I have a 13 year old male cat, neutered, 10 lbs. He is very active and last night, without any warning, he stopped being able to walk, specifically unable to carry weight on his hind legs. We took him to the ER vet last night and vitals, blood, circulation and X-ray were normal. This morning, he was able to walk about 6 feet before collapsing, so although weak, the legs looked functional. They recommended we see a neurologist but we're going to take him to his regular vet before we do that. We have a dog and another kitten in the home. Are there any ideas about what this could be?
Type of Animal: Cat
Name of Cat: Oliver
Blood work, X-ray, circulation and vitals a normal. Bladder was enlarged and hardened so vet drained bladder last night. Holding himself up is difficult so we're afraid complications could result from him being unable to use the litter box without getting it on himself.
Good Morning and welcome to Just answer. I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.
I am so sorry to hear about Oliver's condition. This sudden lack of function of his rear legs can be due to heart disease or Cardiomyopathy which causes a thrombosis at the junction and blocks the circulation to his rear legs, Since your vet has ruled this out, then the next most likely scenario is a disc in his back that has become unstable. This will not show on lab work or survey xrays and can become worse if left untreated. I am hoping your vet sent home an anti inflammatory medication such as Metacam which will reduce inflammation that may be causing compression of the nerve supply to his rear legs. There is also a possibility that this could be an infectious process in the spinal cord but only a specialist can determine this. For now, make sure that Oliver does not move very much to try to stabilize the disc and make sure he is on anti inflammatory medications until you know what is causing this.
25 years experience treating cats in my practice