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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Animal Healthcare expert
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31929
Experience:  Expert in pet health and behavior. 20 year experience with animals.
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Cat is dragging both hind legs

Resolved Question:

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Submitted: 8 years ago via PetPlace.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 8 years ago.

Hi there,

How long is he like this?

Was he outside?

Are the legs cold?

Are nailbeds blue?

Is he able to potty?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

28 hours

threw up yesterday morning, then disappeared, cat food clear liquid


legs are cold

nail beds don't know

I think he peed about 1/2 an hour ago



Expert:  Terri Riba replied 8 years ago.


You must get your boy to a vet ASAP!!.

He either has been hit by a car, fallen or injured by an evil human He may have a disc or verebra injury or a blood clot.

I dont feel this can be treated at home.

If you need financial help one of these agencies will pay:

American Animal Hospital Association
" Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every

God's Creatures Ministry
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."

"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
working poor."

"We are dedicated to insure that no
companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker
is financially challenged."

The Pet Fund
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care."

United Animal Nations
"The m ission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued
animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require
specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve
Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured
animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens
and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."
They also keep a list of local and national help resources here

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
"Seniors, People with disabilities, People who
have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion."

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501
(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and
kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save
their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

Try the last one first and PLEASE let me know how he is doing.

Sinceres best wishes,


Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He is at the vet now. They are in surgery with another pet. I called an all night er for animals and the lady told me that he threw a clot and there was nothing to do for it. I guess whille I was waiting for them, I would find another vet to talk to. Is there really nothing to do for the blood clot? and thank you for your time and information.


Expert:  Terri Riba replied 8 years ago.

Hi David,

Your vet is talking about a Saddle Thrombus:

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:

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

I hope he will be treatable. Please let me know how he is doing.

Best wishes,


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