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Some vets have a hard time expressing, and MANY of them think that we plain-old-people (AKA non-vets) can't do it. Normal xrays aren't uncommon, and may be downright typical. Have you tried a 2nd opinion? I completely agree that it's probably a spinal cord injury, whether from a fall or a tail pull, but I'm concerned about this vet. MANY vets aren't willing or able to deal with handicappers, so you may have to kiss some frogs before you find a good one! Teaching you to express will take some time on his/her part, and on yours, but it's not likely to be impossible. Many people here do or have done exactly that, even with big dogs! Cats are usually pretty doable because of their size.Mncats90 wrote:Hello! I’m really hoping someone has experienced something similar to what my cat is currently going through. On Sunday I returned home after being away for the weekend and my 10 year old male cat attempted to stand but couldn’t use his back legs and so after an attempt just laid back down. We have a couple cameras in our house and can confirm he was walking normally Saturday night around 11:30pm and based on the state we found him in I’d say he had been injured closer to when we returned home at 4pm. Immediately we brought him to the vet. They took X-rays and blood work, at this point he began to shuffle in a plantigrade stance with a better use of his right leg than his left leg. In my experience, plantigrade and a bit better use of 1 leg are typical of a mild spinal cord injury, like a tail pull. At the time of this first appointment he had anal tone but not the normal level, he had no feeling in his tail. His X-rays look normal. She attempted to express him to check for urinary blockage and got a little bit of urine but not much. Blood work was all good, no diabetes. She felt comfortable that we could bring him home and suggested we don’t let him use stairs. We brought him Home. His movement increased but he was still walking plantigrade and with his left foot pointed slightly out to the side. fast forward to Monday evening he still had not peed but had leaked constantly the entire day. He walked into his box once or twice but he just stood there then walked back out, no digging or squatting it was odd. We brought him to the ER because it was clear he was uncomfortable and we were worried he had not urinated. The ER vet tried to express him for all of 15-20 seconds before she decided she wanted to catheter him and keep him overnight. The next day they called to tell us they felt it was either 1. IVDD 2. A tail pull 3. Meningitis 4. Cancer. They felt they could rule out meningitis and cancer due to having no other symptoms and a great appetite and overall demeanor. A surgeon examined his X-rays and said he felt there was no need for surgery and his spine looked good. They then Had a neurologist examine him and she was also not sure but wanted to do an MRI, she explained the MRI probably wasn’t worth doing if we weren’t willing to do the disc surgery (if that’s even what’s wrong) which we were quoted $10k for, unfortunately it’s not possible for us especially with them only taking prepayment. She then told us we could do the second best option which is steroids (one injection every day) and rest. We went with this option. On Tuesday night they pulled his catheter to see if he would pee on his own. At around 7 am after he still hadn’t they reinserted it. they told us he leaked while it was removed. They also told us they tried to express him but it was very difficult and they never got a stream only small squirts. When we saw him on Wednesday he seemed to have regained more use of legs, he’s still firmly in plantigrade stance but his left foot straightened out, he seems stronger, and he is slightly higher off his heels. Today (Thursday) when we saw him he didn’t have any change in his legs from yesterday but they pulled his catheter at 7pm in an attempt to see if he can pee tonight on his own or second best case be expressed. We saw him for an hour and a half after his catheter was pulled and he had no leaking. I spoke to the tech at 1030pm and she confirmed then he still had no leaking. I’m hoping this is a good sign? He’s also not pooped- when he was brought in he was tending to drop stools seemingly without notice or control so I’m also hoping this stopping is a good sign. The hardest part of this is we have no idea what happened. IVDD is rare in cats and he’s shown no signs of back pain prior to this at all. I thought of one slightly crazy way his tail could have been pulled but idk if I’m grasping at straws. He is eating and his appetite has never gone away. The issue is, the vets seem to think he’s this impossible cat to express. If he can’t be expressed and won’t pee on his own they’re telling us we need to say goodbye to him and let him be put down. I’ve been doing as much reading and researching as I can but no ones story seems to fit quite right especially since we have normal xrays and no idea what happened. Any ideas or stories or really anything is appreciated.
Mncats90 wrote:Hey thanks for the response! They did rule out saddle thrombosis and his heart is good. He’s begun to empty his bladder on his own so we don’t need to express him. Now he’ll go into the litter box and a squirt of urine will come out he’ll leave the litter box and empty his bladder on a pee pad either while sitting or laying right after. There seems to be either a delay or he’s tensing his muscles so hard when he’s squatting because of his back leg weakness that he can’t actually fully release until he sits or lays. I’m hoping bladder control will improve if/when his legs improve. This has been so difficult but he seems to be making improvement albeit slowly. Two veterinarians told me to put him down during the first few days after his started. Makes me so sick since he seems like he may pull through this.
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