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Spondylosis in Cats

Pat in NH
June 22nd, 2008, 12:41 PM
Everyone here was so helpful with my Feline Diabetes problem, I thought I'd ask if anyone has experienced a cat with Spondylosis, which is a degenerative spine disease. My cats vertebra are cracked and chips of the bone are wedged between her disks. The disks are bridged together by arthritic bone. Her back legs fall and twist sometimes when she walks. When I saw the X-rays of her broken back I thought out of kindness I should put her to sleep, but a few days ago she was trying to chase butterflies, so I guess she'll tell me when she's had enough. I seem to be getting good results from giving her Cod Liver Oil, and she's also on Predneslone, but I hear that's hard on their systems. Suggestions or Comments would be greatly appreciated by Amanda Blake aka Miss Kitty. TX

sugarcatmom
June 22nd, 2008, 04:45 PM
I don't have any experience with Spondylosis but I do want to caution you on the use of cod liver oil. It's high in Vit A and D, which are fat soluble vitamins that get stored instead of excreted if there's an excess. Very easy to OD on. Here is some more info: http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

Vitamin A
On the other hand, hypervitaminosis A (too much vitamin A) is far more likely to be a problem. This condition is typically seen in cats whose diets have been oversupplemented with, for example, cod-liver oil, ...

Excesses of this fat-soluble vitamin are stored in the liver and a toxicity can lead to hepatic damage due to lipid infiltration. Clinically, the most recognizable, signs of hypervitaminosis A are those related to the skeletal changes that occur, particularly in the cervical vertebrae and the long bones of the forelimb. The periosteum appears to be particularly sensitive to high levels of vitamin A and subperiosteal hyperplasia occurs around the bony insertions of tendons and ligaments in response to physical forces exerted in these areas. Bony exostoses result and may invade joints, causing enlargement and ankylosis.

Initial signs may be of stiffness and pain, particularly of the neck and forelegs, and the owner may first observe the cat's reluctance to groom itself. This may be accompanied by anorexia, lethargy, weight loss and an unkempt appearance. The painful lesions may induce an affected cat to adopt a sitting 'kangaroo' posture in order to avoid weight bearing by the anterior regions.


Vitamin D
Cats cannot manufacture vitamin D or its precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol. Cats appear to have an extremely low dietary requirement for vitamin D provided that they have exposure to some sunlight and are otherwise well nourished. However, vitamin D toxicity can be produced relatively easily and is usually the result of overzealous dietary supplementation with, for example, cod-liver oil. As with all fat-soluble vitamins, excesses are stored in the body and their effects are cumulative. The resulting hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia lead to soft tissue calcification, which may be demonstrated radiologically, and to multiple organ dysfunction. There may be neuromuscular abnormalities, typified by general weakness and poor motor reflexes, and resorption of bone resulting in pathological fractures. Cases are normally presented because of the most. obvious signs of renal failure, and the prognosis is always guarded. Treatment is symptomatic and the cat should be encouraged to eat a balanced diet without additional supplementation.

It would be a better idea to supplement with a fish body oil, like salmon oil (also a good source of Omega 3s, which are thought to be anti-inflammatory), instead of fish liver oil.

krdahmer
June 22nd, 2008, 10:01 PM
My Fagan has also been diagnosed with Spondylosis (caught on an xray for something unrelated), but he is in early stages, only two of his vertibrae have a bridge just starting to form. He is young (only 4) and showing no signs of discomfort, so the vet suggested adding a glucosamine and chondritin supplement to his diet. I'm sure that might also help your kitty. I have the powder and find hiding it in yogurt the way to go, that way he is getting some good bacteria and his G/CH. :thumbs up

SCM is right about the A, it was the first thing my vet cautioned me about, to watch how much he is getting.

I hope your kitty has many many many more pain free butterfly chasing days to come! :goodvibes: :pray:

Pat in NH
June 27th, 2008, 07:31 AM
My Cat Vet assures me that a 1/4 t. of Oil will not hurt my Kitty. Alot of the Glucosamine products actually have fish oil as an additive. It seems to be helping my little girl, where as the steroids alone gave her little relief. For awhile she could hardly walk, her back legs would fall out from under her. Now she's chasing butterflies and her brothers. She was in such bad shape that the benefits are outweighing the disadvantages. Thanks all for the imput.

sugarcatmom
June 27th, 2008, 09:57 AM
My Cat Vet assures me that a 1/4 t. of Oil will not hurt my Kitty.

Cool. As long as your vet is on board.


Alot of the Glucosamine products actually have fish oil as an additive.

That would be fish body oil, which is quite different from fish liver oil, just so you know.


It seems to be helping my little girl, where as the steroids alone gave her little relief. For awhile she could hardly walk, her back legs would fall out from under her. Now she's chasing butterflies and her brothers.

Glad to hear it. Hope she's chasing butterflies for a long time.