My cat appears to be paralyzed from the hips down

by Kathie Cash
(San Antonio,TX)

Five days ago I came home from work to be greeted by my cat as always. However the poor cat was dragging his back half of his body. I picked him up and there's no blood no wound nothing caught or tied around him. I carried him to his food dish. He won't eat nor will he drink. I carry him so he's in the same rooms I'm in. Today he finally drank about 2 cups of water and ate 2 teaspoons of canned food. He did not take all of this I at one time. I stood him up on the rug and his front legs are fine. However, the back ones are better, but not normal. The left is weak but will hold up his weight and his paw is falt on the ground. The fight leg is shaky and he can put weight on it but his back paw is folded over and he walks with it bent under his leg. A cousin said he could have a bone spur and a co-worker said kidney infection. I can't afford to take him to the vet. Thought I would try a different food and a joint/muscle support and a kidney bladder support. As I read them they are organic/natural products. Am I at least on the right path? By the way, Cowboy just turned 12 years old.


RESPONSE:

Your cat, Cowboy, really needs to see a vet but you've said that isn't possible. You might consider checking to see if there is a veterinary college or vet school in your area because they frequently will accept pets for examinations at no cost in order to further the education of their aspiring veterinarians.

Two things come to mind. Perhaps your cat was hit by a car or had an awkward fall. Injuries to the spinal area don't necessarily show on the outside but can cause the symptoms that you describe. There is a complex system of nerves that run through the spinal cord that can be damaged and unable to receive signals from the brain to move the limbs. Secondly, there can be an infection of inflammation in the spine or in the muscles.

A blocked blood flow can also cause this paralysis and even tick bites can cause similar symptoms. Because there are so many variables he should really be checked by a professional.

So, I would say you are on the right path in giving him supplements to help with his muscles and joints. Try to keep him as comfortable as possible. As long as he is eating and drinking well he will hopefully recover from whatever the ailment is. However, if is an injury that won't heal itself over time, please try to find assistance with a veterinary college in your area.

Here are the links to two pages that may help you understand the anatomy of your cat and its spine:

Cat Bone Structure

Cat Spine





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