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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31948
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Our 16 yr old male began limping day before yesterday. He is

Customer Question

JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the cat?
Customer: Our 16 yr old male began limping day before yesterday.
JA: Did the cat have a fall?
Customer: He is on lasix for Cong Heart Failure.. No fal that we know of.
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: Spunky
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Spunky?
Customer: Lasix and on urinary/cardiac diet. He.s actually walking a little bit but now not peeing. Still eating, Thought it was Saddle thrombosis but he seems better and hasn't been crying.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 3 months ago.


I am sorry Spunky is limping.

Which leg is involved?

Is he holding it up?

Is there any swelling?

When did he urinate last?

Does his leg feel cold with blue nail beds?



Expert:  Terri replied 3 months ago.

The thing I am most concerned about is a blood clot.

This blood clot can leave the heart in the large blood vessels exiting the heart, but then get stuck in many of the smaller blood vessels leaving those major arteries. When this happens, it can cut off blood supply to a limb. Suddenly the cat limps on that limb and is very painful.

Think of wrapping an elastic band tightly around your finger. Pretty quickly it becomes painful and it is hard to use the finger. This is essentially the same thing that happens when a thrombus blocks blood supply to a cat's limb.

On exam, these kitties present with pain and limping. If the clot has gone to the right front leg (the first "exit" from the major arteries) that foot will be colder than the others and the nail beds will be blue. The blood clot may lodge in the caudal vena cava, which is a major blood vessel leading to both back legs. In this case, the cat will not be able to use the back legs but will drag them around and will be in severe pain. If this happened some time ago, the limbs may be so numb by now that there is no pain from them anymore. However, the pads will be notably cool, the nail beds will be blue and the cat will not have pulses on the back legs. This carries a grave prognosis.

Early treatment involves drugs to stop more clots from forming - the choices are aspirin or coumadin (rodenticide, rat poison, warfarin). Unfortunately, if there is a major clot to both back legs, treatment may not be possible.

Here is more about thrombus formation in cats:

Cardiomyopathy is the most common cause of blood clots.

And more about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which is the most common heart problem in cats, and the most common reason they develop blood clots:

Please reply with more information about Spunky as I am hoping he has something more treatable

Kind regards


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