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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30322
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Fluffy is 20 years old bobtail cat, and has never incurred

Customer Question

Fluffy is 20 years old bobtail cat, and has never incurred any health problems until 3 weeks ago, his back legs became weak , he wobbles and walks sideways. We must carry fluffy outside to bath in the sun and back in the house. There seems to be no pain and the back leg joints do not seem stiff. I would appreciate your thoughts on his condition.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did Fluffy have a fall?
Customer: A month or so ago, fluffy fell off the porch
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Fluffy?
Customer: No he's always been very healthy and active.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

At such a very advanced age, there's likely to be more than one thing going on with Fluffy. Geriatric weakness as is seen in people is surely present and while we provide walkers to these people, you become Fluffy's walker by carrying him in and out. A myelopathy (spinal cord disorder) is likely. We see degenerative myelopathies characterized by nerve changes similar to Lou Gehrig's disease, intervertebral disk disease (a "slipped disk"), fibrocartilagenous embolism (an interruption to the blood supply to the spinal cord), and tumors in or around the spinal cord - meningiomas are most common. Advanced imaging would be necessary to differentiate one myelopathy from the other and that's simply not reasonable at Fluffy's age.

The only therapy worthy of consideration would be a nonsteroidal antinflammatory drug (NSAID) in the hopes that an inflammatory lesion involving his spinal cord could be satisfactorily addressed. These drugs aren't without their side effects, however, and so a drug such as meloxicam or robenacoxib needs to dosed in the lowest dose range and meloxicam, at least, may require your signing a waiver for its use in Fluffy because it's not approved for chronic use in the USA but is outside the country.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.