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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat is having muscle spasms in her back right hind leg.

Customer Question

My cat is having muscle spasms in her back right hind leg. she is 15 years old, Hymalian and when you touch her she meows. She is acting odd. Her leg just gave out on her and she collasped
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.

Hello,I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.Each answer is typed individually so please allow me a few minutes after your reply.


Is she able to walk?


Can you feel the pads of the foot and tell me if they are warm, are they the same color as the pads on the front feet?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She is able to walk, but her back leg seems to drag a little. Her front paws are redder, but there isn't much difference and they are not hot.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.



I do not want you to panic but I am afraid your cat may have a blood clot that is causing this problem. This is fairly common in cats and is caused by a problem in the heart. Unfortunately cats do not often show signs of heart disease and it is not until this happens that you know there was a problem,. The fact that the paw is not hot and the front paw pads are more pink makes me more suspicious of this problem.

This is called a saddle thrombus here is more on this.


A herniated disc, pinched nerve or other problem with the spine is also possible.


Considering her age and there is a chance this is a blood clot I would suggest having her seen right away at your local animal emergency.

I try not to send people in to the ER unless I think it is in the best interest of the pet. This may be spinal related as I said but I would hate for this to be a problem with the heart or a clot and not tell you to have her seen,


I hope all goes well, please reply back if you have additional questions. I really hope this is nothing serious. Please reply back if you have additional questions. If you do not know where a ER is in your area please provide your zip code and I will find one for you.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there any other possibility. I told you that the paws weren't that different in color.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.

Yes a pinched nerve, or problem with a disc in the mid spine, you stated the front paws are redder if there is any color difference at all it could indicate a lack of blood flow in that leg.


Cats are very good at masking their pain so when we see them meow from pain we know it is intense.


I just need you to know that if this is a blood clot it may get worse so watch her closely, this is extremely painful as the blood is further restricted in the leg.

When ever this is a possibility I take this seriously which is why I have recommended having her seen tonight.


If you can not have her seen tonight I would have her into your vet first thing in the morning so they can find the cause and provide pain medication if necessary.

There are no safe over the counter pain medication for cats. You can try using a heating pad or warm compress on the leg.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If this were a blood clot, would it become worse with time? She has been pulling herself up on the couch for about three months now and I just thought she was getting old and maybe had arthritis happening. would it last 3 months?
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.

This new information could make a difference No a blood clot will not last this long and both the pulling herself up and what you are seeing tonight could indicated a problem with a disc and not a blood clot.

If she has been having problems for awhile then IVDD is also possible. This is a degeneration of the discs leads to rupturing of the discs

Here is more on this problem


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The link says that this condition is uncommon in cats. The symptoms do not include muscle spasms.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.

It is not as common in cats as it is in dogs but it does happen and we see it often. Muscles spasms can come from anything that applies pressure to a nerve or pinches a nerve which a ruptured disc can do.Your cat is not only having muscle spasms you stated the leg collapsed and she is dragging it a little


I wish I could tell you exactly what is going on but that is impossible it will take a hands on exam to do that. What I can do is give the possibilities. With the symptoms your cats is showing the most like causes are a blood clot or a spinal problem. What type of spinal problem I can not say for sure

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX doesn't really help much. I still will have to take her in.
Expert:  Candy R. replied 5 years ago.

There is nothing I could tell you that would prevent you from having to taking her in. With these symptoms veterinary care is needed.Unfortunately I can not prescribe medication or diagnose a problem over the internet.

I am sorry if you are not satisfied but no one could tell you exactly what is going on with out a hands on exam

If you would like to request a refund of your deposit you can contact the site here

I hope you cat does ok.

Best Wishes