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Dr Marta Lepes
Dr Marta Lepes, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience:  Owner, practitioner, Owner at Hilo Veterinary Clinic, Inc, Vetmed Hawaii
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My cat has a similar problem, but left hind leg. We went to

Customer Question

my cat has a similar problem, but left hind leg. We went to vet they did xrays and there are no fractures. blood work came back fine. vet gave her antiinflamatory and pain meds. Vet said if it doesn't get better to see an orthopedist. What can the ortho do? and how much is that going to cost? our cat is super active and is miserable with the activity confinement. She is eating, drinking and pooping fine. She just cant' really jump, can;t lay downon her left side and looks miserable. No weight on left leg, waggin her tail a lot. When she tries to laydown she puts her hind area up high and then drops tothe right side. So sad! We adopted her from the SPCA and she was returned 3 times. She has been an awesome cat. She has always had sensitivity around her spine, hip area. When we adopted her you could not ever pet her there. We took her to vet several times and nothing. This went away and now its back. She is very sensitive to spine center and back left leg non weight bearing.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I will do my best to help you. I am reviewing your question now and I will post back to you ASAP.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Could you please tell me how long ago you took Bacon to the vet? Is she still on the painkillers and anti-inflamatory drug?

Was this a sudden onset or gradual?

Was this just after jumping?

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

You said that Bacon has a similar problem. Similar to what? Some information seems to be missing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she is outdoor indoor cat. she didn't come back for 2 days. just took her to vet on Saturday as she couldn't walk/jump and I had to climb onto roof and get her down. When we adopted her 5 years ago she had sensitivity to back and she would not let you pet her rear back area. Vet took xrays and said there are no fractures or breaks in hips or legs. She has been on antiinflamatory since Sat. and pain meds same.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

I want you to hold her left foot and gently bend the leg. Now do the right leg. Is there any difference. Does the left leg have less resistance than the right?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she wont let me touch the left leg. wont allow me to manipulate it. zero weight on left leg. left foot is fine. but as soon as you get to the area that I would describe as the elbow she freaks.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

There is a chance that she injured her heft achilles tendon. This can be very painful.

Did your vet mention anything about the achilles tendon?

An orthopedic specialist can check the nerves, tendons, joints, muscles and bones in the leg.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
vet said next step is orthopedist. I don't know how much that cost or what that will involve. Keeping her confined is challenging. she is very unhappy. Can this heal on its own with restricted activity or only surgery? I can't afford surgery nor do I think she will tolerate surgery or the recovery process. I am no expert but am guessing its a ligament or tendon type issue. She probably jumped and snagged her leg on something or this is a previous injury that went away and came back. Big question is can this heal with movement limitations or is this it? We have 5 more days of pain meds which we can give, but we are worried about whats next.
She will be miserable if she cant jump and go outside and hunt critters. outside is her happy place, here at home with us is just food and a temporary spot to sleep. She is truly and outdoor hunter.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Your vet may be able to refer you to one.

Besides bones (X-rays show bone fractures and dislocations) nerve, tendon or ligament damage don't show up. That is why your vet might suggest a specialist.

It is not possible for me to say if confinement alone is enough for therapy.

Has there been any improvement since Saturday?

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

If there is some improvement after the 5 days of medication you might ask your vet for more meds and just wait and see what happens.

If there is no improvement you could see how much an exam by the orthopedic specialist would cost. He can discuss options and then you can make an informed decision.

Remember that Bacon is a cat, and cats can make remarkable recoveries.

Do you have more questions? We can continue as long as you wish.

When you feel that we are finished kindly rate this service.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I understand your concerns that Bacon can resume her outdoor habits.

But give it some time. Cats are very adaptable.

I wish the very best for Bacon and you. Your love and concern for her are very obvious.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are the orthopedic options? what is the ortho going to say besides they need to run an MRI type test, then tell me the ligament or other tendon is torn and needs to be replaced. If its a tendon tear will it heal? or is surgery the only option? I have torn my ACL and they don't heal however many people don't opt for surgery and just adapt. Can cats do this adaptation?
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

You are asking difficult questions because I have not examined Bacon nor has an orthopedic specialist.

Sometimes an injured or partially torn tendon will heal with restricted movement and casting when necessary. Sometimes surgery is needed to repair a tear.

If you take Bacon to a specialist, after the exam there is no procedure he can do without your consent. That includes an MRI. An MRI is not always needed. You want a prognosis. For that you need an exam and diagnosis.

If you don't want to go that route you can always get a second opinion from another vet.

Or you can opt to do nothing. Bacon might heal completely or have permanent reduced function of that left hind leg. You told me that you were hoping for complete recovery so that she could still go outside and do her favorite things.

These are difficult decisions. Take a few days to think about it.

Any more questions? I'll help as much as I can.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Let me give an example. if Bacon had a completely severed achilles tendon she would not be able to put any weight on her left hind foot and it would flop if she did try to weigh bear. Any veterinarian can diagnose a completely severed Achilles tendon just by palpating it. Surgery would be the only option.

If it was a bad tear she could not jump up onto something. If she could walk at all it would be with a pronounced limp. Sometimes cage rest and putting the leg in a cast would be the treatment of choice.

If the tear was minor cage rest might be all that she would need.

So here, the severity of damage to the same tendon has completely different ways of treating it.

Neurologic damage can be the same way.

You need a diagnosis for the best choice of treatment.

And you need a diagnosis to find out if she absolutely needs surgery to completely regain all function or would some lesser (and less expensive) treatment might give her reasonable function.

The anti-inflamatory medication might be all she needs if she has temporary nerve irritation.

That is why i suggested that you give her medications time to work.

I hope that this has helped.