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Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue, and CH (cerebellar hypoplasia), or brain damage.
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Shan0870
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New to this

Post by Shan0870 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:35 pm

Hello!!

I just found this site and I cannot Express the relief I felt reading through some of the posts that I'm not alone with my little dude!

A little back story on my kitty Gooby. About 5 years ago I worked with him, he was semi feral stray. Over the next year, I gained his trust and he eventually I convinced him he wanted to become a member of my family. He is between 8 and 10 (best estimate) and is FIV+, but has had no health complications from it up to this point.

About 6 weeks ago Gooby was having difficulty jumping. He would hesitate before making the jump.

Then about 3 weeks ago he was falling over occasionally when he would try to run.

Then 2 weeks ago he was falling over everytime he tried to walk.

And finally, he is completely rear leg paralyzed and had lost most of his rear leg muscle tone.

He was diagnosed by our vet with severe arthritis, given an antibiotic as a precautionary measure, and is on one low dose baby aspirin every 3 days for inflammation.

He is still very alert, trying to be active (dragging himself and using front paws to climb), eating, and besides his rear leg malfunction he is his normal self.

He has slowly stopped visiting the litterbox, at least from what we can tell and leaves pretty decent sized wet spots where ever he is laying, so I believe his bladder is functioning ok.

He is not having bowel movements very often, a very small one every couple days. I am beginning to think maybe he needs some help in that department.

My question to anyone who made it this far reading my rambling...

How difficult is it for someone who is untrained to follow the online directions for expressing bowels? I'm concerned I'll hurt him or make it worse. I need a little reassurance!

Should I buy him a wheel chair cart? I've read mixed reviews.

Any ideas on what I can do in my home to help him with his legs, besides a massage?

I'm driving myself insane trying to come up with ideas because minus the paralysis he is acting normal, so a lot of what I've read online doesn't apply. I think this is a you have to find someone whose been in a similar situation to really understand and learn.

Thank you so much!!

Shannon

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critters
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Re: New to this

Post by critters » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:33 am

:whale: Poop is pretty easy. Have you read the tips on the Wiki? The fact that he's leaving puddles doesn't mean that his bladder's OK; he may be leaking when he's overfull, and leaking itself can lead to skin breakdown. I'd express him, which is squeezing his bladder through his belly wall so that he can pee. You can then pee him into a baby diaper or whatever and get rid of it. What ain't in can't leak out! Let me see if I can find the link(s) to the Wiki, then I'll come back a post another with the rest of your questions...

OK, here's the link to all articles: https://www.handicappedpets.com/pet-article-library/
poop: https://www.handicappedpets.com/blog/bo ... nent-pets/
expressing cats: https://www.handicappedpets.com/blog/ho ... t-bladder/

BTW, Carol, the articles look GREAT! I hadn't looked at or for them in a long time.

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critters
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Re: New to this

Post by critters » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:36 am

Shan0870 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:35 pm
Hello!!

I just found this site and I cannot Express the relief I felt reading through some of the posts that I'm not alone with my little dude!

A little back story on my kitty Gooby. About 5 years ago I worked with him, he was semi feral stray. Over the next year, I gained his trust and he eventually I convinced him he wanted to become a member of my family. He is between 8 and 10 (best estimate) and is FIV+, but has had no health complications from it up to this point.

About 6 weeks ago Gooby was having difficulty jumping. He would hesitate before making the jump.

Then about 3 weeks ago he was falling over occasionally when he would try to run.

Then 2 weeks ago he was falling over everytime he tried to walk.

And finally, he is completely rear leg paralyzed and had lost most of his rear leg muscle tone.

He was diagnosed by our vet with severe arthritis, given an antibiotic as a precautionary measure, and is on one low dose baby aspirin every 3 days for inflammation.

He is still very alert, trying to be active (dragging himself and using front paws to climb), eating, and besides his rear leg malfunction he is his normal self.

He has slowly stopped visiting the litterbox, at least from what we can tell and leaves pretty decent sized wet spots where ever he is laying, so I believe his bladder is functioning ok.

He is not having bowel movements very often, a very small one every couple days. I am beginning to think maybe he needs some help in that department.

My question to anyone who made it this far reading my rambling...

How difficult is it for someone who is untrained to follow the online directions for expressing bowels? I'm concerned I'll hurt him or make it worse. I need a little reassurance!

Should I buy him a wheel chair cart? I've read mixed reviews. If you want to try it, I'd use a homemade or borrowed cart first. Cats tend to dislike them and typically prefer to find their own way.

Any ideas on what I can do in my home to help him with his legs, besides a massage? Hydrotherapy (water) typically helps, but cats don't necessarily want to play ball with that.

I'm driving myself insane trying to come up with ideas because minus the paralysis he is acting normal, so a lot of what I've read online doesn't apply. I think this is a you have to find someone whose been in a similar situation to really understand and learn.

Thank you so much!!

Shannon

Shan0870
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:04 pm

Re: New to this

Post by Shan0870 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:45 pm

Thank you so much for the links!! I will definitely try and Express his bladder and bowels as soon as my husband gets home to help hold him.

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CarolC
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Re: New to this

Post by CarolC » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:52 pm

critters wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:33 am
BTW, Carol, the articles look GREAT! I hadn't looked at or for them in a long time.
Thanks, but I had nothing to do with them. :) They are not actually the wiki articles, looks like they are blog posts somebody did, I've never seen them either. It appears they took bits of the wiki info, or some of the wiki pictures, then added other info and pictures. I agree they are attractive to look at, but one of the most informative parts of the wiki articles on expressing bladder and bowel is the list of links to videos demonstrating how to do it. Looks like those links are not included on the blog. (Sadly, the wiki software has not allowed uploading or editing pics in many, many years. I have a list of edits I would like to do on the articles and am unable to.)

Here are links to the wiki articles if you want to see some youtube videos with demonstrations. Just scroll to the end of each article to see the list of videos, divided by cats and dogs.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16027

Shanna, I don't think you will hurt him. On the videos you'll see there isn't a lot of pressure and you are not squeezing the spine, just the abdomen. You kind of figure things out by feeling around. If you suspect he is backed up, you might consider taking him to the vet for an enema to get him somewhat cleaned out, and ask the vet about putting him on a stool softener such as Miralax or lactulose syrup to regulate his stool quality. Then when you start expressing daily you can prevent him getting constipated again. They recommend giving canned food if you are trying to avoid constipation, and it is easy to stir Miralax into canned. It's great, it is crystals (looks like sugar but it's not of course) and seems to be flavorless, you don't have to give your kitty a pill or a syringe or dropper of medicine, just mix it in the food.

I do not know if your kitty was given any x-rays when he was diagnosed. It seems like this advanced rather quickly for arthritis, but I'm not a vet. I had a bunny whose symptoms were similar to what you describe, and it turned out to be a spinal tumor (diagnosed on x-rays). I think I would want to be sure that was ruled out. Also, the vet or a specialist should be able to test his feet for deep pain sensation. As far as I know (I could be wrong??) arthritis does not cause paralysis. It is hard to tell whether he is wetting because he has sensation in his feet but simply can't get up and run to the litter box due to arthritis, or whether he is having a neurological problem that is causing progressive rear end paralysis that is affecting the bladder. A good vet or a specialist could check his reactions in his feet. I know cats can get spondylosis that can affect the nerves. I guess I just want to be sure it's really arthrits. The fact that your vet also gave an antibiotic because he wasn't sure kind of makes me wonder if getting a second opinion might be a good idea.

I agree that the fact that he is leaving a puddle where he lays may not be voluntary, it may be overflow from a full bladder, and I agree expressing would be the answer there.

:confetti:

Shan0870
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:04 pm

Re: New to this

Post by Shan0870 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:14 pm

Thanks! We expressed his bladder (was not much in there). He did have his own bowel movement (very decent amount and what we think is his colon now feels empty). Our normal vet is pretty old and sometimes i think he is a little outdated on information and treatment plans. I made an appointment this afternoon with a more modern vet for a 2nd opinion next week. Hopefully, they will be willing to do xrays and maybe some bloodwork and give us either the same diagnosis of arthritis or maybe something else with a treatment plan or at least ideas for at home.

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CarolC
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Re: New to this

Post by CarolC » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:50 pm

Good news about the pottying. Yay! And glad you had already made an appointment for a second opinion. I would love to know what you find out.

Wanted to share this video about Pookie. It's a wonderful general video about living with a paralyzed cat. Pookie does not have arthritis, but it sounds like your kitty is getting around OK with his front legs, so maybe his front legs are not bothering him as much?



I do not know if your kitty is long haired or short haired, but if he is getting wet, it can be helpful to shave or at least trim the fur around his bottom in the areas that are getting wet. It could be done at home with a hair clipper or mustache/sideburns trimmer, or the vet could do it at your appointment. They call it a sanitary clip.

Not sure if you have had enough time to observe him since this all happened fairly quicky, but I wonder if he is able to get into position to groom his hindquarters. My Betsy couldn't, and she was not paralyzed but very creaky in old age. This is an entirely different subject and not high on the list of concerns, but you may need to clean between his paw pads on his hind feet periodically if he isn't doing it himself. I never knew, but cats have normal secretions in between their pads that build up and need to be cleaned out, my vet calls it "toe goo". :D My kitty Piper had her feet done ever 3 weeks. The cotton makeup squares used for cleaning would come away kind of orange-ish. The groomer was using some kind of special veterinary cleanser, but she told me I could do it with chlorhexidine like you buy at Walgreen's.

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critters
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Re: New to this

Post by critters » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:22 pm

If it's a disc problem don't be surprised if nothing shows up on xrays, but I think it sounds pretty positive!

Shan0870
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Re: New to this

Post by Shan0870 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:39 pm

Thank you for all your guidance.

Unfortunately, today Gooby sudden lost all use of his front paws and after sleeping in my lap for a while he passed away. His symptoms today lead me to believe it was something more heart related.

He was the best little dude! It won't let me attach his picture, says file is too large.

Again, thank you for all your insight and helpful links!

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Re: New to this

Post by CarolC » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:37 am

Oh, no! This is completely unexpected. Thank goodness he went so peacefully and he was with you. I don't remember anything like this happening before. It is a complete shock. I'm sorry the software won't post really large pictures. I usually reduce them in www.online-image-editor.com or www.tinypng.com

I wish I knew what to say. I know you were going to do everything to make his life happy. I'm so sorry for your untimely loss. I guess every day is precious and we just never know. :cry:

Shan0870
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Re: New to this

Post by Shan0870 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:30 am

Not the greatest picture once i realized it, but this is Gooby being my little love bug baby! This is his final picture.
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critters
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Re: New to this

Post by critters » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:24 am

Aww, I'm sorry for your loss. :cry:

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