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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7325
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My 3 month old kitten went from being the most active, energetic

Customer Question

My 3 month old kitten went from being the most active, energetic kitten to now can barely walk. My Vet says she thinks he has "growing pains". He was so bad yesterday, she gave him a steroid shot which helped him a lot. Last night he was walking much better and purring again. Today he has regressed again and stumbles when trying to walk. His blood work was good yesterday and no fever. He has been eating but not as much as usual. He loves to drink kitten formula. He would not eat a while ago. Do you know what this could be? Can "growing pains" (I can't remember how to say or spell the work for it...panasitis?) cause this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He just ate a good bit of wet food from my hand while lying down. He got up and walked a few feet slowly and then I picked him up. He walks with his back humped up a little. How much longer for response? Do I need to take him to another vet? My regular one is on vacation. The one that saw him yesterday has always done good I thought.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I'm a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy to work with you.
I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance.
I would definitely seek another opinion. First of all, cats do not generally suffer from panosteitis, or growing pains. This is a disease of young, growing dogs, primarily large breed ones, that occurs in the long bones as they are growing. Secondly, I would be cautious about the use of steroids in a kitten, particularly when we don't yet have a diagnosis.
With an acute presentation of the symptoms that you describe, I would be most concerned with the possibility of an infection or inflammation of the nervous tissue or spine. Infectious agents could include toxoplasmosis, FIP(feline infectious peritonitis), or possibly FeLV (feline leukemia virus) or FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). I would have him tested for Felv/FIV, even if he was previously tested. Toxo and FIP can be more of a challenge to confirm and sometimes a spinal tap will lend support to the diagnosis.Toxo tites can be run or you could have him treated empirically for toxo and monitor response. I would also suggest that you have him xrayed. At this age, a full body xray would be a great way to evaluate the spine and limbs.
If you have one in the area, it may be a good idea to involve a veterinary neurologist. If you live near a Veterinary college, they usually have one on staff.
Here are a couple of links with more information about toxo in cats.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100%satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.Dr Z
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay, thank you. He was negative for FeLV and FIV last week before all this started.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Great. Doesn't 100% rule those out as he could still be incubating the viruses, but does make them less likely. Also know that in some cases of neurologic problems potentially involving the spine, an organism is never identified, but some will still respond to supportive treatment. Steroids are sometimes used to decrease inflammation if the neural tissue, but it is best to try and identify the diagnosis first as sometimes steroids can make things worse. Good luck and please keep me posted as to how things progress.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you again. He ate really well tonight and then I held him in recliner while he slept, dreamed and purred. He walked better, after 4 hours in my lap, and started playing a little. That was nice to see! He didn't fall over while walking nor while using litter box. He is feeling better, but still walks slowly and stiff. Five days ago he very possibly fell trying to get on chest of drawers and would have landed on cedar chest. I have a sheet laid on top of the chest of drawers to keep other cats from scratching the wood. The sheet was on the floor between the chest and the cedar chest. I wonder did he injure his self then. It was that night or the next day that I noticed him being less active. It wasn't until two days later I realized something was wrong. At first it seemed to be only his front right leg - around the shoulder - then it was both legs, then the next day it was the hind legs. Also, he was in bedroom with an older cat and I wonder since he was so active and pretty aggressive did the other cat bite him. I told this to the Vet that saw him and she didn't see any signs of a bite. I wonder if the other cat squeezed down on him and just didn't leave any marks. I will see how he is in the morning - might take him out of town to another vet for 2nd opinion and have him checked for those things you mentioned earlier. Thank you.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Great and I am glad to hear he is a little better. Keep me posted as to how things progress.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Much improvement today! He walks better, even runs short distances. Can groom his self without falling over now. He favors the right front leg still, which was the leg that he started off having problems with. Very strange. If it's not growing pains, I'm assuming he got injured falling from furniture. I am hoping and praying there is nothing serious wrong still. He is eating better and even playing!
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
That is great news! Yes, I think it is safer to assume that it may have been from an injury and the steroid injection has relieved the related inflammation. Cats do not get growing pains. Regardless, let's hope things continue to improve so we don't need to revisit the possibility of some nasty disorders.