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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9619
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have an older female cat she is about 15 16 yrs old past

Customer Question

hi I have an older female cat she is about 15 16 yrs old for the past week she seems to be having trouble walking her back legs don't seem to be as strong as they should be. She is having trouble climbing stairs. She is eating and using the litter box I wonder if it is arthritis and if there is something over the counter I could give her. I would apprecticate your help she is an indoor cat. thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. I'll do my best to help you today.
I'm sorry that Molly is having the problems you describe.
If she's otherwise acting her normal self, then arthritis is certainly a possible explanation for her symptoms. Cats with diabetes or toxoplasmosis (to name a few other conditions) can also have issues with their limbs but these cats are usually showing other signs such as increased thirst, increased urination, change in appetite and/or possibly weight loss.
But, it's possible that she torqued or twisted her body in such a way that she exacerbated a pre-existing condition such as problems with her joints.
Treatment options for arthritis in cats are much more limited than for dogs but options to consider would be:
1 Cosequin for Cats which is a daily joint supplement available at many pet/grain stores or online.
2 Fish oil supplements such as Welactin which is liquid that can be drizzled in the food. Also available on the internet or at some pet stores.
3. NuCat Senior which is a supplement and a source of antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage to joints
I would advise any over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication since cats can be quite sensitive to these drugs and might cause more harm.
There are other options but would have to be dispensed or authorized by your vet.
1. Adequan which is basically a stronger supplement but is an injection
2. Occasional use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Onisor which is licensed for use in cats but can only be given for three days in a row.
There is a drug called Metacam but it is somewhat controversial in veterinary medicine, at least here in the States It's use as been associated with significant damage to the kidneys and should be used with great caution in older cats; the drug currently carries a label to that effect. However, there are some recent studies which indicate that at very low doses, this drug may be beneficial for cat with osteoarthritis.
3. Pain medication such as Buprenex can be very useful and could be given every day or only on the days that she needs it.
4. Gabapentin which is an anti-pain drug that would have to be dispensed by your vet.
I hope this helps and that she's moving better soon. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hi Censina,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb