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hi everyone...first timer here.
i have a 4 1/2 month old kitten named Alex P. Kitten (like on Family Ties!) who has recently developed problems with his hind legs. my wife and i always thought his hind legs looked long and awkward, but they are now starting to turn it seems. he walks on the inside edge of his foot, and the rest of the leg seems to turn inward toward the hip. he also seems to walk gingerly on his hind legs, though without any hint of pain. he doesnt run anymore, and cannot even keep his rear in the air when walking over any smooth surface. his outward-facing feet just go right out from under him. this is breaking our hearts considering we picked him up off the side of the road when he was just 7 weeks old, and he had ear mites, hookworms, a respiratory infection, and a tapeworm were still trying to get rid of. hes also polydactyl (sp?). this poor thing has been through so much already.
my question is...is there any kind of brace that can be used for a cat to properly align the legs until he gets used to bearing his weight the way hes supposed to? mind you this would probably need to be something that would align the leg all the way from the heel to the hip. i sincerely hope that theres something out there for Alex. any info or links would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance....
Nate - aka The FlyerFly
its not pet related, but heres my Philadelphia Flyers website
Cute name for him! Has he had xrays to find out what's going on? Yes, there are 3 splint companies that I'm aware of, but I don't know which is appropriate; you'll have to check them all out. Some require a RX. Another possibility is a custom product, like a human brace/splint. You should be aware that it isn't always easy to keep such things on a kitty; they're determined little fuzz butts with teeth and claws. It may also be possible to make something on your own, like using Vet Wrap and craft sticks or tongue depressors. I'm REALLY having a hard time "seeing" what he's doing...
Here are some splint links:
I can't find the 3rd link; maybe Debbie_Spain has it.
no he hasnt yet had xrays for the problem, but he has an appointment on Saturday with the Vet. im sure she will want to do some at that time. she has yet been unable to take a good look at his stride because the last time he was in her office, he had just gotten three shots and the thermometer (ick) and was in no mood to walk around.
i originally posted before my wife came home, and she told me something interesting she had heard while talking to a coworker. the coworker had once had a puppy with ricketts that resulted from an iron deficency after the pup was taken from the nursing mother too soon. since Alex was an abandoned kitten, and was badly malnurished to begin with, i suppose its possible he had also been away from the mother too soon and developed ricketts. in that case, my wife was told that meds and some time was all that was needed for the proper muscle development to catch up. i know im delving into Vets' knowledge here, but i thought it made alot of sense when i heard it.
as far as Alex's stance...ill try to describe it better. his front legs are fine, but when he walks, the portion of his leg from his hip to his knee leans inward toward his body. so his knees are almost right under his belly. then his knees all the way to his toes are pointed outward to the sides. its kinda weird to describe it this way, but it almost looks like hes squeezing his legs together to keep from peeing. i dont know how else to explain it. strange...
thanks for the links too ...
Nate - aka The FlyerFly
I'm a bit stumped on this one myself, but xrays are a must at this rate. Another thought that crosses my mind is luxating patellas (aka floating kneecaps) or a spinal injury from being an active kitten. I hate the word FIP, but this also pops into my head. It is a waste of money doing the test for it,however, as it tests for the presence of a corona virus. There's a lot of kitty corona viruses out there and to differentiate between them is hard.There are many symptoms which may or may not be indicative of FIP. Fevers on and off, along with either a ravenous appetite, or hardly any.There are a lot of various symptoms including gradual paralysis with the dry form which can take up to a year to develop. Wet form comes on much faster usually. The abdomen bloats up w/fluid, fevers, lethargy etc.I'd certainly get Alex checked out well by the vet, and take it from there.Chances are good he'll do fine with some help as he's still a baby! Keep us posted on the vet visit and give him a noserub from me and my gang.
i will be sure to keep yuz updated on Alex's condition.
i do have another couple questions though.
first, what kind of treatment would Alex have to go through for ricketts? was my wife's coworker correct when she said that mostly meds and time would do it? his condition has worsened in the last couple weeks, but he is getting all the nutrients he needs in the finest cat foods. i would certainly hope that meds and/or vitamin supplements would do the trick.
second, how do vets usually respond to the idea of a homemade splint or brace? are they usually pretty cooperative, or do they frown on it? i figure there are some orthopedics to consider if you are looking to create a custom brace yourself. what would i have to keep in mind, and where can i find the info i need to make a brace that wouldnt actually do more harm than good?
once again, i REALLY appreciate the help and input. Alex's vet appointment isnt until Saturday, and ive been really worried lately. perhaps im just so worried because being a first time cat owner, i have no idea what to expect. but this board has helped ease the tension, and given me some info i can actually use, rather than letting my worst fears get the best of me.
Nate - aka The FlyerFly
When TK was a baby she was the MOST bowlegged little monster anybody'd ever seen. By the time we messed around about what to do with it she outgrew it. We never got a dignosis but supposed it was some kind of rickets-type thing. TK was a bottle baby found at a day or 2 old. In humans rickets comes from a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium (can't remember exactly), so being malnourished may be a link.
Ok, I am familiar with bottle raising and abandoned kits but I am not familiar with rickets, so here are two links: Foster and Smith which is good general information. NOW I read that and am concerned for your kit!Especially since she didn't start out like this -- What is she eating?? I would make her kitten formula or kitten gruel, whichever she prefers. I have used Mothers Helper brand and KMR brand, both with very good results. I usually find that a kit/ cat likes one brand and not the other. I have adult cats that will beg for a little saucer of formula still if I am mixing it up for an abandoned kitten. The powder is much less expensive than the liquid and it is generally tolerated better by the gastrointestinal system. I know you have been thru the formula and gruel stages, so am trying not to offend you by suggesting up info you already know... but I would definately add it back into the diet, since kit seems to be lacking vitamins. A trip to Florida or someplace warm and sunny would probably do her a world of good too ( Vitamin D = sunshine vitamin) Now, I am not in a warm sunny area, but if someone would come take care of all my critters, I would be willing to take your kitten south! Just kidding.
Is your kitten over the respitory infection? The tapeworm will never actually go away; with the hookworm problem also I would talk to the vet about once a month routine worming if the vet has not already indicated it.Please keep posting, as I am very interested in how she is doing and how you make out. (I currently have three 6 week old beasts running around!)
link #1: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... icleid=651
There isn't any info on making braces and splints that I'm aware of; just a trial-and-error kind of thing unless you buy 1. If they think she has rickets, you might have to supplement her with calcium and/or vitamin D. You might check around for opinions on this.
hi Sandy. im sorry that i didnt reply to this post sooner...i just noticed it.
as far as Alex's condition, you can refer to my update post further up the thread list. in short, he has hip dysplasia. doesnt seem that ricketts is a factor. so i wouldnt think that vitamin deficency was a cause for concern. luckily, the prognosis is good, although i do have to keep an eye on his condition to determine when corrective surgery will be needed.
actually, his problems were always there, its just that the hip dysplasia has become very evident lately with the rapid weight gain he has been going through. his weight is still good for a kitten his age, but it is considerably more than hes ever had to carry. for instance, he went from 3 lbs 7 oz. to 4 lbs 14oz in a matter of three weeks. so the weight gain has been very quick.
however, i hadnt given him kitten formula in the past. i am a first time cat owner, and as i understood it from other cat owners, 6 weeks was the point at which the kitten can be weaned from the mother. perhaps i was misinformed? with that info, i didnt attempt to bottle feed him. i simply gave him some easily digestable food (because his digestive system was already a mess), which he was more than willing to scarf down. an emergency visit to the vet the day after i found him revealed more problems, but bottle feeding was never suggested by any of the 4 vets he saw in the first 2 weeks we had him. they were aware of his diet, and i suppose they felt that everything was ok with his diet at that point.
but now, at about 4 1/2 months old, he is in great health, with the obvious exception of his hip dysplasia. thank you for the concern. hopefully nothing else will pop up for awhile.
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