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Cat with Hind Leg Weakness, Etc. Xrays Normal, CBC Normal

plmgifford
June 26th, 2008, 03:56 PM
I am new to this site, but my Sam's issue seems to be a lot like Brianna's.

This started about two days ago that I noticed. Sam is an 8 year old - and very fat - 24lb - cat. A few weeks ago, one of my other cats was coughing - either asthma or acute bronchitis. Treated, but also stool sample revealed roundworms - so all three treated for roundworms. A week ago Monday, they all received their 2nd dose of roundworm treatment. This past Monday, I noticed Sam didn't really want to get up from the couch. Tuesday I noticed the same thing, but when he did get up, his hind legs are wobbly and they just don't seem to be working properly.

Took him to the vet yesterday. Xrays normal, CBC came back normal. No signs of infection, no diabetes. She's instructed me to keep a close eye on him, try to get a urine sample over the next week. Also, if he doesn't get better, more blood work to see if perhaps a clot. (I am assuming at this point he is urinating and defacating normal since I have 3 cats, am gone all day, and have electric litter boxes.)

I just had to put my 11 year old Simon to sleep in April after a 2 week stay in 24 hour care that cost me $5800 just to find out he had liver cancer and needed to be put to sleep.

Can anyone please offer some help with what might be going on with my Sam?

Thanks

sugarcatmom
June 27th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Is it possible he has a soft-tissue injury of some sort? Hard to say what else could be involved, but I suspect his excess weight isnít helping matters. Have you tried anything to get some pounds off him? Perhaps if you check out this link, it will give you some ideas: http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

Good luck! I hope Sam makes a full recovery.

plmgifford
June 27th, 2008, 12:26 PM
I'm sure a soft tissue injury is possible. I'm truly hoping that is all that it is. Clearly at that weight, he's not a very agile jumper. And it's certainly possible he hurt himself jumping off my bed, or anything else. My concern is that there is more going on than just that - especially after reading the posts of other people with similar experiences.

He eats Science diet light and gets "treats" of wet science diet light when I get home from work which is about a spoonful.

He's been about this weight for years now. My other two aren't overwieght at all. And yes, his weight is a great concern for me. I just have to figure out a good plan with 3 cats and working 12 hour days.

I will check out the site. Thank you for your help and support.

RUSTYcat
June 27th, 2008, 01:00 PM
A couple of things strike me....

If you're away all day, and are expected to keep a close eye on certain things, then, if it were me, I would isolate Sam so I would know if he were urinating and defecating.

If I needed to get a urine sample and I were away all day, I don't think I would be able to get that sample in time to have the urinanalysis done. My Vet needs to have a fresh sample - taken within 2 hours - to have a reliable result. I would need to leave the cat at the Vet's for the day (or for as long as it took) to accomplish this.

You mentioned that a CBC has been done. With wobbly rear legs, I would want to have his blood potasium and phosphrous levels checked and have his blood pressure checked as well.

plmgifford
June 27th, 2008, 01:14 PM
I'm planning on isolating him tomorrow to get the urine sample. I will ask the vet about the potassium and phosphrous levels. Can you tell me why these should be checked?

I really appreciate all the help. I wish I'd known about this site when I was going through 2 weeks of horror trying to get Simon properly diagnosed - with what turned out to be cancer in his liver.

Thanks again.

sugarcatmom
June 27th, 2008, 02:07 PM
He eats Science diet light and gets "treats" of wet science diet light when I get home from work which is about a spoonful.


Not to distract from your original question, but I implore you to RUN as fast as you can away from this food. After you read the info on the link above, you'll understand. Dry Science Diet Light is the reason your cat is obese. Find a good quality, low-carb canned food and transition over to that, eliminating all dry. It's better for your other cats as well. You can leave wet food out for free-feeding, if that's a concern (lots of people do this, me included). I should also add that any weight loss in a fat cat needs to be done slowly so that hepatic lipidosis doesn't rear it's ugly head. Let me know if you have any questions.

plmgifford
June 27th, 2008, 03:24 PM
After visiting the site, I already ordered new canned food online and will stop by on my way home to pick some up and start them all today!!!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Hopefully, Sam will be okay, and new food will help him lose some weight. I just want him back to normal - and then we will slim him down!

Love4himies
June 27th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Just to let you know that my daughters cats who were very overweight switched from a "lite" kibble to Wellness, grain free canned and lost weight on their own. They are now a healthy weight.

Good luck.

Dr Lee
June 28th, 2008, 02:41 PM
A few questions I have in order to try to help...

1) The hind limb weakness is perisistent or episodic? Did your veterinarian identify this as a generalized illness or a primary neurologic problem? Where there any neurologic deficits identified? Is the weakness getting worse or better?

2) Is she indoor or indoor/outdoor?

3) Is she on any medications? Antibiotics? She was just treated for possible roundworms correct?

4) Other than the wobbly/weak hind limbs, what other clinical signs are being seen? No coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea? Changes in weight? Eating? Drinking? Is she drinking a lot?

5) Finally, the blood test. There was a CBC and glucose. Was a general chemistry performed? Any viral tests? Fructosamine level?

Thanks.:pawprint:

dizz2401
June 29th, 2008, 09:41 AM
My 10 yr. old cat was at the vet and ER last week. Blood is good. Xray should possible collapsed lung. She will not eat, but she is drinking water. They put her on Lasix and she is peeing a lot, however, only acts like she feels better when taking a whole tablet, not 1/2 as they suggested after she was on a whole one for 3 days. When she walks, which is not much, her back legs are stiff and she walks with them like they are sticks. I put soft canned AD food from the vet on my finger and put it in her mouth. She does swallow it, but I'm not sure how much to give her. She will not eat out of a dish. I have tried tuna, canned foods, even milk. She's losing weight rapidly; she is just in poor shape. Two weeks ago she had a dry cough, which I thought was hairball, but evidently not. Tomorrow I have to make THE hard decision and it's killing me. Anyone know what else I can do?

plmgifford
June 30th, 2008, 09:25 AM
[QUOTE=Dr Lee;614462]A few questions I have in order to try to help...

1) The hind limb weakness is perisistent or episodic? Did your veterinarian identify this as a generalized illness or a primary neurologic problem? Where there any neurologic deficits identified? Is the weakness getting worse or better?

2) Is she indoor or indoor/outdoor?

3) Is she on any medications? Antibiotics? She was just treated for possible roundworms correct?

4) Other than the wobbly/weak hind limbs, what other clinical signs are being seen? No coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea? Changes in weight? Eating? Drinking? Is she drinking a lot?

5) Finally, the blood test. There was a CBC and glucose. Was a general chemistry performed? Any viral tests? Fructosamine level?


1. It is persistent. It seems to be the same (could possibly be getting a tad worse - I've noticed him limping a bit now when he does walk which is not often - it's been almost a week. The vet didn't identify it as anything!!!! Just said Xrays normal, including abdomen and hind legs, and blood work normal.

2. Strictly indoor - never been outdoors at all - although got him from a shelter when just a kitten.

3. No meds other than being treated for roundworms - the second dose of which was June 16 approx 1 week prior to me noticing this.

4. No coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea. I noticed he has lost a little weight by his collar. As I said earlier - he was 24lbs! I'm actually guessing this is b/c he doesn't want to get up from the couch to walk to the bowl. He does walk to the bowl - but if I bring him food, he gobbles it up. He is peeing and pooping. No change in drinking that I can tell. He does have a watery eye. (He's gotten this his whole life and the vet has told me a herpes virus - and it happens a lot when stressed.)

5. I'm not sure what all the labs they ran actually were. I did ask her about diabetes and she (the vet) said no. I haven't been able to get a urine sample. Tried all day Saturday, vet closed at 2pm, he went at about 5:30pm.

I plan to call the vet again this morning to set up another appointment. I just don't know what to do! I have no idea if it's a soft tissue injury and he just needs rest, if it's FIP and he's doomed, if it's neurological, if it's a clot (although I keep feeling his feet to see if they are warm and they are - thinking if a clot, they would be cold from lack of circulation.)

Any help you can give would be much appreciated. I'm at a loss and I'm sure the vet is just going to say - well - watch him and see!!!!!!!

RUSTYcat
June 30th, 2008, 10:50 AM
My 10 yr. old cat was at the vet and ER last week. Blood is good. Xray should possible collapsed lung. She will not eat, but she is drinking water. They put her on Lasix and she is peeing a lot, however, only acts like she feels better when taking a whole tablet, not 1/2 as they suggested after she was on a whole one for 3 days. When she walks, which is not much, her back legs are stiff and she walks with them like they are sticks. I put soft canned AD food from the vet on my finger and put it in her mouth. She does swallow it, but I'm not sure how much to give her. She will not eat out of a dish. I have tried tuna, canned foods, even milk. She's losing weight rapidly; she is just in poor shape. Two weeks ago she had a dry cough, which I thought was hairball, but evidently not. Tomorrow I have to make THE hard decision and it's killing me. Anyone know what else I can do?

dizz2401-

First, a belated welcome to the forum!

Second, I'm sorry that your post has gone without a reply - even though you appear to be on the brink of - what might be - a final decision.

Third, Because I don't read any need for fatality in your post, I would urge you to put off making such a decision - at least, until you can have the opportunity to have a discussion here - after all, that would seem to be the reason you posted.

Fourth, perhaps the symptoms in this thread sound familiar to you - BUT - every cat is unique - and, your and your cat's situation really deserve a thread of its own. Otherwise, things can become very confusing and could just turn out to be unhelpful.

The only question I have any confidence in answering right now is about how much food should you give her. Off the top, I would say, as much as you can get her to eat.

Could I suggest that you start a new thread - and, also give us a little more detail, like
- why was your cat taken to the ER?
- has she seen another Vet since then?
- what has been her medical history?

There are many more questions I would have, but I need you to see this post ASAP.

When you re-post, take your time and tell the story again with as many details as possible. It is as if all we have right now is an artist's sketch - what we need is a cpmplete painting with all the colour you can add.

And, again, unless there is something extremely serious missing from your "sketch", please slow everything down so that a logical (not emotional) decision can be made.

plmgifford
June 30th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Well all, I finally actually got to speak with a vet - not the vet who took the xrays and examined Sam last Wednesday. This one said she took a look at the Xrays and he does have mild hip dysplacia. He aslo has a couple of vertabrae in his back that are a little too close together. (He did fall off of the bed about a year ago and shook and back legs didn't work for about a minute - I freaked - but he recovered completely within a minute or so.)

She also told me the Xray of the Right leg wasn't very good and cut off at the knee!!!!!!! That's the leg he is limping on!!!!!! She said to bring him back in as soon as possible and they'd re-run the Right leg Xray.

FYI - this is all totally contrary to what the vet who examined him said last week!!!!! I'll be dropping him off in the morning.

I'm so glad I kept calling and hounding them!!!! I will keep you posted on what they find tomorrow. If I'm not satisfied, I have another vet, a little further away who treated my Simon - liver cancer - so well, I'll take him there.

Thanks for all of your support!!

plmgifford
July 2nd, 2008, 09:12 AM
Well, the xrays from yesterday show some tissue swelling on his right knee. Vet thinks it's an injury probably from jumping - although clearly I'm having issues trusting them after the last vet's read of the xrays. Also says he probably has some mild arthritis and if he doesn't lose weight, he's just going to keep re-injuring that knee. I will keep you posted on whether he starts to get better. (He did seem to walk around a little more last night than he has been.)

I started them all on canned Instinct last Friday with no kibble left out during the day. I did buy Evo (or Envo can't remember) dry kibble and they love it. If I leave a little bit of that out during the day for them to nibble on while I'm at work, then make their major meals (morning and evening) the Instinct, is this going to be a healthy diet and help Sam lose the weight he needs?

I did purchase a scale so I could monitor his weight loss appropriately and make sure it's not too fast.

Again, any help and advice you can give would be appreciated. And I thank everyone for all of their advice so far.

Love4himies
July 2nd, 2008, 10:41 AM
I have one cat who is quite porky and so I don't leave any kibble out for them to munch on, in fact I am in the middle of weaning Jasper off all kibble. Puddles and Sweet Pea are not fed any, but sometimes Sweet Pea steals Jaspers food.:frustrated:

I find two meals of canned fed at the same time of day is fine. If you have a food stealer and nibblers, then three smaller meals a day may be better.

sugarcatmom
July 2nd, 2008, 12:06 PM
I gotta warn you that Evo is extremely high in calories and even a small amount could make a difference. My cat lost 1.5 lbs when all I did was take away the 2 tsps of Evo he was getting twice per day. If you want to use it to slowly taper off to no dry, that would be fine, but I wouldn't buy any more. The other issue with Evo is that most cats really really love it and it can make transitioning to wet harder as they hold out for their "fix".

plmgifford
July 2nd, 2008, 02:40 PM
Well, so far, the two "decent" sized cats are eating about 1/4 can of Instinct in the morning and in the evening. Sam - the huge one - is eating about 1/2 can in the morning and the evening. I give them probably about 10-15 kibbles of Evo in the morning and at night b/c it doesn't seem like they are eating enough of the Instinct. (I bought a lot of the Instinct so I hope it works.) Shouldn't they be eating more of the Instinct? They never finish what I give them. My plan was, 1/2 can in the morning and evening for the two smaller and 3/4 can in morning and evening for Sam (all 24lbs of him). But again, they aren't finishing even that. I just want to make sure I don't "starve" them and they start to lose to fast.

sugarcatmom
July 2nd, 2008, 04:21 PM
One thing you can do to make sure they eat more is to pulverize a few pieces of Evo and sprinkle it on top of the canned. Periodically sprinkle on more as they eat it off the top. Are you leaving the canned out or do you pick it up if they don't finish it in one sitting? There's no way my cat could ever finish his entire meal in one go so I just leave it and he keeps coming back to it throughout the day/night.

plmgifford
July 3rd, 2008, 01:31 PM
I have been picking it up after they are done b/c I was worried about it spoiling. (And also to try to be sure Sam doesn't get too much and not lose weight.) Is it okay to leave out all day?

sugarcatmom
July 3rd, 2008, 03:22 PM
Is it okay to leave out all day?

Absolutely! If it's a really really hot day and you don't have air conditioning, you can rig something up with freezer gel packs or ice cubes underneath the dishes, or even freeze some of the canned itself in an ice cube tray and let it thaw out in their dishes over the course of the day. But it really does take longer than the 12 hrs I've left wet food out for it to become a health hazard, and I guarantee your cats wouldn't be eating it at that point anyway. Sometimes adding a few tsps of extra water slows down the drying out process, if your cats are picky about that.

As for Sam eating too much of his share, see what happens over the next month and go from there. He may self-regulate appropriately, especially as the novelty of getting canned wears off. My vet had an obese (30lb) cat abandoned at their clinic a while ago and all they did was eliminate the kibble, letting the poor girl eat as much canned as she wanted. Without doing anything else, she gradually (over the course of a year) lost half her body weight. She's one of 3 permanent "clinic cats" and the poster child for feeding wet food.

MrKittyMeow
July 30th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Sorry to hear about your cat, but something proactive you can do is give your cat Arthralactin. It promotes the long-term management of chronic joint inflammation and helps maintain healthy joints in cats.

Maybe your cat doesn't have arthritis officially, but i'm sure that increased joint wellness would still be nice in your cat's weakened state.

Hope this helps.

plmgifford
August 4th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks to everyone for all of your help, support, and advice. Sam is doing just great. My guess is, he must have just injured his back leg. After a few weeks of hobbling, he's all better.
In addition, thanks to a new diet of Instinct - he has gone from 24lbs as of 5/20/08 to 21lbs 4oz as of this past Saturday!!!!! So far, so good! And, he's a lot more active - and I expect - will continue to become more and more active as he drops more weight.
Thank you all again so much for your help and support!

sugarcatmom
August 4th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Sam is doing just great. My guess is, he must have just injured his back leg. After a few weeks of hobbling, he's all better.

Yay! Glad to hear it.

In addition, thanks to a new diet of Instinct - he has gone from 24lbs as of 5/20/08 to 21lbs 4oz as of this past Saturday!!!!!


Woohoo! That's awesome. Keep up the good work.

Love4himies
August 4th, 2008, 11:17 AM
I am so glad to hear that Sam is doing great. Glad to hear the Instinct food is working well to help him loose weight.

RUSTYcat
August 4th, 2008, 11:56 AM
... he has gone from 24lbs as of 5/20/08 to 21lbs 4oz as of this past Saturday!!!!! So far, so good!...

Not to rain on anyone's parade here, but you might just want to check the math on his weight loss. We know that rapid weight loss can be dangerous - especially for a "heavy" cat.

Dr. Lisa Pierson, a Veterinarian and Feline nutrition expert gives some guidelines for safe weight loss on her website - she even suggests the use (purchase) of a baby scale to closely monitor the cat's weight, and the emphasis is on s - l - o - w and careful.

There are two sections on this...here (http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm#Implementing_a_Safe_Weight-Loss_Program) and here (http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm#Safe_Rate_of_Weight_Loss).

Now, I have not done the math on your cat's weight loss - I'll leave that to you. It just appears to very fast..

sugarcatmom
August 4th, 2008, 01:40 PM
Not to rain on anyone's parade here, but you might just want to check the math on his weight loss. We know that rapid weight loss can be dangerous - especially for a "heavy" cat.


Good point RUSTYcat. I did the math just now and Sam's rate of weight loss is a-okay, right around 1% per week.

RUSTYcat
August 4th, 2008, 04:07 PM
Good point RUSTYcat. I did the math just now and Sam's rate of weight loss is a-okay, right around 1% per week.

That's good news! I think my perception was probably skewed by my simple focus on the high number of pounds lost, and losing sight of the fact that this was a 24-pound cat.

Now....remember, as the cat's weight reduces...so should the ounces lost per week. It won't be 1% of 24 pounds anymore...it should be 1% of that weeks new weight.

plmgifford- I hope you'll be ready with "before" and "after" pictures!

plmgifford
August 5th, 2008, 02:04 PM
Well, I've been tracking his weight loss very closely - the LAST thing I want is hepatic lipidosis! I even bought a baby scale to weigh him every few days!! (And the other two as well to make sure none of them are losing weight too fast.)
The best news is, I'm not worrying about portion control at all and everybody is still slowly losing some weight. If Sam hits a plateau, I'll worry about portion control then.
I'll keep you updated on progress and be sure to post before and after pictures when you can really see a difference. (I already can, but I've seen him at 24lbs for about 6-7 years!!)
Thank you all again for all of your help and support!