or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Physiotherapy for cats
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Physiotherapy for cats

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

Have any of you any thoughts on physio for cats. Tarka is getting very bad again. She slides along the floor most of the time and occasionally stands up to try and walk. I have left a message for the specialist vet to call me and am going to take her in tomorrow - but would physio help do you think? Have any of you any experience with giving cats physio? I don't want her to have to have myleograms and stuff again. Besides being expensive, after she was totally paralysed last time, I am a little wary of them.

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 10
Shadowfein, I read all your posts concerning Tarka, and am wondering about your "specialist"...what does he specialize in, and have you ever considered a second opinion on Tarka's injuries? What did your specialist discuss with you in terms of medical management, long term therapy and recovery prognosis?

Since you mentioned she had a collapsed disk, physiotherapy may not be the appropriate approach, but this also depends on the type of injury that caused the problem, what your vet found (and/or corrected during surgery), and what now seems to be an awfully slow recovery since surgery. Did your specialist say if this was a congenital defect or caused by a trauma?

For these reasons, I would strongly suggest a second opinion by a professional feline neurologist to rule out neurological disfunction and neuropathies rather than disk-related only. Was a serology for infectious/viral/fungal disease ever done, and was a CSF test ever done? (cerebral spinal fluid). When was Tarka's last x-ray, and did the disk appear to be healing/aligning, or is there still slipping and inflammation?

I think you would benefit more from a second opinion from a feline neurologist, you should be able to consult with one from a nearby veterinary university (or your current specialist should be consulting for you, or referring you)..............................Traci
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi Traci

Thanks for your reply. She has a congenital defect - a hemi-vertebrae - which they found by doing x-rays and a myleogram in July. They operated on her in July, and she was getting better. Since then, her walking has degenerated again. She had another myleogam and x-ray done in October to see what the problem was. There was no compression on her spinal cord and her disks had fused nicely. So they did not know. They gave her cortisone at that stage.

The specialist has the following qualifications - B.V.Sc (Hons, MMedVet Medicine). The vet that operated on her originally (his partner) has these: B.V.Sc (Hons, MMedVet Surgery). The practice web site is here: http://www.fourwaysvet.co.za/fourwaysvet/index.html

Unfortunately, these are the best guys in SA essentially. There is another centre in Cape Town but they referred me back to them. I spoke to the specialist last night and he wants me to bring her in tomorrow so he can do a check up and so that we can determine the best course of action.

I will ask him about the tests that you have suggested. Before we knew about her back, I was at my normal vet just about every week and I know that a lot of tests were done on her then.

Long term prognosis - they have said that it is very rare in cats - they had only ever heard of one other case. They said that the prognosis was good. She isn't in any pain, and she can go to the toilet on her own, in her box. She is perfectly happy. She is very loved and she can get onto the bed (albeit pulling herself up by her claws! You must see what my bed linen looks like!!). She gets plenty of attention and my other cat (a siamese who is totally fine) is very sweet and washes her and they play together. So her quality of life is fine - I suppose I put my feelings across and I know that I would be very frustrated.

When you say that physio might not be the best thing, why is that? Would it cause more damage?

Thanks for your help.
post #4 of 10
This cat is blessed you are in her life!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hissy, she has blessed me by being in my life. She has taught me so much! And i really do love her with all my heart!
post #6 of 10
I cautioned against physiotherapy mainly because I didn't know what else your vet team had done toward testing and if the disk was indeed fused properly. If the fusion is good at this point, and there are no other obvious spinal problems, in my opinion I would consider the next step investigating a neurological disfunction that could be secondary to the primary problem. (i.e., nerve damage, neuromuscular damage, even ruling out a spinal leasion that could have gone undetected in the beginning). Did your vet team ever rule out bone problems such as myelopathies? Was a bone aspirate ever done, did x-rays ever reveal calcification anywhere, or weakened bone structure? (and this may be reaching, but were early nutritional deficiencies ever ruled out during her development?).........................Traci
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi there

Just some feedback. The vet saw her and we have determined on the following course of treatment:

1) She is back on cortisone and in just 2 days has shown a marked improvement! I am so happy. So he is going to tailor a long-term treatment plan for her.
2) I have to do physio every morning and night. He said that her back legs were very tense and stiff. And that is what I have to "break". So I have to gently bend and flex her legs.
3) She has to lose 1,5 kgs - he says that will help a lot.

Long term prognosis - this is prolly as good as it will get. He says that it takes about 6 months for the nerves that would have regenerate to do so. He says that it is a definite neurological problem. He says what worries him, is if another disk goes or if she gets worse.

But he agrees with me, she is a very content and happy cat. He says that she has very good "Paw reflexes?" Not sure if that is the right word. He holds her and puts her paws down on the table with the top underneath (if that makes sense?) - and then she pulls it right.

We discussed the nutitional aspect, he doesn't think that it would be that as she is pedigreed and her breeder fed her on Iams. He is going to check with my normal vet what other tests were done.

Thanks for your help. I am really happy though because she is showing a marked improvement. She is standing now more than dragging herself around. And when I went to fetch her in from the garden, she actually jumped!

post #8 of 10
It sounds like you have the veterinary end of things well covered. Have you looked into massage and/or TTouch? Maryjean Ballner has a book & tape out for cats & I believe Linda Tellington-Jones has info on cats. YOu should verify with your vet that this would be safe first, but it could improve muscle tone. My cats love being massaged!
Deb E
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Deb

Where would I find this? On Amazon?
post #10 of 10
I know Amazon has Maryjean Ballner's cat massage book & tape - I would assume there is something on TTouch there as well - Linda Tellington Jones is that author.
Deb E
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Physiotherapy for cats