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Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 601
Experience:  full time veterinarian at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
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My kitten had liver shunt surgery last week. She came home

Customer Question

My kitten had liver shunt surgery last week. She came home and did fairly well for two days then suddenly she will not get up and does not seem to be able to walk. Her tail and legs seen very stiff. She is back at the hospital and they are telling me that her liver tests are good. The surgery seems to have been successful but no explanation as to why she won't walk. She does have a respiratory infection and is on medication. She is eating but has to be fed. What should I do next? They want me to bring her back home and do not have an answer as to whether she will improve. All together the bills have added up to nearly $6000.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your kitten. What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Tilly
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Tilly?
Customer: Not to my knowledge. She is about 8 months old.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

Hi this is Dr. Hill. I suspect that your kitty may have thrown a blood clot to her spinal cord. This is called a fibrocartilagenouse embolus (FCE). This would explain rear limb weakness and no evidence of pain. Is she able to walk on her own?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nob she cannot walk on her own although she could when she first came home. Her legs feel "stiff"
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

If they are stiff and cool to the touch then she may have a blood clot that has disrupted blood flow to her back legs. Is she home with you or still at the hospital?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the hospital. They want me to go get her tomorrow and have indicated she may have a neurological issue that may or may not improve.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

Pretty unusual that it would not be related to the surgery. I am looking through the literature to see if this have been reported before in cats.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If it is a blood clot to her spinal cord, what is the remedy?
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

Time. Usually the body is able to reroute the blood flow and there is return of function. Not always, though. I would ask them if she has good blood flow to her back legs. It worries me that you said they were stiff.

Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

So most of the information I have found is about neurologic condition post operatively like seizures. Nothing about loss of function. Sorry you and your kitty are dealing with this. If you do decide to bring her home for nursing care, you will need to set up an area for her with a padded bed, food and water, but limited space while she is recovering. She will also likely need to have her bladder expressed or be positioned in her litter box to allow her to urinate/defecate. This thread will stay open for several days even after you post a rating, so please let me know what you find out when you meet with them tomorrow.

Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?