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Wwyd. Nerve damage and Incontinence

(13 Posts)
JaWellNoFine Wed 06-Jan-16 17:08:05


I am looking for some advice.

Our cat was injured before xmas. His tail was broken (severed) and he has severe nerve damage in the area. He is incontinent. And does not appear to be improving. He has been in hospital since mid December. The vet has advised that the prognosis is not good and we were going to pts tonight.

Hubby can't do it. He is devastated. He is reading about accupuncture and apparently it can make a difference to nerve damage.
Is he clutching at straws?

We both work so cannot babysit a cat for 6 months either. I realise that sounds selfish but it's life.


Thank you

scubachicksharm Wed 06-Jan-16 19:06:24

I'm a new poster that's been lurking on this forum for a while now! It just so happens I can completely relate to your concerns regarding your cat and felt I couldn't just read and run on this one. I hope my own experience might be of some help to you. Apologies for the long post.

My cat was attacked and badly injured by a dog over 2 years ago now. He suffered severe nerve damage resulting in paralysis of his back legs and tail. The first week or so he almost constantly dribbled bloody urine and didn't defecate at all until about day 5. I created a bed of towels (regularly changed!) for him to lie in and I kept him as clean as I could with a daily bath (using a shallow tray with warm water and a safe anti-bacterial soap, I would carefully pull him into it and then wash his back end and legs, it was important to keep movement to a minimum).

Living in Egypt my options were limited in terms of vet care and hospitalisation, but I was advised to give him daily injections of steroids and and anti-inflammatory medicine (orally). Other than that, it was just crate rest and a case of wait and see. He gradually gained control of his bladder (the anal tract was never a problem) but this was over a period of months and sometimes I would despair if he would ever improve. Unfortunately nerve damage takes ages to heal, but if you're prepared to give it the time you can see some amazing results.

Today Harry gets himself around by using his front legs only. He's actually got a significant amount of feeling back in both of his back legs and tail, but because I was a bit slack with physiotherapy in the early days he's "forgotten" how to walk. I'm currently trying to remedy that and still hope that, one day, he'll be able to use all 4 legs again. For the most part he uses his litter trays (large tubs with a door cut out on one side so he can get in and out) but sometimes doesn't quite make it. He's happy and well loved, and there's absolutely no issue with his quality of life.

I turned to the internet and did a lot of research on feline (and canine) nerve damage, prognosis etc. If you haven't already found it, there's an excellent website called with an active forum that includes plenty of inspirational stories and advice. There's also a facebook group (members only) called "cats with paralysis and mobility challenges" worth joining.

I wish you lots of luck with whatever you decide to do. Acupuncture is definitely something I would have considered if I lived in a country where it is available. Electrical muscle stimulation and hydrotherapy (even for cats!) also comes highly recommended.

lljkk Wed 06-Jan-16 19:11:56

I don't believe in acupuncture and I do believe PTS sounds like the kindest action. Everyone has to die sometime.

Sorry it's difficult. Think about the great life the cat has had.

Icequeen01 Wed 06-Jan-16 19:45:24

What a heartbreaking decision for you. I really feel for you.

Personally I think you should try the acupuncture as it sounds as though your husband may struggle if he PTS before he feels he has tried everything in his power to help. I personally had acupuncture and it doesn't really hurt and it is the only thing that has cured years of suffering a really painful tennis elbow. I don't think acupuncture will hurt or make your cat suffer more if you try it. My symptoms started to ease after the second session so personally I would give it a try.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Wed 06-Jan-16 19:54:04

I agree with Icequeen, I think you need to try the acupuncture as much for your husband's sake as your cats. I believe acupuncture works (although I'm too scared of needles to have it myself!) and, even if it doesn't work, I would at least feel I'd done everything for my boy.

Good luck flowers

lljkk Wed 06-Jan-16 20:04:38

my acupuncture hurt quite a bit...
can see the point that OP's husband might feel better knowing tried everything.

Icequeen01 Wed 06-Jan-16 20:21:47

I'm surprised to hear that some people found acupuncture painful but I think everyone's experiences will be different. However, I assume if the OPs cat has suffered nerve damage in the area he won't feel any pain - but I am certainly no medic so could be wrong on that.

JaWellNoFine Mon 11-Jan-16 10:28:42

Thanks for the responses. We had a long chat with the vet, with a very upset DH and DS but ultimately we had to put our cat to sleep. It was terrible as he was 100% in every other way. I think if the vet had given the slightest bit of hope DH would have tried anything.
Apologies for the late response.... It's also been entrance exam week this week ...

Wolpertinger Mon 11-Jan-16 10:36:01

Very sorry for your loss flowers it's such a tough decision. I'm a medical acupuncturist and it cannot make the slightest difference to nerve damage in this situation, you've done the best for your cat.

ThisWillSoOutMe Mon 11-Jan-16 10:39:37


I'm so sorry, but please understand that you have absolutely done the right thing.

I had a cat in the same situation, tried acupuncture that didn't work, and although he lived to 15 we look back and realise that it would have been much kinder to pts.

cozietoesie Mon 11-Jan-16 10:40:43

I'm so sorry.

Lasvegas Mon 11-Jan-16 14:02:11

Previous cat had tail run over (dont know for sure as was missing for 2 weeks). Vet said wait 24 hours to see if she could poop. She could so had all tail amputated. Vet warned it may affect her balance and her self confidence - it did neither. I can honestly say she was just same personality after. This was in Feb and she healed wonderfully. But by December she became total incontinent. She hated it. We could only have her in kitchen, constantly cleaning. Had to put her to sleep very sad.

But I am so glad we had last few months with her, and she knew she was loved.

Icequeen01 Mon 11-Jan-16 19:23:13

I'm so very sorry to hear your news. I also have had to make the utterly heartbreaking decision to put my cats to sleep over the years. My last one was about 18 months ago and I have found it extremely hard to come to terms with as she was fine one day and the next day I was having to make the awful decision to PTS. My DH was also heartbroken so I really do feel your pain. You did the best for your dear little cat and that shows how much you loved and cared for him.

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