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Cat with clot - change in personality - licking a hot spot - Answered by Dr. Lee

June 27th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Hello there,

I have a 4 yo kitty named Maizie who threw a clot a month ago and has a paralyzed front left leg, especially the lower knuckle. The vet said she probably has heart disease and heard a rub. At her check up only 4 months before, she was fine - no rubs or anything.

She has recovered from the clot incident, other than the paralysis. The thing is, I noticed today that she is has licked the hair off of her leg where the paralysis starts. Her sweet personality has also changed. She growls all of the time and the vet said her life expectancy would be short lived.

I have never had this happen with a cat before - my others have lived long, long lives - 16 and 19 years. What can you tell me about your experience? I have been out of work and money is very tight right now - at least for another couple of weeks. She is a biter by the way and is on one baby aspirin a week to help prevent further clots.


Mom to: Maizie, Bluey and Ella

Dr Lee
June 28th, 2007, 12:08 PM
I am sorry to hear about all the problems with Maizie! The licking of the leg is not uncommon. With nerve damage, parts or all of the limb can can 'feel numb' or 'asleep' --- this funny feeling can lead to pets licking or even chewing their arms or feet. This can become a serious problem if the nerve sensation does not return and the pet does not stop licking/chewing the limb. I have unfortunately had to amputate several limbs due to this complication from nerve damage.

It is not uncommon for heart sounds to be apparent on an exam when a only four months prior, nothing was heard. Reasons? It may not have been present at that time, some heart sounds are dependent upon heart rate so may be easily to hear at one speed versus another, purring/shivering/high respiration rate can make it difficult to hear, some heart sounds are very dependent upon placement of the stethescope and mild changes may lead to normal sounds or abnormal sounds.

As far as the heart problem, the difficulty is that a echo is needed to in order to make a more exact prognosis and treatment plan. This can be expensive.

Was Maizie tested for heartworms? Any other testing? How is she doing now?