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My poor Scarlett (venting and vibes please)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Scarlett and her 2 littermates were born somewhere on our property and her feral mom brought the kittens up to our front porch to take care of them. We noticed that the mom wasn't doing very well by them, and on the day that we decided to intervene and take them from her, mom disappeared. Thankfully we had purchased the KMR and bottles that morning. They were about 3 weeks old at the time. Her littermates were adopted to good homes once they were weaned.

Scarlett's legs were somewhat malformed from malnutrician when we took her in. Her legs straightened out fairly quickly. In the last 3-1/2 years, she has always walked with a slight stoop in back, but nothing really appeared to hold her back from being a kitten then adult cat. She's a small girl at 6 pounds and we attribute a lot of that to her malnutrician so young.

Last night my husband did his normal routine with her. She was on the table and he swept her in his arms and tucked her under his sweatshirt (she loves to snuggle inside clothing). When he pulled her out to place her back on the table, she growled, hissed, swatted at him then tried to bite him. This is NOT Scarlett, who litterally worships the ground my husband walks on (she is HIS cat).

He quickly calmed her down by talking gently to her, then started the full body examination with soft strokes all over her body. When he got near her back hips, you could see her kick her legs ever so slightly and we knew that was the problem. She was gimping on her back legs last night but is better today (we hope).

So, please, oh please, let there be nothing seriously wrong with her. We are hoping that she just overplayed yesterday, got jostled, and my husbands handling of her just bumped the sore spot. But I suspect that this is the first showing of an illness that was brewing in her since we brought her into our lives. If she isn't completely normal by Monday, we bring her to the vets and start xrays, bloodwork, and whatever else we need to do to isolate the problem.

I've had 2 dogs with bone malformities from early malnutrician. They have tough lives, get arthritis early in their lives and need medication just to feel normal. Scarlett is so special to us that we don't want to see her go thru this. She is too young.

Yes, I'm venting, but would love some positive vibes that this is just overplaying injury and not something more serious.
post #2 of 24
Poor Scarlett I hope it's nothing and that she's a lot better over the weekend
post #3 of 24
Amy,

I hope you'll find it's just sore muscles and nothing as serious as you are fearing.
post #4 of 24
Poor little Scarlett I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing serious is wrong. Keep us updated.
post #5 of 24
I wonder if she has hip dysplasia? My little cat has this and while it never caused a problem when she was young, I saw a lot of arthritis forming on her latest set of xrays. I do notice that now that she is older she gets quite stiff. A dose of anti-inflammatory once and a while gets her through the damp weather. You could ask your vet what is available for your cat. He may want to take some x rays.
post #6 of 24
I have two kitties with hip problems. My vet recommended not letting them get overweight as a prevention and providing a warm place to sleep for the one that is already developing arthritis. They both get chondroitin and glucosamine, although I can't say if it helps. Buddy isn't bad enough yet to need anti-inflammatories, but that is going to happen I am sure. Elfie, the baby, has severe hip dysplasia but no arthritis yet. Buddy's arthritis is related to a hip fracture at some time in his feral life. I hope Scarlett is feeling better soon. I would sure like to hear what your vet recommends. Becky
post #7 of 24
What exactly is hip dysplasia?

And as for you and Scarlett, she will be fine. Whatever happens, she is loved and loved and loved...and that makes everything better. If it's a real problem, you will find out and be able to treat it. If it's just overplaying and sore muscles, then time will take care of it.

Hugs to you!

Best-
Michele
post #8 of 24
The hip socket is formed sort of like a ball and cup. The head of the femur is ball shaped, and fits into the socket, which is like a cup. Muscles, ligaments and tendons hold the femur into the acetabulum, the cup. In a cat (or dog) with hip dysplasia, the cup is not shaped enough like a cup, it is more like a soup plate, or in Elfie's case, like a saucer, barely curved at all. The ball of the femur is also deformed in some cases. Part of the problem is also a laxity of the muscles and tendons that hold it all together. So the ball of the femur slops around in the acetabulum with every step. That leads to wear and tear on the surfaces of the joint. The cartilage in the joint wears down and the body responds by adding bony tissue, called osteophytes. This is the process of arthritis. As the roughness of the joint increases, pain develops. There is inflammation which causes pain, too. In people and dogs, anti-inflammatories help, but that is a little trickier in cats, because they don't tolerate them well, although they are being able to take some of the newer ones. Eventually the pain limits their activity so much that they really don't want to move. The pain also causes them to just be miserable all the time. At this point, vets often recommend a surgery called femoral head osteotomy. This involves removing the head of the femur, eliminating the friction of the joint and decreasing the pain a lot. Since cats carry half of their weight on the front legs, this surgery is actually not too debilitating to them. I even had a cat that had to have it on both hips at once due to fractures, and he was walking again in a few days. Not well, but using the litter box. Within six months, he was able to jump as high as the kitchen counter. The vet did not expect him to ever be able to do that again. But in cats and dogs, something called a false joint develops. The muscles and scar tissue hold things together and they do quite well. This is probably way more than you wanted to know, I tend to go on with my explanations. Becky
post #9 of 24
Poor sweetheart. Hope she feels better real soon and its nothing too serious.

But I would at least have a vet check her out anyway to ease your mind.

Sphinx had bad arthritis in his lower back before he passed on and it bothered him in the mornings (he was on anti-inflammatories to help out).
post #10 of 24
Poor Scarlett. I'm sending good vibes her way - hopefully she just has some sore muscles.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Doolittle
I wonder if she has hip dysplasia? My little cat has this and while it never caused a problem when she was young, I saw a lot of arthritis forming on her latest set of xrays. I do notice that now that she is older she gets quite stiff. A dose of anti-inflammatory once and a while gets her through the damp weather. You could ask your vet what is available for your cat. He may want to take some x rays.
Actually, the first thought that went thru my head was hip dysplasia. And I will say that my gut instinct with my cats is usually right and that is what scares me the most.

I fostered a dog once that went thru hip dysplasia surgery. He was a medium sized dog, had full ball/socket replacement and didn't do terribly well after the surgery. That also scares me.

Scarlett looks about like yesterday - she is walking somewhat gingerly, but as she always walked with a stoop, it's hard to tell if I'm just over analyzing this and being paranoid. I was talking to a woman last night who adopted one of Scarlett's cousins. He is the male version of her (down to looks and personality) and she told me he also walks with a stoop in back. Picture a German Shepard stance and you get the picture.

*sigh*
post #12 of 24
There are three surgeries that they do for dogs. One is a hip replacement, costs a fortune and can only be done on bigger dogs. Another is a surgery on puppies that are identified with hip dysplasia before about nine months old and it involves cutting into the pelvic bones and moving the acetabulum so that it aligns better with the head of the femur. The third is the femoral head osteotomy. The only option for cats is the femoral head osteotomy because cats are so small, the other surgeries don't work for them. But because they are so small, the osteotomy works very well and most cats do fine afterwards, although they can't jump as well, but they have no pain anymore and become happy cats again. Becky
post #13 of 24
Sending positive vibes your way.
Please keep us updated.
post #14 of 24
Scarlett is in my thoughts!
post #15 of 24
Sending prayers for Scarlett
post #16 of 24
My prayers go out for Scarlett AND for you. I know how unsettling and worrisome it is when one of our furry babies isn't feeling well. It's scary and the waiting for a diagnosis is torture.

I hope all goes well.

Karen
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, by Monday she was almost herself and by Tuesday, she was chasing Stumpy all around the house and playing like I haven't seen her play for a while. As I watched her more closely than I usually do this week, I noticed that she is hissing at the dogs more than normal.

I have 150 pounds worth of year old puppies who are still highly rambunctious with their play and love to wrestle with each other. While we control a lot of that play while they are in the house, they still afterall, are puppies and like to wrestle with each other. The only time they interact with the cats is when they are all sleeping in piles on top of me, or when they accidentally bump into a cat while they are playing.

My guess is that they hit Scarlett hard last week while playing. Scarlett's hissing only happens when they are playing close to her, or if she is sitting in a window and they run up to that window (they like to see what's outside a lot). I can't imagine what 150 pounds of puppy hitting me would feel like if I were 6 pounds. They bump me sometimes and almost knock me over.

So, I'm hoping that this mystery is solved!!
post #18 of 24
You could be right Amy?!. Scarletts hissing at them might be her way of saying "Back off!!!".
post #19 of 24
Sending good vibes and hoping that maybe she just overdid it and will be fine in a couple of days. Hugs.
post #20 of 24
That's great, Amy, little Scarlett is back to herself again, playing and feeling well!
post #21 of 24
How many individual packages are those 150 pounds distributed among? It sounds like Scarlett must like them though, or they would have learned to respect her or be clawed. Becky
post #22 of 24
That makes purrfect sense...I think Scarlett has given you the answer!
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanniesmom
How many individual packages are those 150 pounds distributed among? It sounds like Scarlett must like them though, or they would have learned to respect her or be clawed. Becky
2 dogs, Sam and Spike (70 and 80 pounds respectively). Most of the cats are simply indifferent to the dogs. None dislike them, and some prefer their company. Last night Stumpy (alpha cat who loves dogs the best), had Sam in his place on the sofa. Sam wanted his bone and Stumpy wanted Sam to play with him. Sam sat their whining cause he knew not to mess with Stumpy when his mind was set on something. Oh for a video camera! Scarlett doesn't share that love, and typically saunters off if they get in the way of her being "the queen". Scarlett doesn't like to share the love. We joke that her attitude in life is "it's all about ME! ME! ME!".
post #24 of 24
Good to hear it's nothing major. She's still in my thoughts, though.
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