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My cat is 21 yrs old and has lost the use of s nd leg. why…

Customer Question
My cat is 21...

My cat is 21 yrs old and has lost the use of his hind leg. why and is he in pain.I'm not sure what to do now

Veterinarian's Assistant: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?

Phoebee was healthy up until now. except for arthritis. About a week ago she started to lose control in her hind legs. today she can only crawl. I pick her up so she can drink water,, but is hardly eating. If she's in pain, and at her age I'm considering putting he down. I don't believe in prolonging her life if she is in pain and can't be helped

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Cat Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?

Yes

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cat
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Answered in 23 minutes by:
1/29/2016
Cat Vet: Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert replied 2 years ago
Terri
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 33,211
Experience: Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
Verified

Dear Phillip,

Bless you for taking such awesome care of Phoebee she has lived to 21!. That is amazing!

I am so sorry she is not feeling well now.

She needs to be seen by a vet immediately. I fear she has a serious blood clot called 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:

http://www.petplace.com/cats/aortic-thromboembolism/page1.aspx

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&cat=1540&articleid=3286

http://www.thepetcenter.com/sur/saB.html

If, it is arthritis, it can be treated even in an elderly kitty but you need to find out right away.

Canned food is also excellent for arthritis as is a glucosimine supplement:

http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/products-by-health-type/by-type/joint-bone-animal-health-products/what-is-dasuquin

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_arthritis___joint_disease_cent.html

Please let me know what is found and how she is doing.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Best wishes and prayers for Phoebee,

Terri

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Cat Vet: Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert replied 2 years ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Terri
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