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Three cats, weak hind legs

Todd-VA
January 1st, 2013, 10:43 AM
We have three indoor/outdoor cats. On Sunday night, we returned after a week being out of town. We immediately noticed the youngest cat was walking with an arched back and weak rear legs. We assumed it injured itself while we were away. The caretaker did not notice any problems on her visits. We took him to the vet yesterday morning. They noted an elevated heart rate and dehydration. Pain medication and subcutaneous hydration were provided. This morning, the other two cats are showing signs of weak rear legs. One started showing last night, both are very obvious this morning. I now suspect ingestion of some sort of poison or a rapidly manifesting disease rather than injury. I have been unable to find any obvious sources of poisoning. Any thoughts on what I might be facing here? Thank you.

hazelrunpack
January 1st, 2013, 11:53 AM
Scary stuff, Todd! With luck some of our cat gurus will be signing on later today and maybe will have some advice for you.

Did the vets do bloodwork and a urinalysis? Any chance they got into something that might be attacking their kidneys? That can often result in arched back and weakness in the hindquarters (at least in dogs) from the pain.

I do hope you get some answers soon and your kitties are on the mend quickly! :grouphug:

Dog Dancer
January 1st, 2013, 02:22 PM
Todd, how terrible for you and your kitties. I'm sorry I have no advice, but it does sound like they got into something poisonous. Good luck with the vet and sourcing the problem. Did you know this caregiver well? It wasn't just someone you hired out of the papers I take it.

Todd-VA
January 1st, 2013, 07:19 PM
Caregiver is daughter's friend and her mother. I only know them from the few times the daughter stayed the night but have no reason for being suspicious.

We live on five acres, and at least up to the day we left the cats tended to stay right in the open yard and only ventured a little into the tree line. If they got into something, I suspect it would have been something on our property. We left one vehicle behind and I see no evidence of anything leaking from it (anti-freeze was the first thing to come to my mind). They have access to the garage and there is a container of weed killer in it, but it doesn't show any signs of leaking.

My wife found web postings that suggest Lyme Disease could cause many of the symptoms but does manifestation in three cats within days of each other make sense? I find it hard to believe they all picked up infected ticks so close together, especially considering it has been pretty cold here recently.

The vet did not run blood tests since we were assuming an injury initially. We were advised to come back in for x-rays and blood work if the cat's condition didn't improve. The vet was closed today but we will need to get at least one of them in tomorrow so we can try to figure out what we are dealing with before treating all three.

It is hard to tell if their walk is due to pain in the limbs or just weakness but it doesn't appear to be pain. One of the cats appears to be weak in a front leg rather than rear. They have all been sleeping the day away but do get up and move around on occasion. They are also taking food and water when put in front of them but I don't think they are consuming their normal amounts.

Thanks for the well wishes.

hazelrunpack
January 2nd, 2013, 10:10 AM
Keep us posted, please! Good luck at the vet. :goodvibes:

pbpatti
January 2nd, 2013, 10:35 AM
I hope that you get some answers from your Vet today that will help all 3 of your kitties.

Barkingdog
January 2nd, 2013, 11:20 AM
Caregiver is daughter's friend and her mother. I only know them from the few times the daughter stayed the night but have no reason for being suspicious.

We live on five acres, and at least up to the day we left the cats tended to stay right in the open yard and only ventured a little into the tree line. If they got into something, I suspect it would have been something on our property. We left one vehicle behind and I see no evidence of anything leaking from it (anti-freeze was the first thing to come to my mind). They have access to the garage and there is a container of weed killer in it, but it doesn't show any signs of leaking.

My wife found web postings that suggest Lyme Disease could cause many of the symptoms but does manifestation in three cats within days of each other make sense? I find it hard to believe they all picked up infected ticks so close together, especially considering it has been pretty cold here recently.

The vet did not run blood tests since we were assuming an injury initially. We were advised to come back in for x-rays and blood work if the cat's condition didn't improve. The vet was closed today but we will need to get at least one of them in tomorrow so we can try to figure out what we are dealing with before treating all three.

It is hard to tell if their walk is due to pain in the limbs or just weakness but it doesn't appear to be pain. One of the cats appears to be weak in a front leg rather than rear. They have all been sleeping the day away but do get up and move around on occasion. They are also taking food and water when put in front of them but I don't think they are consuming their normal amounts.

Thanks for the well wishes.

Did you see any signs of vomit or diarrhea outside , I am not sure how cold it where you live but I was wondering if there any frozen vomit or diarrhea outside that could be tested to see if there anything toxic in it. Are there any Xmas plants your casts could had eaten? I hope they'll get better fast.

RUSTYcat
January 3rd, 2013, 05:08 PM
Welcome to the forum, Todd!

Exactly which foods do you give these cats?

Can you find out from the "caregiver" who fed the cats in your absence exactly what she gave the cats? Please ask if she fed anything "extra"...particularly any fish.

Todd-VA
January 13th, 2013, 09:34 AM
The vet was not able to give us anything specific on the cats problems. The cats are fed dry cat food and the caretaker continued to feed only that.

After laying around for nearly two days doing nothing other than limited eating and drinking (for one cat, we had to force to drink with a syringe), the cats slowly began moving around awkwardly again. At this point, all three are doing well though I still think there is a subtle awkwardness to one's movements.

We wanted to keep them in constantly but they have become quite intent on returning outside so they are once again, indoor/outdoor cats. I just wish I knew what caused the problem so we can prevent it from ever happening again.

Thanks for the help in trying to identify the problem.