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Our cat has suddenly lost the use of his back legs

(60 Posts)
Evalina Mon 13-Feb-17 10:41:34

Our lovely 10 year old cat developed a limp on Wednesday and we took him to the vet on Friday as he couldn't jump up.

By Saturday he couldn't stand on his back legs although can move them. He's at the specialist now and they say he has a mass on his spine which is most likely to be lymphoma, and the mri showed signs that it might have spread but they can't be sure.

He's fine in himself, eating normally and seems happy and not in any pain.

Surgery is an option to remove the mass enough to relieve the pressure and allow him to regain use of his legs and bladder, or we could try drugs which might take longer to shrink the tumour. Awaiting results from spinal tap which should confirm what it is.

Has anyone had a cat with this before? If we can have him home for a few months or even a year, then as long as he can walk, wee and is not in pain we would like to do that.

Am so sad, it has happened so suddenly. He was fine this time last week.

Any advice?

cozietoesie Mon 13-Feb-17 13:33:49

Peeing is more straightforward than pooing - that latter requires use of actual muscles and a fair degree of balance. Can you, also, be sure that your cat is not in pain - or not going to be?

I think you need to await the results and then discuss with your vet.

Evalina Mon 13-Feb-17 15:49:03

Vet neurologist says spinal tap was inconclusive, with no sign of cancer cells. He did stress though that it could still be cancer. Our choice is to try medication and see if that helps, but they won't give chemotherapy treatment without confirmation that it is cancer.

The other option is surgery to remove as much as possible and get a biopsy so that we know. Cat has very good other readings so is otherwise healthy. Asked vet what he would do and stressed I want what is right for cat not for us.

He said if his he would go for surgery to know, as cat should regain use of legs and get 6 months or so if cancer and more if not. Not cheap though, but we can afford it if needed, and we have already incurred quite a sum anyway.

So am leaning towards surgery but need to discuss with DH..

Evalina Mon 13-Feb-17 15:50:26

Should say cat is not showing any signs of pain at all. He doesn't like the temporary catheter of course but not believed to be in any discomfort.

cozietoesie Mon 13-Feb-17 15:51:57

So not clear cut? Let us know what you decide - and best of luck to you all, either way.

Evalina Mon 13-Feb-17 16:08:33

Thank you..

Costacoffeeplease Mon 13-Feb-17 16:28:00

I had this about 4 years ago, our cat was only two and I'd bottle fed him from about 3 weeks old, when he was found on the street

Unfortunately, although we tried chemo, it didn't work and we had to pts about 4 weeks after the initial symptoms, fingers crossed your outcome will be better

GalenJustGalen Mon 13-Feb-17 19:52:14

If my vet told me that she'd have the surgery if it were her cat, that would decide it for me, and I'd be hounding for an appointment.

You sound like a wonderfully loving and responsible cat companion (owner? slave?). Your boy is lucky to have you!

Best of luck to you and the little fellow no matter what road you & DH take.

Evalina Mon 13-Feb-17 21:12:48

We've decided to go for the surgery, which should be tomorrow. Definitely a slave to him, he is a very vocal cat!

timtam23 Mon 13-Feb-17 21:32:52

Best of luck for you all. If my vet said that I'd probably go for it as well. I hope the outcome is at least OK.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 13-Feb-17 21:33:04

Good luck, hope it goes well

scaryteacher Tue 14-Feb-17 07:27:37

This happened with my cat, and we were preparing to spend a fortune on surgery, but knew he didn't have a tumour. I said to my vet that it was a shame there wasn't catty physio, as my physio tweaks my back every so often. She gave me the name of another local vet who did this for dogs and horses. I took my grey puddle of fur along to this vet, and the guy clicked and tapped along his spine, put his vertebrae that had slipped back into place, gave him 5 minutes of acupuncture, and the cat was sorted for €30! No reoccurence of the problem.

Evalina Wed 15-Feb-17 10:41:56

So he has had the surgery and it went well. Vet thinks the tumour could be meningioma rather than lymphoma, and we will get the biopsy results back tomorrow to tell us for sure.

Just hoping that he can get back up on his legs now... Thank you for all your support. I have gone down with flu so feel really low especially without him keeping me company on the bed.

RubbishMantra Wed 15-Feb-17 12:00:41

Sorry, I haven't any advice, but I can imagine what a terrible time you're having and just wanted to drop in and give you a bit of support. And don't forget about self care too, especially as you have flu.

I hope your darling boy is home with you soon. I'd love to see a photograph of him if you're up to it? smile

cozietoesie Wed 15-Feb-17 12:20:17

Thinking of you all.

timtam23 Wed 15-Feb-17 13:47:55

Glad the op went well, fingers crossed for him. I hope you feel a bit better soon too.

cozietoesie Wed 15-Feb-17 15:47:22

How long will it be before you know whether he has some back leg function again?

Evalina Wed 15-Feb-17 20:27:41

He never totally lost backleg function as was able to move them when lying down. He couldn't stand though or use his bladder. They are slowly weaning him off the painkillers and say there are signs he wants to stand, so I'm hoping soon. Regaining bladder control also vital.

Here he is on the chair next to the fire, out of reach of the dogs..

cozietoesie Wed 15-Feb-17 21:04:08

Good luck to him.

RubbishMantra Thu 16-Feb-17 11:55:20

He's beautiful and very regal looking. Gorgeous unusual colouring too . Is he Maine Coon?

Fingers and paws crossed here that he's back on his chair in front of the fire soon.

Evalina Thu 16-Feb-17 14:07:15

Thank you, yes he's a very pretty cat and so often gets called 'she' , but he doesn't let it bother him. Funnily enough the vet asked if he has any Maine Coon in him, but he's just a moggy, and his mum was grey herself but not pedigree either.

He's a very prolific hunter, rarely birds thankfully but regular mice and rabbits as well as the occasional squirrel.

Evalina Thu 16-Feb-17 19:52:36

So the vet rang earlier this evening, to say the test results were back. The good news is that it's definitely not lymphoma (cancerous). However, despite consulting 4 other colleagues, the person doing the biopsy analysis couldn't provide a definitive diagnosis. So it seems he is a bit of a "special case".

The most likely is that it's still meningioma (benign), but it could also be a granuloma - which apparently gets created when the body fights an infection, as most of the cells were necrotised (dead), apart from a few large ones. They also tested for toxoplasmosis, but we haven't got the results back for that yet.

He's recovering well and is comfortable. He is showing increased leg function although not standing yet. Also not weeing independently - but the vet says he may be refusing to until he has proper control of his legs, as some cats are 'like that' (and I rather suspect he is 'like that').

We should be able to pick him up either tomorrow evening or Saturday morning. If he's not able to use his bladder, apparently I can help him with that temporarily.

So he's not home and dry yet, but it is at least looking hopeful..

cozietoesie Thu 16-Feb-17 20:21:57

Not unalloyed good news but 'better' news at least then? smile

Evalina Thu 16-Feb-17 20:58:44

Yes indeed, I am 'cautiously optimistic' and trying not to get my hopes too high.

GardenGeek Thu 16-Feb-17 21:11:50

Are you in the midlands; I would recommend Willows, Solihull.

They are the best pet care in UK' especially with the special cases.

My boy did actually lose all function of his back legs a while ago, but it was due to an injury and although we were scared to death we waited it out and the legs magically healed back to normal. Everyone originally thought shattered pelvis until x-ray said no damage.

Obviously we didn't have a diagnosis for a mass though. But considering this has happened so quickly you may be lucky in that it is just coincidental. Ie. the mass was always there, and the leg injury is an additional weird thing (not related) which may go away like our boys did.

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