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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9450
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
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My cats back legs are very weak & he cant walk only a few

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My cat's back legs are very weak & he can't walk only a few steps the he lays down. He is 15 and is having some kidney failure unfortunately, and is on medication for it and we have been giving him subcutaneous fluids everyday now. He does eat and drinks water, but I have to give it too him and it takes some inticing sometimes. The vet gave me potassium to put in his food twice a day, which I have been doing.

Is there anything else I can do to restore the strength in his legs? Or will he improve at all? It's very hard watching him decline .....:-(

vetdeb :

Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

vetdeb :

I do so wish that I could be encouraging about the chances of Mulberry regaining some strength in his legs but unless you wanted to consider some alternative therapies like hydrotherapy or acupuncture, it is unlikely. You would have to take him to a special facility for this and 1. most cats hate to travel and 2. most cats hate water (at least for the hydrotherapy). It's not impossible but the odds are against it.

vetdeb :

Cats lose muscle tone as they age; just part of the natural process of things. And when they suffer from kidney disease as well, it seems to accentuate the process.


 

vetdeb :

Facilities that provide hydrotherapy and/or acupuncture usually also provide massage and laser therapies which can be useful for the problem Mulberry has.


 

vetdeb :

However, you could try a variation of physical therapy at home where you massage the legs, manipulate them back and forth from his body outwards. It probably won't be quite as effective, but it will make him feel good and can keep his joints from getting too stiff.


 

vetdeb :

I don't know what specific treatments he might be on for the kidney issues, but if he's not on fish oil, this is something else to consider. It won't necessarily restore the strength in his legs, but it is good for inflammation....whether in his kidneys, or joints. I'm a huge fan of it's use in our pets. It can help him move more comfortably. Welactin is a vet version that is a liquid that you could put in his food and since it's "fish", most cats tolerate it pretty well.


 

vetdeb :

Sometimes there is a problem with the chat format; since it looks like you are typing but I cannot see your response, I am going to switch functions. I apologize for the inconvenience of this. If you are sending me a response, could you please resend it? Thanks again, and I'm sorry that chat is not working.

Customer:

Thank you for the helpful advice, I will start massaging immediately! I have been petting him a lot focusing on his legs and throughout his body but not thinking it was helpful. It seemed to make him feel better. I think there is a vet in my area that does acupuncture so I will try that too. Can you tell me more about hydrothreapy?

Customer:

Also I have fish oil & I have been giving him some but I will give him more!

Customer:

This is what Mulberry is taking now Rubenal 300 1/4 tablet every 12 hours,1/2 tab ofBenazepril Hcl 5mg tab

Customer:

Not sure if you are coming back to the chat but I have a lot of info that will help make Mulberry feel better, I know he doesn't have a lot of time left but I want to do as much as possible to extend his life asLaing as possible. Thanks again!

Dr. Deb and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Ina:
So glad you were able to see my responses:)
Hydrotherapy or water therapy is pretty much what it sounds like. This LINK describes it in some detail. It's been used in dogs for quite some time and requires specialized equipment...basically a treadmill within an enclosed structure and water can be added to whatever height is needed depending on the size of the dog or cat. Basically passive exercise that can help rebuild muscle and strengthen bones. I have seen some amazing results with it's use as well as laser/massage therapy.
I haven't had cat owners try it though for fairly obvious reasons but the theory should apply to them as well as dogs (or people for that matter).
If you search the internet for "feline hydrotherapy" you will find videos of cats swimming in pools. I suppose you could even try this at home in your bathtub but clearly not all cats will not take to it willingly.
Ina:
I'm glad that I could help even if in just a small way in making Mulberry more comfortable and improving his quality of life.
He is a very lucky cat to have you:)
Dr Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would like more info on how to best massage Mulberry's back legs? Are there any diagrams or videos to follow so I massage correctly. Again Thanks
Unfortunately, I cannot find a video that would demonstrate this procedure in a cat.
It basically involves gently but firmly exerting pressure on the muscles in her legs...kneading small areas at a time, using a circular motion. It's not a stroking motion either. This is very difficult to describe in words but you cannot do it "wrong".
Imagine it was your leg... what would feel good to you if someone were to give you a massage. It's basically the same thing.