How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CriticalCareVet Your Own Question
CriticalCareVet
CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
17828336
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
CriticalCareVet is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

why are my elderly cats back legs and paws swollen like she

This answer was rated:

why are my elderly cat's back legs and paws swollen like she has fluid retention?

CriticalCareVet :

Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a licensed veterinarian and would be glad to help!

CriticalCareVet :

1) When did this start?

CriticalCareVet :

2) Is she an indoor only cat?

CriticalCareVet :

3) What is the heart condition she was diagnosed with?

Customer:

i only noticed the swollen legs today but se was diagnosed with heart problem 18 months ago - heart is pumping very fast. she is indoor cat at night only outdoors during the day part time on our patio

CriticalCareVet :

Was the heart tested in any way/

Customer:

vet was more concerned with her consistent of protein and abnormal creatine levels which is what he initally medicated her for

Customer:

sorry he was concerned with her loss of protein levels

CriticalCareVet :

The swelling can be from several causes:

- Primarily the heart and poor circulation and flow

- Low protein levels

- Lymphatic drainage issues

- There are times when abdominal disease or a belly mass can lead to poor flow of blood / lymphatics and BACK leg swelling (not front)

- Trauma (unlikely with your history)

- Infection

If the protein levels were low, the question is why and that needs to be addressed.

- Is this loss through the kidneys OR loss through the intestines (most common causes) and based on that information what do we need to do to reverse these signs.

If the heart has not been tested well for, a consideration would be to see a cardiologist. At that time, an ultrasound of the heart would be done - and this would tell you exactly what was wrong with the heart, and what exact medications would be needed to make this better.

This link should also help:

http://www.petplace.com/cats/echocardiogram-in-cats-cardiac-ultrasound/page1.aspx

Customer:

my main concern now is , is she in pain and suffering? should I urgently take her to the vet now or can I wait until morning as i is 9:45 PM friday night here

CriticalCareVet :

It would be uncommon for the hind leg swelling to be a life threatening emergency as long as there are no other signs...

CriticalCareVet :

- Breathing changes

CriticalCareVet :

- A fever

CriticalCareVet :

- Vomiting

CriticalCareVet :

If no other signs are seen and nothing else omitted from the history, seeing the primary veterinarian in the morning would be reasonable.

Customer:

she has been breathing quite heavily /deeply but this has been common since her illness was diagnosed awhile ago - i put that down to the fast racing heart, she is resting now but every few minutes sits back up in the sphinx position, she used to vomit alot months ago but since taking her off the meds that stopped and now only vomits once in awhile which is normal but this morning she did vomit what looked like bile

CriticalCareVet :

It seems like those signs are more chronic in nature.

CriticalCareVet :

Certainly if rapidly swelling or deteriorating - get her evaluated sooner.

CriticalCareVet :

But otherwise, best to have her seen by your vet, even considering the other tests listed above.

CriticalCareVet :

Good luck!

CriticalCareVet :

If you have any follow-up questions - please do not hesitate to ask!

Otherwise - please remember to click ACCEPT

Find me any time if needed: http://www.justanswer.com/veterinary/expert-criticalcarevet

You can always request me through my profile, bookmark my page for future help, or beginning your question with “For CriticalCareVet

Customer:

how would I know if she is in pain or suffering. I could not handle that . I want to do the best for her. the fact she only wants to drink the 'cat' milk and not water is that a problem?

CriticalCareVet :

Pain is hard to interpret in cats - typically when they are not eating/drinking, limping / lameness, become less social, vomit, or even guard themselves (not want to be pet for example)

Customer:

thank you - she is drinking the milk and some raw meat. is there anything I need to know or is that it for now?

CriticalCareVet :

From your history - unless there is something else not reported, that would be how a case such as this is approached.

CriticalCareVet and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you