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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19120
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My cat has nerve damage due to what we believe to be a tail

Customer Question

My cat has nerve damage due to what we believe to be a tail dislocation. He is still able to walk but he walks with his lower back higher than normal. He doesn't seem to be in pain but he isn't acting like himself. Is a vet visit required or will he heal on his own?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hi,I'm Dr Scott. Welcome to JustAnswer, I am working on your question now, you can expect a written reply sometime within the next ten minutes or so.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Before I can start I need a little more information to make things clearer for me, so could you please answer the following :

How long has your cat been showing these symptoms?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
About a week
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again

I have worked out an answer for you below.

1. I have dealt with quite a few trauma related tail injuries in cats over the years including dislocations and fractures, my usual experience is that most of them will settle down given time as the lesion fuses, but this can take up to three weeks. Where the cat is in obvious pain I prescribe pain killers to make the cat more comfortable during the healing process but this does not seem necessary in your case. { Be aware that over the counter human pain killers are very unsuitable for cats }

2. Of course it may not be a tail injury you are dealing with, cats often get dislocated hips for example, but where you are dealing with a tail injury a wait and see approach might well be justified for three weeks and then have your vet check things over with perhaps an x-ray if there has been no improvement after that time.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will also note that the first two inches or so at the base of his tail is still responsive and he can move it up and down like normal but the rest of the tail is limp. This causes us to believe that it was a tail dislocation. The day after noticing his limp tail I put him in a room alone with a clean litter box to make sure he was still able to urinate and make stool. I found that he is able to do both still. Is it possible for the nerve damage to become worse or will it just begin to heal? Also is there anything we should keep in mind during the healing process? Such as keeping him in an area where he can't jump up on things?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Will his tail ever be the same again or will it stay limp?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again.

The fact the first two inches of the tail are responsive but the rest is limp is typical of a broken or dislocated tail, there is not really any surgical procedure to repair this but in any case in almost all cases tail function will return as the break naturally fuses, but as I said this takes time.

There are really no special measures needed here other than just keeping an eye on him but it would be an advantage to keep him in an area where he is less likely to jump up.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you recommend antibiotics or are they not necessary for the healing process? Should we seclude him from our other cats?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Antibiotics would only be necessary if there is an obvious wound in the upper tail area or if there are signs of infection, with many broken tails this is not the case. If he is fairly quiet and rests in the company of the other cats then that that is just fine, but otherwise keep him apart.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay thank you so much for your help!
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

No problem, very glad to be advising you ...

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Hello again,

I am just checking back in to see how your cat is getting on after our recent dialogue concerning the suspect tail damage ...

Please get back to me and let me know how things are going.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for checking but everything is pretty much the same. Not really better but not worse either. He seems to be taking it easy so that should help the healing
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Thanks for the update, lets see what a couple of weeks more brings ...

Please let me know how things go.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Last night he seemed to be having a difficult time having a bowel movement. After feeding him we put him in the bathroom with a clean litter box overnight to see if he'd be able to poop and by morning he managed to get out a small one. He is able to urinate fine but he seems to be frequently using the litter box more than usual and seems to be straining to poop. Is there anything we could feed him to loosen his stool? Do you think this may be linked to his injury?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Sometimes the anal sphincter muscles can be affected, and the injury can affect the ability to defecate in other ways, but there is no reason to suppose that this will not resolve as well given time. In the meantime you may want to try oral remedies such mineral oil { Liquid Paraffin } which is an over the counter product available from your chemist or pharmacy to help your cat go, this type of product is very gentle and safe.

The dose rate for an adult cat would be in the region of 1/2 a ml twice a day orally. A small syringe you can also pick up at the pharmacy would be a good aid in administering this product.

{ Until you can pick up the mineral oil you can safely substitute olive oil or vegetable cooking oil }

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What about fish oil?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

You could try the oil from sardines cans, this can be quite effective and the cats love it. Fish oil as in fish oil capsules is likely to be less effective.

Regards,

Dr Scott
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okee doke. Thank you
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Of course I am very glad to be advising you and hopefully given time your cat will come through this OK. However I wonder if you could possible do me a favour and rate my service to you on the site? This really helps my standing in the Just Answer community.

Kindest regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We did rate 5 on the first day. Do we need to keep rating? Will this keep charging us?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Sorry I meant rating using the site star system.

There is no pressure for you to do so ...

Regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I perfectly understand. I'm just trying to know how it works with the site. Does rating charge us again? Do we rate more than once?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

No problem, you can only rate once which I see has not been done, but if in doubt do not do so as it will trigger debiting the total agreed fee from your credit card or other payment source.

My understanding is that you cannot be charged more than your originally agreed fee which I think in your case is $22:00 including the deposit. However my role here is to answer your veterinary questions to be best of my ability and I am not involved with the pricing side of things. Please contact the customer care team for a fuller explanation.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Just letting you know that our cat is doing much better. He has almost full control of his tail again and is acting much more like his old self. Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 month ago.

Brilliant! Thanks so much for the update.

In my experience most cats with these sorts of injuries do very well, it just takes a little time ...

Kindest regards,

Dr Scott

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