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cat in pain, vets out of ideas!!!!

June 30th, 2005, 12:55 AM
i have a cat that just turned 3 years old and she has a lot of pain in her lower back. it hurts her to be touched there, and she doesn't move around a lot as a result of it. to my knowledge, she has had no trauma to the area, this just developed over time. films were taken and the only thing seen by our radiologist was inflammation around the spine. my vet prescribed doxycycline because she believed it could be due to a tick borne illness. after a few weeks of treatment, no improvement was seen. more films were taken, and she is begining to show signs of arthritis. she is only 3 years old, is this just going to get worse?

June 30th, 2005, 06:51 AM
#1 did you ask your vet about anti imflamitries, tylonol.. my moms dog has a touch of arthritis and she gets 1/2 a tylonol when she limps she's 50ilbs so for a smaller cat may be childs but worth the ask.

#2 do you know about any pet chiropractors? a chiropractor could break up any imflamation or atleast realign her to be in less pain,

June 30th, 2005, 09:50 AM
#1 did you ask your vet about anti imflamitries, tylonol.. my moms dog has a touch of arthritis and she gets 1/2 a tylonol when she limps she's 50ilbs so for a smaller cat may be childs but worth the ask.

#2 do you know about any pet chiropractors? a chiropractor could break up any imflamation or atleast realign her to be in less pain,

Tylenol can kill a cat.....

June 30th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Does any of this apply? Sorry if I'm way off base...

Question: Dr Richards,

My cat is a 7 year old castrated mail cat. He seemed normal until August
31 of this year. Since that time he has had problems with hysterical
licking of his flanks and back which moves autonomously, like shivering.
This happens before, during and after he licks at himself. Sometimes his
back moves when he is resting or sleeping. He seems warm around his ears,
neck and feet at times. He has had fleas at times. He seemed to have some
swelling around his tail region when this first occurred but no wound could
be found. He was treated with antibiotics which seemed to help for some
time but now the problem has returned, although the frequency of the
problem seems to be a little less. He is still licking at himself several
times a day, though. He licks at his tail and feet as well as his back. I
am worried that he continues to have these problems.


Answer: Danielle,

In reading your note, there are several possible problems that come to
mind. It would be hard to tell you which of these problems is most likely,
though. It may take continued testing and work with your vet to sort
through these problems in order to figure out what is going on.

There is a condition in cats that is referred to as feline hyperesthesia
syndrome. In this condition, a cat's skin "rolls" or twitches over its
back, from about the level of the last rib to the base of the tail. During
these episodes many cats have dilated eyes. Cats may cry out or snarl. Some
cats bite themselves and they may inflict serious injury or cause
abscessation of the affected area in severe cases. Cats may bite if touched
during one of these episodes and they often whip their tail from side to
side in an agitated motion. In some cats, sudden biting behavior when they
are being petted has been associated with this condition, which might have
led to the name "hyperesthesia syndrome" since hyperesthesia means
increased sensitivity to touch (or other sensations). This can be an
intermittent problem or it can occur very frequently, in some cases more
than once a day.

There are several identified causes of hyperesthesia syndrome but they
represent only a small percentage of the cases of this disorder. For most
cats, a specific diagnosis of an underlying cause is not possible to obtain.

In some cats, this is apparently a form of seizure activity, based on
response to treatment with phenobarbital. Due to the difficulty in
diagnosing seizures the most common way of trying to rule out this
condition is just to try phenobarbital and see if it works. Usually, one to
two months of therapy is enough time to decide if phenobarbital will be
helpful, or not.

There have been a few cases of hyperesthesia syndrome linked to spinal cord
injuries. There are several reports of muscular disorders with inclusion
bodies or vacuoles recognized on muscle biopsy of the muscles of the back.
Cats with muscle disorders may respond to treatment with l-carnitine,
CoEnzyme Q10, riboflavin and/or Vitamin E (from the Veterinary Information
Network, 2000).

In some cats this seems to be a behavioral disorder, based on response to
medications used for behavioral problems. Diazepam (Valium Rx), buspirone
(Buspar Rx), clomipramine (Clomicalm Rx) and megestrol acetate (Ovaban Rx)
have all been used to treat this disorder successfully in some cats.
Megestrol acetate can have serious side effects in cats so it is not a
first choice medication.

Other medications that have been reported to work in some cats are
prednisone and fluoxetine (Prozac Rx). There are probably other medications
that have been tried in some cats since this disorder can be very hard to
control in some patients.

There is also the possibility that this is not hyperesthesia syndrome, of
course. Other possible conditions include retroperitoneal abscesses (a
condition in which an abscess forms in the space between the lining of the
abdominal cavity and the muscles of the back), flea allergy dermatitis,
other allergies, spinal injuries and eosinophilic granuloma complex.

I think that it is hard to absolutely rule out allergies in cats but your
vet may have good reasons to be putting them very low on the list of
differential diagnoses. This would explain much of the licking behavior,
though. Eliminating the fleas would be a good idea and I really do think
that you will find that fipronil (Frontline Topspot Rx) is safer and more
effective than fenthion (Tiguvon Rx). It may help a great deal if fleas are
contributing to the problem by producing itchiness.

There are two forms of bacterial infection in cats that can be pretty hard
to get rid of. Atypical mycobacterial infection is one of these. It usually
causes draining tracts (persistent infection), usually affecting the caudal
abdominal region. The other resistant organism is an unusual form of
bacteria referred to as l-form bacteria. These respond best to treatment
with doxycycline or tetracycline. I do not know how to identify an
infection with l-form bacteria but the mycobacterial infections can be
identified by acid fast stains of wound aspirations or biopsies and also by
bacterial culture.

It is always a good idea when there is chronic illness to consider testing
for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. These can
complicate the diagnosis of almost any other illness.

There are probably other conditions that could be leading to the signs you
are seeing but these are the ones that I can think of right now.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Michael Richards, DVM

July 1st, 2005, 01:39 AM
thank you for your suggestions :pawprint:

July 1st, 2005, 09:10 AM
omg sorry about the tylonol guess you learn something new every day....
what is it in tylonol that is so harmfull?

July 1st, 2005, 09:40 AM
acetomithephen is poisonous to dogs and cats (what is in tylenol)