he could barely use his back legs.  I took him to emergency where they did a full physical.  I opted not to do  xray as it would not change the course of treatment I would chose.  He did not seem to be in pain which ruled out fractures, he had total bowel and bladder control , was eating and it came on suddenly so we assumed it might be a disc in his back.  Being a physical therapist it made sense.  The vet prescribed prednisolone ( steroids) and in 24 hours he is able to walk.  Total cost $114.00  I was relieved and amazed!

 

I would definitely ask your vet about anti inflammatories!!! the older cat just like people might have some arthritis in the spine area causing great pain, adn dysfunction!

post #19 of 40
I know this is a very old thread but for anyone searching I just wanted to make a comment. If your cat all the sudden can not use its hind limbs rush it to the nearest ER vet esp if their crying and/or there limbs are cold. Blood clots are horribly painful and they need immediate pain meds and blood thinners.
post #20 of 40
My cat is 13. She started out with a UTI. We did blood work and everything came back good but she never got over the UTI. We did 2 shots of antibiotics. She started walking low to the ground and just laying around. We went back to the vet for X-rays. A mass was found in her chest and arthritis in her spine. She was given a steroid shot and fluids but nothing really changed besides she started eating again. She just continued to lose her ability to walk. Her legs are completely stiff now. She eats and doesn't seem to be in pain though. I don't understand how her legs going stiff would have anything to do with the mass in her chest. The vet doesn't really know either. Any ideas?
post #21 of 40

My cat Basil was having problems walking with his back legs. First thing I looked up said diabetes, so we went to the vet. I had to start giving him a very low dose of insulin, and the vet forced some science diet wet food on me, telling me it was the only way he would ever change his situation. I was blessed to find The Feline Diabetes Message Board online, and they had a wealth of knowledge to share. Neither cat would touch the vet food, so I switched to Fancy Feast Classics (pate-no sauce or gravy) and within 9 days Basil was taken off insulin.  I too began doing regular bloodwork checks at home using a glucometer, and 4 years later he is happy and healthy. The muscular damage to his back legs eventually corrected itself, and he races around like a kitten when we play.

 

It can be hard when you are financially strapped to do the best thing for your pet.  I have learned over time, to stop, observe, and research before panicking.

 

Just a week ago I noticed a spot of scabby skin on my younger cat. The fur was gone and it looked painful. My first thought was ringworm-which sent me into a panic, knowing how contagious it is and how expensive and long it takes to treat it.  But then I decided that as neither cat goes outside and have not been exposed to anyone having it, and neither I or Basil had any signs of it, that it may be something more simple. The next day there was an adjacent spot without scabs, but just no fur.  I began researching and applied Lamisil cream, which treats fungal infections of the skin. Poor cat was made to wear a sweater to keep from licking it off, and in just 3 days the problem had cleared up.  Had I ran to the vet immediately I would have probably have been looking at a $300 bill, for the appointment, test and treatment. 

post #22 of 40

Well, this is one of the those posts that I felt I needed to follow up on. I have a cat here in Haiti that was a feral cat that I started to take care of. Tranquilo is the sweetest cat I have ever met; not just saying that because I am a cat lover. It truly is his personality which is amazing considering the suffering he has had to endure in this country.  He is about 3 years old but is acting like the age of some of the cats mentioned in this post. He is very, very thin, eating very little, no energy, doesn't really like to be touched (very unusual for him) back legs seem to be moving similar to a little rabbit hop.  I am so frustrated because I don't have the level of vet care I would get back in Canada. I am left to figure things out on my own. Any ideas of what I may be dealing with here especially considering that he is not an old cat.

post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyte View Post

My older cat, Skeezex, is headed out I think

She's about 16 now and I've noticed the past week or so that she seems to be losing the use of her hindlegs.
She slips alot on them and walks very very slow. This happened to another cat of mine too about this age, he eventually couldn't use them at all and we had to have him put down because he seemed to be in alot of pain/miserable.
I just noticed some cat urine on the wood floor in the room she sleeps in so I'm worried she's losing function of all her hind parts. My other cat had been given some sort of shot to supposedly help the muscles in that area but it seemed to speed the process along instead of help it so I dont really want to do that again.
I'm going to bring her litter box to a more accessable place for her so she's more comfortable. She doesn't seem very happy right now. She was always running around and hunting and playing and she can't do that now. She was also always very vocal whenever anyone came near her/pet her, and she isn't doing that hardly at all. I don't want her to suffer.. Is getting her put down the best way to go?


I'm so sorry to hear that. :rbheart:

 

I know how scary it can be when something is medically wrong with your cat. Have you had her tested for diabetes? It could also be a feline aortic thromboembolism. He might have epilepsy, too. Could he have experienced any trauma? She is going to need special care. I recommend having her tested for diabetes. But, I've also heard read this can be caused by a feline aortic thromboembolism. It will cause a lot of pain. Please keep us updated. I personally don't believe in euthanasia.

post #24 of 40

TO FLYTE:

 

A Thiamine (A B-Vitamin) deficiency can cause muscle weakness. 

There may not be enough in the cat food you're feeding (I have to wonder if the B-Vitamins added by the manufacturer  - are added Before - or After Cooking. 

Cooking will destroy B Vitamins - so if they're added before cooking - the amount listed on the label - will not be the amount that is usable.)  And, an older cat will have had

many more years of Thiamine deficiency (and all B-Vitamins).

 

You may want to give a B-Vitamin Complex (which will contain Thiamine) - as B Vitamins tend to work better together.  If you use a human formulation - a B-Complex will contain Thiamine.  I suggest using a capsule, so you don't get additional binding ingredients, and, so you can easily estimate by eye - the amount you're adding.  Add a small amount of the powder to the catfood. 

Cats don't need very much. You need to check the amount cats need on the internet (Or, maybe with a Vet/Holistic Vet).  Check the back labels - get JUST B-complex - with nothing extra (eg. Like Vitamin C).  Some B-Vitamins are listed by Full Name on the labels - not by their B Number - so - you may want to become familiar with their actual names.

It may take a while for the Thiamine to kick in.  I don't know, as the info on Thiamine deficiency is something I just came across.

 

Also - I would try some Methylcobalamin B12.  This is better than the "typical" B12 (Cyanocobalamin).  It is the form of B12 that Cyanocobalamin B12 must convert to in the body -

in order to work properly.  However - Cyanocobalamin B12 is destroyed by stomach acids. It is not very effective when taken orally.   Methylcobalamin is not destroyed by stomach acids, so, it is effective when given orally. 

 

Methylcobalamin has been known to reverse paralysis cause by Diabetes (and many other neurological conditions).  There used to be an article on the internet called "Jasper's Page" - written by a lady who had a cat (Jasper) whose hind legs were paralyzed by diabetic neuropathy.  His paralysis COMPLETELY REVERSED - right after giving him

Methylcobalamin B12 in a very high dosage.  (I can't find this article any longer, but, I MAY have seen it included in TANYA'S COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FELINE

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE - felinecrf.org.)  And, one of the animal rescuers that I communicate with - also had her cat's paralysis reversed by Methylcobalamin B12. 

 

The Meth B12 should be given along with B-Complex - because the Meth B12 needs another B Vitamin to be effective - Folic Acid. 

A B Vitamin complex will contain Folic Acid (And Thiamine).

 

You can get Methylcobalamin easily in Health Food Stores to start it right away.  And, Swansonvitamins.com and puritanspride.com both have some very good pricing on their

5mg tablets (I like these because they crush down to a powder very easily, so can be added to food).

 

B Vitamins are very safe, as they are water-soluble, so, any excess will wash out of a cat's system (or human's).  (So, don't give these in every meal - give the body a chance to

wash out any excess!  Adding to one meal should suffice.)

 

Good Luck,  Jackie Page

post #25 of 40

TO SMOKEY46:

Please read the post I just sent to Flyte about B Vitamins in this discussion.

 

B Vitamins will also encourage appetite - especially B12.  And, I believe B Vitamin deficiencies can also cause skin sensitivities.

You may want to add these vitamins to a meat babyfood at first (eg.  Gerber's Chicken & Gracy, Beef & Gravy) - to help encourage him to eat.

 

And - check his gums and tongue.  If they are not bright pink - cat MAY have an iron deficiency, as well.  (Iron also needs B Vitamins to to used properly.)

 

If he seems iron deficient - I would be cautious about supplying iron from human iron supplements, as some forms of iron can be tricky.  And, you can easily give a serious OVERDOSE

of iron this way.

 

Get a good cat diet supplement - or - feed him home-cooked chicken liver and beef - which are both naturally high in iron - especially liver.

LIVER:  Don't feed more than about 1-2 Tablespoons of liver in a week - as liver is also very high in Vitamins A and D - both of which are toxic in high amounts (especially Vitamin D).

              Freeze small portions of the liver that you don't use right away - and use them every 7-10 days. 

BEEF:  You can feed some beef every day (I would also feed catfood).  If you do this - you should add some calcium, as plain meats are high in phosphorous. 

           High Phosphorous levels in the blood - can cause calcium to be pulled out of the bones.  You need to research the calcium-phosphorous proporotion needed by cats - on the internet -

           and the amount of phosphorous contained per ounce of beef (I think it's about 180mg/4oz).  I think Calcium Citrate is the best form to give (For one thing, this can be given with food -

           without blocking absorption of other nutrients).  You can get this in a single-ingredient form - in capsules - or - a bottle of powder (eg. Swansonvitamins.com). 

           Make sure there is nothing else added to the formulation (eg. Magnesium - which is not good to supplement in cats).

 

PS:  I believe I have written you before about worms.  Worms can cause deficiencies of all nutrients - including B Vitamins - and Iron.  Bacterial Infections also tend to deplete iron.

Lyme Disease can also cause severe skin sensitivities. 

 

Good Luck, Jackie Page

post #26 of 40

This happened years ago to my male cat.........came home one night and he was dragging his hind legs......found an emergency vet (they were rare in those days) and a friend rushed me there but he died anyway.  So I think maybe do the hard thing (for you) and put the poor thing out of his misery............otherwise it might be a very expensive ordeal for you both with probably no good outcome.  Sorry.........these decisions are never, never easy..........

post #27 of 40

Thiamine deficiency will cause muscle weakness.

Actually, any deficiency of any one of the B Vitamins can and will cause muscle weakness.

This happened to Tesla once.

post #28 of 40

Hi....great info! I will see what I can about his tongue etc. And, yes, I did write about the worms. It seems it may have been ringworm, a fungal infection all over him. I have been treating him for this for a few months now and all but two patches are growing fur again. Now the latest is  his energy level, his back hing legs and very, very frail looking and he is only about 3 years old. He is a very sweet natured cat which is surprising considering the suffering he has endured living in Haiti but lately he is less social and not as anxious to be petted. I have noted, however, he is more eager to eat canned food than the dry stuff so I have been trying to get him more of it even though it is more expensive and the other two outdoor cats try to take it from him.  I may see if I can track down some liver....not seen it here in Haiti but I haven't really looked hard. They eat mostly goat here.



 

post #29 of 40

I hope things go well.

post #30 of 40

TO LENE:  

Quote:
LENE: "This happened years ago to my male cat.........came home one night and he was dragging his hind legs......found an emergency vet (they were rare in those days) and a friend rushed me there but he died anyway.  So I think maybe do the hard thing (for you) and put the poor thing out of his misery............otherwise it might be a very expensive ordeal for you both with probably no good outcome.  Sorry.........these decisions are never, never easy.........."

I am so sorry for the sudden and unexpected loss of your cat. It must have been very traumatic.  

 

It sounds like your cat had a Saddle Thrombosis - a blood clot lodged in an artery blocking blood flow to the hind legs (and more).  Because - his hind-leg problem came about very suddenly - and resulted in death quickly.  (Is this what your vet told you?).  A Saddle Thrombosis is not just a "weakening" of the hind legs - but a weakening because of lack of blood flow to the hind quarters.

 

You made the right decision to rush your cat to a vet, as sometimes, even a devastating clot can be treated - if treated QUICKLY.  (Although, apparently, prognosis is generally not very good.)

 

But, I disagree with your advice to just give up on a cat with Saddle Thrombosis - Euthanasia is not necessarily the way to go.  It depends on the specific scenario.

Prognosis for a serious Thrombosis - is generally not very good.  But, with a smaller Thrombosis - or - with Good Luck with Meds/Treatments (!) - it can be.

 

The conditions I tried to help with advice here - sound like they could possibly be leg muscle weakness - possibly caused by inadequate nutrition or neurological problems - which often go undiagnosed.  And, they can possibly be more easily treated and reversed.  [I also saw that there was already at least one recommendation to rush a cat to the vet in case there is a blood clot. The options I offered may help - if this is NOT a blood clot.  I assume people looking for help - read everything.  But, maybe it is better to give another push here for people to have a cat with leg mobility problems - seen by a vet ASAP.]

Quote:
JDollPrincess  "I know this is a very old thread but for anyone searching I just wanted to make a comment. If your cat all the sudden can not use its hind limbs rush it to the nearest ER vet esp if their crying and/or there limbs are cold. Blood clots are horribly painful and they need immediate pain meds and blood thinners."

Yes, it is possible that the cats of SMOKEY46 and FLYTE could have/have had a Saddle Thrombosis - even if this condition is/was ongoing, and the back legs are/were not totally immobilized.  It could still possibly be a clot - but, maybe "smaller". 

 

SMOKEY46 really should get his cat to a vet ASAP.  If it is a Saddle Thrombosis - the cat IS in pain.  Pain from the clot may be what is causing the cat to not eat well - and to avoid being touched.  But, I don't think euthanasia is the way to go.  I believe a small clot is much easier to treat than a large one, and has a much better prognosis than the "norm".

 

And, apparently, Thrombosis is often associated with existing Heart Disease, which should also be checked for and treated.

Jackie Page


Edited by animalpal2014 - 1/24/15 at 7:58pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › older cat, back legs going out