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Cat with sacral fracture/broken tail

For those seeking advice on caring for incontinent pets and animals with kidney-related problems.

Cat with sacral fracture/broken tail

Postby skissman » Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:18 pm

My boy Link has a spinal fracture at the junction where spine ends and tail begins. We are about 2 wks past the injury.
His tail is limp and he is incontinent.
Vet showed us how to express him, offered us a stool softener and wished us luck. He hinted at euthanasia.

Expression is going ok. He doesn't like it much. We don't use the stool softener much because tootsie rolls are easier to deal with than diarrhea.

I express him before we go to bed (and several times a day), but he still leaks when he is sleeping.
Diapers have been interesting.
Suggestions? What do I have to look forward to long term?
His quality of life seems good, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. (just a bunch in the wash LOL)

Susan K
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My boy Link
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Cats with Broken tails

Postby Dianne » Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:27 pm

Have you read this?

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ca ... tails.html

Group four:
Cats with Lack of Tail Mobility and Sensation and Diminished Anal Tone

This group of cats has about a 75% recovery rate, meaning 75% of the cats that fit this description should recover.


Group five:
Cats with Lack of Tail Mobility and Sensation Plus a Dilated/Flaccid Anus (ie Zero Anal Tone)

This group of cats has about a 50% recovery rate, meaning about half of the cats with this description will eventually recover.
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare
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Cats with Broken tails

Postby skissman » Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:35 pm

Actually that was the first thing I read before we took him in. Vets simply aren't open at 10pm on a Saturday night.
He wasn't shocky, not in terrible pain, so we crated him and took him in on Monday morning. I was leaning toward pelvic injury, and hoping it wasn't spinal. :cry: How long can recovery take?
He is still a bit unco-ordinated, but able to run and jump up to a chair. Grouchy too. :-)
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Postby critters » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:24 am

Image He looks a lot like Buddy, in my avatar!!

Is his tail broken, or does he have only a spinal cord injury? I'd think it'd take longer if the bone(s) are broken. Did he take pred? Buddy's SCI was a lot higher, but he took pred for weeks, which helped him regain function.

Be careful with skipping a stool softener; it's not uncommon that SCI critters develop megacolon. We found that laculose was cheap, yummy, effective, and not so strong as to cause diarrhea, which is truly an adventure when it comes to incontinence!! :shock:

If you choose to try diapers, you will want to keep the pee off his skin since I'll put cat pee up against ANYTHING for corrosiveness!! You can shave his butt and use a barrier spray like Cavilon, which is now widely available as the 3M first aid spray (I'll get the link later--gotta go).
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Cavilon

Postby Dianne » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:53 am

Image

"Designed to protect intact or damaged skin from urine, feces, other body fluids, tape trauma, and friction."

Many internet sources..as well as local drugstores.

http://www.homecaredelivered.com/catalog/prod2920.php
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare
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Postby critters » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:56 pm

:thankyou: Dianne!!
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Postby skissman » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:19 pm

It's definitely a spinal cord injury. The break looked like about 1/4-1/2 in separation. He is walking fine, with a little weakness. His balance is off, but I expected that with the loss of his "tail-ability".
We currently are using the diaper only at night. I wash his butt good in the mornings. (He loves that- NOT!) I can monitor where he is all day, but can't at night. He's miserable being confined so we figured the diaper was a good alternative.

Has anyone here done long-term care for a guy like this?
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acupuncture

Postby Natasha » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:02 am

I have an 8 month old kitten who suffered a severe spinal injury sometime very early in her life. She was having difficulty fully emptying her bladder, and seemed to lack some awareness of when she had to go, and it was getting worse. We were referred to a veterinary neurologist, who in turn referred us to a veterinary acupuncturist. My kitten is seeing her one day every two weeks, and the results have been amazing! Her bladder is now fully emptying, and we have seen some very noticeable increase in her back leg usage!

They can be difficult to find, but for your situation, it sounds like maybe a great option. The acupuncture helps increase nerve stimulation to the injured area, which helps with the healing process and increasing muscle tone, among other things (you'd have to ask an acupuncturist!)

I don't know where you live, but if you happen to live in the Seattle area, I can give you my vet's information (all vet acupunturists must be fully acredited veterinarians.)
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Postby critters » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:09 pm

:group: Natasha!!
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Accupuncture

Postby skissman » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:01 pm

I just got a referral to a accupuncturist- I'll see when we can get an appointment.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Susan K :lol:
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Postby Natasha » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:25 pm

Thanks for the welcome, critters, and good luck skissman! I am curious to know how it works for your kitty :D
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How is your kitty?

Postby SushisMom » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:09 pm

I was researching this condition this morning when I came across your post. How is you cat doing now? My cat broke his tail recently. I took him to the vet on Saturday but they were unable to do much more than xray him to determine that there was a fracture b/c of his pain level. I took him back yesterday b/c I noticed he was not urinating and they told me he had no anal tone and was not expressing his urine. They kept him overnight and are keeping him until Saturday to express his bladder frequently. This morning his had a little anal tone and said it was easier to empty his bladder and that that was a good sign. I am hoping his nerves heal so he does not remiain incontinent. We will probably still have to amputate his tail eventually. But did your kitty regain the use of his urinary/fecal functions? Wishing you the best!
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Postby critters » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:49 pm

:slant: Sushi's Mom! Have you seen the red "sticky" on this bb? You can get LOTS of hints about expressing and "poop on demand." If I were you, I'd consider bringing him home Friday, instead of Sat, so you can take him back on Sat. during office hours if you have a problem expressing him (or any other problem, for that matter). Make sure they show you how to express before he comes home; yes, it'll take more practice than that, but it's a start. I'd also have some ideas in place in case there's a problem on Sun (do they have office hours, can you call somebody in, do you go to an ER, etc).

Is your baby on pred or other steroid? This is, in my opinion and the vets', the reason my Buddy got back as much function as he did. Yes, they drink, and pee, more, but it reduces inflammation in the spinal cord. Buddy took it for months, but your baby probably wouldn't need it nearly as long.
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Thanks!

Postby SushisMom » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:01 pm

Thank you for the welcome! Yes my baby is on Prednisone, Torbutrol and Clavamox b/c he also had an abcess from a cat bite on his back but it is healing nicely. I noticed he started moving a lot more once we started the prednisone but it took me a day or two to realize he wasn't uinating. He was having BM's sometimes in the litter box and sometimes not but then I realized he was drinking a ton and no wet spots in the litter box at all. I am just praying right now that he regains function b/c my vet told me if he doesn't regain it at all then putting him down might be the next step and I am NOT at all ok with that. I don't want him to be in any pain and I don't want him to have to deal with chronic bladder infections either. I just want to make the best decision for him and I want to try everything I can to give him an opportunity to have time to heal. I will for sure ask about who I can call on Sunday if I am having trouble expressing him. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Thanks!

Postby critters » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:36 pm

SushisMom wrote: I am just praying right now that he regains function b/c my vet told me if he doesn't regain it at all then putting him down might be the next step and I am NOT at all ok with that. .
Nope, you don't have to at all. It took Buddy months to get his pee control back, and, even then, sometimes it was iffy. As long as you're committed to expressing 3 or 4 times a day, as MANY people on this bb do, he should do well. That doesn't mean he'll never get a UTI, because even able-bodied critters, including humans, do. I never had to do poop-on-demand with Buddy, because expressing pee would express poop first about 50% of the time. :lol: I expressed him into a baby diaper for convenience.
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