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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat fell from the roof and broke his tail. Now he cannot

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My cat fell from the roof and broke his tail. Now he cannot urinate. The vet expresses him every two days. ( because of cost and journey time.) He will not let the vet express him without being put to sleep each time. After 18 days the vet now thinks this is a permanent injury and the best solution is to put him down. What other possibilities are there? I don't think he will let me do the job for him.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.



I am so sorry about your cats injury.

Has he been given any steroids or pain medication?

Is he able to walk?
Would you try to express him yourself if I sent you detailed instructions?




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No steroids or pain killers. He is not in pain. Yes. He talks, jumps and runs as near normal. I have looked up how to express him and I think I could do it. However, even vet has to put him to sleep to control him whilst he empties the bladder.
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.

Dear friend,


I have seen several spinal injuries. A two year old kitty has a chance to heal so I would not give up on him just yet.

Read more here: close window


Sometimes amputation of the tail will help.


Steroids to reduce inflammation may be necessary.


You may as well try to empty his bladder yourself. It should not be painful to him.

step by step pics here:


Please let me know how things go.


Best wishes and prayers for him,






Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This is actually a nerve at the end of the tail that is broken which controls his ability to urinate. The vet said it may heal itself in 3 to 14 days but has this time is passed I was looking for more worldwide advice. The web sites you sent me I have already seen and many more. Sorry, but in this case I don't think you have really helped.
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.

You may have to do an MRI to ascertain if it is healing or not.

Ask about steroids as well.

I do not think you have allowed enough time. Nerve damage takes months to regenerate.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can you tell me what the steroids will do? I will ask about them, also what is a reasonable time to expect healing to commence. I don't think the vets in this area have MRI equipment.

I take him back to vets on Wednesday. Will get back to you after visit.
Expert:  Terri replied 6 years ago.

Steroids can reduce inflammation and hasten the healing process.

I have seen spinal injuries improve but in several months (not weeks).

Try to empty his bladder and give him more time. He is young and cats are great healers.

I would also try to limit his activity.


Please let me know how he is doing.


Best wishes and prayers,



Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.

Hello and Thank You for contacting JustAnswer


I am sorry your baby is having difficulty.Terri has given some good advice I just have a few thing to add


With an injury this far up it is very likely as your vet has said that the nerve will not regenerate. I have seen many of these cats live happy lives.

There could be a few things contributing to your vet having to use anesthesia to empty the bladder.


First if this is only being done every 2 days the bladder is extremely full causing pain when expressing and also increasing the risk of rupturing the bladder if the cat is not cooperating.

Cats also tend to stress during trips to the vet with makes expressing even more difficult.


In these cases the bladder should be emptied at least twice daily preferably three times per day. This keeps the bladder from getting to full and reduces the pain. Most of these cats will adjust to having this done and if you can do it before the bladder gets full that will be helpful. Once you get down a routine you may find that he lays there and allows it . The key is to do it before the bladder becomes to full



In our clinic we do not prescribe steroids , however, we may give anti inflammatory and always prescribe valium. The valium will relax the bladder prevent spasms and relax your kitty.


I would ask about the use of Valium and try expressing 3 times a day and see if he adjusts


I hope this has given you some additional insite to what may be making this difficult for your baby


Edited by CandyR on 10/4/2010 at 3:36 PM EST
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.
I apologize it looks as if I mistakingly deleted a line from my post. I want you to know that the reason we do not recommend steroids in cases such as this is because steroids increase urine production and can lead to more frequent expressing of the bladder
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I HAVE NOW TRIED MOST OF TODAY TO EMPTY THE CAT'S BLADDER. I HAD A PARTIAL SUCCESS BUT IT IS DIFFICULT TO FEEL THE RIGHT PLACE. (Sorry just noticed I am using capitals). I have tried wrapping him in towels, holding him off the floor, laying him down, putting him between my knees and he still will not let me express him. I have tried to be soothing and calm but it is very difficult when all he wants to do is fill my arm with scratch and bite marks. All suggestions welcome because if it can only be done under sedation then it is not going to work. Are there any home sedations I could use?
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.


This can be tough, the best way to do this is on his side.


When you put him on his side you should be able to feel the bladder in the lower abdomen between the hind legs. If you can not feel it easily it may not be that full try waiting about and hour and try again.


You can try using Benadryl this often has a mild sedative effect. This can be dosed at 1-2 mgs per pound of body weight.


Rescue remedy which is an all natural calming agent that is tasteless and can be added to the water so he gets a small amount every time he drinks or dropped on the tongue 10-15 minutes before expressing.


This is going to be very difficult to do on your own, if you can get someone to help you that can hold him on his side by the scruff this may be better. Scuffing with one hand and holding the hind feet with the other is easiest but this does require someone to help you.


If you can get your vet to give you Valium that would be the best route, you may be able to simply give them a call and they can call in a script for you.


Another option would be to see if any of your vets technician staff lives close to you, we often go to clients homes to help and they may be able to work with you to find the best position for your kitty and help you learn how to locate the bladder more easily.


I am sorry this is so frustrating, it is not an easy thing to do which is why unfortunately a lot of these kitty are euthanized. You are doing th best you can for now it will take some time for both of you to get used to doing this


Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience: Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We took him back to the vet and after much discussion it was decided he was not going to recover. The vet advised to have him put down. We said to empty his bladder and leave it two more days to enjoy the sunshine. We would then bring him back to follow the vet advice. He must have been listening because in those two days, with a little help from me, he started to pee again and has not looked back since. No chance that he is leaving us yet. I have not had to empty his bladder for 6 days now.

I will accept your answer because your last message made it clear that he may or may not respond, that it could be a long haul and that we should be patient. Thank goodness we were. He may have a floppy tail but that can be sorted later.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 6 years ago.

Yea I am so glad to hear he is going on his own, I know it was tough for awhile but you did great and got him through.


Best Wishes


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