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I have an elderly cat 16 1/2, he's an indoor cat as he's…

Customer Question
I have an elderly...

I have an elderly cat 16 1/2, he's an indoor cat as he's almost deaf, he can't seem to walk as can't put weight on his front right paw. I think he's back paws are arthritic, due to age. He's been sleeping almost night and day, and lets me attend to him, but can't seem to work out what's wrong. Doubt I can get him to the vets until tomorow evening or Sunday morning. He's usually unbelievably loud, but seems quiet. Any suggestions welcome. Thanks !

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name and age?

Lucky 16.5 yo, we think, got him from a shelter a year ago.

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Lucky?

16 and half years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Lucky?

He's a large wart above his eye, but when previously seen the vet, they're said to ignore as only aesthetically unappealling, and due to his age, would be harsh to put him through removal. He's been slightly hiding the last couple of weeks. Not anything length of time, just a new hideout under the bed. He also threw up the other week, which isn't like him. Thank-you !!

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 16 hours by:
9/16/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,064
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has he had these signs? Any history of a trauma or fall?

Can he put any weight at all on it?

If you feel up and down the leg, any swellings, tender spots, bruising, or bony crunching?

Any discomfort when you flex and extend each joint? Any joint swellings or puffiness?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
It's roughly been 36 hours, he's eating when he moves eventually but it's only been three times, and a couple of times I've carried him. He's mainly sleeping or drowsy, look like he could be in pain and quickened breathing. Muchly. Though he spends quite a lot of time with his tongue out. He's able to move his claws and padd lightly the occasional item. He doesn't pad usually. There doesn't seem to an issue with the leg, but he's more on the front of the paw, than the back. Potentially the joint ? The hiding under the bed has maybe been two weeks, but daily goes off to his room to sleep on the bed. He's ok re flexing and no brushing or puffiness. He's able to walk on it, but reluctantly and lifts it quickly. Thank you ! So worried about him !
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 9 months ago

Hello again,

Now given his age, we likely have arthritis in most of his joints and secondary muscle strain is very common. Nerve/spinal issues is always a concern as well but less so if he has some voluntary movement with the paw. So, its likely that Lucky has muscle involvement possibly from a bit too much activity or a bad landing with a jump recently. Just to note, the withdrawing under the bed needs to be monitored as that is a cat sign for feeling unwell (since as a prey species it doesn't pay to advertise when you are) and at his age we can see so many issues (from infections or organ troubles).

Now back to the leg, we are a bit limited with what we can do at home. There are no safe OTC pain relief options since cats metabolize our drugs very differently and most are quite toxic. Though for a more longer term support for arthritis (but it doesn't hurt to start them now), we could use an OTC joint support (ie glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3 fish oils, Duralactin). Otherwise for the paw at the moment, consider warm compressing it if he will allow. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required). Or you could offer him a heating pad but of course keep an eye that he doesn't overheat if he is that reluctant to rise. And of course, bring the food/water to him for now since we don't want to risk secondary dehydration nor hepatic lipidosis if he isn't eating well. And any more nausea and we can at least use an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid)] for him.

Overall I share your concerns about Lucky. This sounds most suspicious of a strain/sprain to the muscles but possible underlying arthritis. So, we can use the above for now to ease his signs but as soon as you are able a full vet check would be ideal to assess the leg but also make sure he isn't withdrawing because he is hiding another lurking issue.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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