How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Scarlett Your Own Question

Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4053
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Scarlett is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat is 9ish years old, female, spayed, and mostly indoors.

Resolved Question:

My cat is 9ish years old, female, spayed, and mostly indoors. She suddenly is having issues with her hind legs, where she wobbles when she walks or her hind end collapses and doesn't jump or climb stairs any more, but still tries to. When I picked her up and gingerly felt her, I received no adverse reactions and didn't notice any swelling or obvious injuries. She has been like this for about 36 hours, her appetite is normal, and appears to still be using the litter box. I thought maybe arthritis, but this came on very quick, so that doesn't make sense. Suggestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Scarlett :

Hi,

Dr. Scarlett :

Any change in the amount she is drinking? Was she outside prior to this weird walking behavior ("ataxia")? Any plants or medications she might have gotten into? Is she otherwise acting normally--responsive to your voice, alert, etc?

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She has gone out side, but stayed on the deck. She is 80% responsive to my voice. Usually she wakes me up in the morning with nonstop meowing at my door to be fed, but not this morning. I had to go find her, pick her up and take her to her food dish. Once there she ate all of her food and drank water. I haven't noticed if the amount of water she has drank is less than usual.

Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 1 year ago.
So it sounds like there is more going on than just the weakness/ataxia in her hind end. I'm worried bcause she also sounds lethargic and not completely responsive to your voice. Are you able to take her temperature rectally? It should be around 101.5.

There are a lot of different things that could be causing the ataxia. Because it is sudden, I don't think it is arthritis, but possibly a protrusion of an intervertebral disk (although this is very uncommon in cats). Sadly, lymphoma, a type of cancer, can cause sudden changes like this and is fairly common in cats.

A blood clot is a possibility and cats often have underlying heart disease that isn't easily picked up on a physical exam.

If she does have a fever, some types of infection can cause lethargy and weakness. There is also a disease called FIP--feline infectious peritonitis that can cause neurologic problems. This is a mutation of a feline corona virus that can lay dormant for years, so even though she is an older cat, it is a possibility.

Definitely, if she isn't any better tomorrow (and probably even if she is), I would take her to your regular vet in the morning. Anticipate x-rays and bloodwork, along with a complete physical exam. BUT, if she seems to be getting worse, I would take her to an emergency vet today.
Dr. Scarlett, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4053
Experience: I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 16 years experience.
Dr. Scarlett and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician