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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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It is difficult to walk - both front legs are affected. I

Customer Question

It is difficult for her to walk - both front legs are affected. I picked her up to place her on the bed and it appears she is having pain as she tried to stretch out her paws to me, and curls one of her paws under. As noted previously, she has been limping
but now, I am very concerned she will no longer be able to walk. I'm not sure what can be done to ease her apparent pain so she can function as well as possible, i.e., use litter box, etc. I'm hoping something can be done for her to extend her life. Thx. for
any advice you can offer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

First, I am glad that you are planning on having her checked by her vet when they are open. This is because we do not have any safe OTC painrelief options that we can use at home. Most of our human pain relievers areactually fatally toxic for cats. And I would note that those that aren't outright poisons for them do not actually have much pain relief ability for this species (ie aspirin is used for heart issues in cats since its pain relief potential is so poor with their metabolism). So, with all that in mind, it will be ideal to have this checked and have her vet dispense cat safe pain relief (ie Metacam) here. Or since knuckling can also be a sign of nerve issues (as well as severe weakness with arthritis), your vet may also be able to start her on Steroids, Gabapentin +/- Tramadol.

Otherwise, since she is elderly and underlying arthritis isoften the basis for these situations, I do want to note some OTC nutrient supplements that can help. They tend to be better as a long term option but you could start them now. First, I would suggest that you could consider trying her on glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation. This is a nutrient supplement thatis available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules,liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Normally we give kitties 50mg glucosamine + 15mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, do consider trying this with her.

As well, we often use Omega 3 + 6 fish oils for arthritis in cats. These are a natural anti-inflammatory and can reduce discomfort in the joints and any recent muscle strain (the usual reason for lameness suddenly getting worse). When offering this we tend to give 20mg per pound of their bodyweight and many cats have no qualms about a bit of fish flavor added to their food. And its available over the counter at your vet, pet stores, and local health food stores.

Finally, we do find supplements like Duralactin(http://www.duralactin.com/products_feline.htm) and SAM-E (a common component in kitty liver supplements) can be beneficial in treating arthritis as well.So, these too could be considered.

Otherwise, if she is particularly uncomfortable just now, you can consider warm compressing the tense areas just now. Just to note, ifyou do not have a compress, you can make one by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min).Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required). Alternatively, you could give her access to a heating pad so she can warm the muscle to relax it herself.

Overall, there isn't a pain killer option that would be safe to use just now. Instead, we'd need to consider the above and have her vet dispense kitty safe pain relief to use at this point but also have on hand if she does have chronic lameness issues at her age.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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