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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
Category: Cat
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Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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Do cats have muscle spasms My kitty has begun having ...

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Do cats have muscle spasms? My kitty has begun having episodes of her hind leg freezing up in a raised position when she is on her side. And when I try to left her to a standing position, her hind legs are lame. After a minute or so, she is normal again. I''ve also wondered if this could be a seizure. Usually happens in the evening.

HI Marilee,

I am quite worried about your kitty, and I would like you to take her to the vet as soon as you can. Since it is Friday before a holiday weekend, try to get in to see your vet today before they close and you have to see an emergency vet. Cats do experience muscle spasms, but I do not think that is what is going on-though it is possible. Your kitty may be experiencing seizures, or she may be experiencing a thrombus, in the early stages. Cats are considered to be geriatric at 8 years old, and aging makes them prone to many disease processes. Any one of these systemic illnesses can cause muscle wasting and weakness, and dehydration. Your kitty could be weak and ataxic (experiencing muscle weakness and unsteadyness) from an advanced disease process. She could also be suffering from advanced arthritis, though I do not think that is all that is going on. Your kitty needs to see her vet for an exam, comprehensive blood and thyroid panel, urinalysis and maybe some radiographs. She could be experiencing some intervertebral disk disease which is affecting her motor skills and her ability to control her back legs.

There are many things that could be going on, and some of them can be very painful and uncomfortable. The longer your kitty goes without diagnostics and medication, the further her condition will progress. If you have her seen now, you may be able to avoid costly vet bills and hospitalization, since she is exhibiting few symptoms. Please have her seen soon, and let me know if I can be of further assistance. If this has been helpful, please hit the green accept button. I hope all goes well with your kitty.

ERAnimalNurse and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My husband is taking her in today. Our kitty has a regular vet and has been taking metamozole (sp) for her thyroid for 2 months. We wonder if this could be causing this side effect. X-rays and lab work were done in March and led to our discovery of her thyroid condition. Currently she exhibits normal behavior except for the episodes I've described. She still eats, drinks, urinates and defecates normally. Plus she remains sociable and does not cry. Our vet's office acts fairly unconcerned and said they couldn't work her in today, even when we read them your response. We've contacted another vet's office and they said they will see her. Thank you for your courteous response and kind concern.


Hi again,

Thanks for the additional information. I am surprised your vet is not concerned, without seeing your kitty they cannot be certain what is going on, regardless of her current medical condition, and by refusing to work you in, they are somewhat liable if she does experience a thrombus or is having seizures. Call me paranoid, but I am very glad you are able to have her seen at another hospital. Even if it is something mild like rear leg weakness as a complication from her hyperthyroidism, it is better to be safe than sorry. Let me know how it goes.....

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
An update. The vet who saw her did an exam and discovered a spot of pain along her back area. At that point she administered an injection of prednisone. She then took an xray. She said she noticed something vague on the film that could possibly be the beginning of ortho degeneration in her back. The vet gave us the xray to take to our regular vet for his assessment. She also gave us a round of prednisone pills to administer for our kitty's comfort.
Thanks again for your concern and good advice.


Thanks for letting me know, I am glad it wasn't something more serious. Older kitties can experience some degeneration of bone as a natural part of the aging process, and sometimes they can have a type of cancer called osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a very aggressive and painful cancer which can cause lysing or breakdown of the bown tissue, making it brittle. It can also be characterized by excessive bony build up, since it is a tumor. I mention this only because it is a vague possibility, and I want you to be informed. Osteosarc likes long bones, but besides the legs I have seen it in the skull and neck of some patients.

Prednisone is a great medication in that it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It will help greatly with discomfort related to inflammation. It is not a pain medication, so if you are thinking your kitty is uncomfortable after she's been on the pred for a few days, you can ask for a pain medication. The typical side effects are increased water consumption and increased urination, so make sure that there is plenty of fresh water and a clean litterbox available at all times. And, some kitties will also experience an increase in appetite. Rarer side effects include bilateral hair loss, panting, lethargy and weakness.

Thanks for the bonus, it is much appreciated. I hope that your kitty does well and that she is comfortable. If I can be of future assistance, please let me know.


(submitted as info request so you won't be prompted to pay again :)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Stephanie!

Another update.

My husband just returned from taking Olive Oil to our regular vet. He examined her and reviewed her recent x-rays and determined that she has arthritis in her back. He said that she has experienced a flare up of pain which caused the spasm/seizure-like episodes. Since she has been on prednisone, the episodes have begun to subside. This vet told us to keep administering pred for the full 10 days and then monitor her condition. We have an ample supply to resume giving to her should she begin showing signs of pain again. Hopefully she won't need it again for awhile.

Again, thanks so much for your interest and concern.



Thanks for letting me know. I am so glad that she is feeling better, and that the pred is working so well for her. I hope that she continues to do well.


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