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Over the past couple years I've noted that there has always been some "action" with the hind legs and last summer, Sasha even stood on all fours for a few seconds at a time.
He has always "crawled on his knees" as an alternative to dragging and he manages to get up and down stairs without help.
Well, just now as I was going upstairs, Sasha started crying from down stairs, "Mama, take me with you", so rather than wait for him to claw his way up the stairs, I lifted his hind legs (wheelbarrow style) and let him climb with his front two legs, when lo and behold, he actually pulled his hind legs out of my hands and used his REAR LEGS to climb the last four or five steps!!! When he came into my room, he was walking on all fours, albeit severely knuckled-under on the rear legs!!!
I can not tell you what this means to me!
He has been more affectionate, more frisky, more vocal and more playful the last few weeks (even after two long car trips to PA back and forth).
I really believe that Sasha will walk again and can hardly believe what I just saw myself, but after two and a half years, with nothing beyond massaging and exercising his hind legs (the Nivalin hasn't even arrived yet), this was the most promising sign I've seen yet!
This is the first place I ran!!!
Maybe it was the smell of Spring that motivated him! We have a few females in the area and believe me, he knows when they are around!
The problem IS the knuckling under - it's very bad and even with daily manipulation of the ankle (do cats have ankles?), the area is not extending as it should. When I press my palms against the bottom of his paws to work the area, there is a great deal of trembling and the ligaments are very tight (seem to have shortened from lack of normal use). Any suggestions on a different method to exercise the area?
It is so amazing to see him stumbling around and actually sitting on his haunches instead of looking like a little boy playing jacks. He's not up completely, of course, but as soon as I stand him up, the rear legs are moving in sync as they should.
Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I don't always get notifications of new posts.
That's an affirmative on the contractions and two splints are on the top of my "next to purchase" list.critters wrote:The tight ligaments are are probably contracting; I suggest a splint.
How the other vets missed this is literally beyond comprehension...
Sasha has had eight x-rays not counting today, with four different vets, but only of the lower spine. I was about to have his tail x-rayed today, when I finally got a vet who did more probing and examining than any other have done.
It turned out, Sasha was shot with a 25 caliber (the vet said a 22 would have gone straight through) and it lodged in his spine.
This explains why the parasympathetic nerves have healed, but motor function from mid-spine to the tip of the tail has not.
So Sasha's little five step walk the other day was a complete fluke, unfortunately.
The radiographs are too large to upload here, so I added them to my website:
I do not believe any steps are a fluke. One thing I know is, when my dog began to walk, she would do something absolutely wonderful and thrilling I had never seen before and I'd be "over the moon" with the rapture of it, then she would not do it again for like...6 months or something. So once everything came together to where she could do something new, for some reason it did not mean she was suddenly up to a level of doing it consistently, but that didn't mean it wasn't there. I remember very well when I was reading about spinal injuries, and in humans it said (don't have the link, if you need it I can try to find it again) that only about 10% of function of the spinal cord is required for walking, in human spinal injury cases. I don't know, but I don't think we know exactly what they can and can't do, and what you see with your eyes may be more real than what logic tells you "should" be possible. The fact that you have never stopped daily PT has certainly given him a chance to maximize what he has been getting back. They say the spinal cord is plastic. I'm not stopping the celebrating one bit.
In retrospect, considering how the original owners abandoned him at the vet's in Bulgaria, after finding him on the side of the road a month or more after claiming to have thrown him out, I would bet 10 to 1, the husband was the one who shot him, left him for dead and told the wife he ran away. I would also bet it was the wife who made the husband take the cat to the vet and when the vet first suggested x-raying the cat, the husband said they would come back the next day. That's when my friend offered to pay the 15 leva ($10) for the x-ray and when the vet went back to x-ray him, the husband feared the vet finding the bullet during the x-ray and forced the wife to leave as well. It all makes perfect sense knowing how things work in Bulgarian villages.
The wound from the bullet had already healed by the time Sasha was brought in. The irony here is, none of us, from the day Sasha was abandoned at the vet's, ever saw any sign of a puncture or any visible injury on his back. There were visible bite wounds from other animals on his face and scratches on his legs, but nothing on his back.
This time, I went in specifically to have his tail x-rayed, thinking something was pinched back there that we missed. This vet asked the right questions and made statements that finally started making sense, especially his explanation about the parasympathetic nerves healing, but not regaining motor function. He said the injury could not be in the tail and was ready to walk away saying the x-ray would be fruitless, but you could see this guy was actually thinking and something struck him. He started pinching every one of Sasha's toes with a medical clamp and only one toe on his right side didn't produce a reaction. He proceeded to go up his spine, from the tip of his tail with a needle probe. The area a little above his shoulders did not twitch, so he repeated the probe several times.
Again, another vet was baffled, and he shrugged his shoulders and could only think it was some sort of brain lesion affecting the hind motor nerves. I asked if trauma through a bite could have caused it and he said it was possible, but only an MRI could tell the complete story.
Having just had a C spine and lumbar MRI myself the day before and looking at my injuries and where the pain radiates to, seemingly incongruous at times, I mentioned all the previous x-rays and said we never x-rayed his upper body. I figured, why not? So that's what we did. The other vet who usually sees Sasha was called in and every vet tech in the place came back into the room with him after the x-rays were complete.
The second he brought it up on the computer screen, I just shook my head in disbelief. You could see the outline of the top ridged part of the bullet as clear as day. He didn't feel surgery is a viable option and may cause more harm than good because of the location, but at least the mystery was finally solved.
I completely agree with you about the levels of activity Sasha goes through and although everything is going very slowly, he may take a step back, but he always rebounds by three. Finally received the Nivalin I was waiting for and I am going to start another round of injections. Nivalin has many uses, including but not limited to:
Nivalin increases the intensity of nerve impulses leading to the muscle tissues, increases muscle contractions and their duration.
IN NEUROLOGY NIVALIN IS APPLICABLE IN:
Neuritis, myopathies, myasthenia, progressive muscular dystrophy, cerebral paralysis in childhood, cerebral palsy in neonates.
The combination of PT and the Nivalin may just do the trick. His hind muscles have suffered more atrophy, but the Nivalin built the muscles up in a matter of 2 months the last time and he is so much stronger than he was two years ago.
Thank you for the pep talk!
I wish my spine looked as good as Sahsa's!
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
The reason he appeared to have momentarily regained use of his hind legs was not a miracle, but a disaster in the making.
Sasha's calcium and phosphorus levels had shot through the roof, causing both the twitching and the "locking" of his legs in a "walking" position.
I can't even write at this point, but the link above will tell the story.
that is a LAME excuse
fluids can make a huge difference in so many conditions, i am floored that anyone would simply write them off becuase the cat has thick skin.
Lance's skin had clogged and bent needles. he still shots, and if he needs fluids you better bet he will get them.
as stated in teh previous reply, just give them somewhere else. it may be trickier, they may complain more, but some treatments are worth the trouble and fluids are one of them!
one of the vets at myh clinic told me she actually had to use the side of the needle to cut a slit in Lance's skin because just sticking him clogged the needle and bent the tip.
please smack your vet for me.
i really really hope the fluids will help bring down his mag/calc levels.
many purrrrs for him and you.
forever in my heart
i am not the same without you.