Cats Be Cured: Partial or complete immobility of a cat due to paralysis is a serious test for both the animal itself and its owner. Meanwhile paralysis is not a sentence at all so you can and should fight for the life of a pet.
Causes of the disease
There are a lot of factors that cause the restriction or lack of functioning of a certain organ. So it is impossible to make a diagnosis only by external signs.
Causes that can cause paralysis include the following:
- Spinal injuries with damage rupture bruising of the spinal cord (falling under the wheels of a car falling from a height, etc.)
- Inflammatory processes of the spinal cord developed against the background of poisoning infections.
- Bites of parasites that release toxins.
- Poisoning with toxic substances.
- Displacement and infringement of the intervertebral discs.
- Fatty or fibro cartilaginous embolism.
- Cardiovascular pathologies.
- Rabies and other deadly viral infections.
Paralysis in a cat can be complete or partial affecting both hind legs (paraplegia) or one side. For example, the left hind and front legs (hemiplegia) all four limbs (tetraplegia) etc. In addition there is a gradation according to the affected area – paralysis of the facial nerve larynx, spinal, trauma to the radial nerve.
Paralysis may have a pronounced or blurred clinical picture. As the disease progresses the symptoms will increase. At first, the owner may pay attention to the fact that the pet has become more lethargic, drowsy, moves unsteadily, tries to crawl into a secluded corner where no one will bother him.
Sometimes he shows aggression if someone makes an attempt to caress or pick him up.
It is difficult for a cat to keep its head in its usual state, swallow, lap, food falls out of its mouth. So the appetite as a rule decreases.
He stops washing looks unkempt. Become habitual phenomena such as hyper salivation involuntary excretion of feces and urine.
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With injuries, thrombosis, hernias, the damaged limbs become cold, turn blue, the pulse drops to a critical level.
With facial paralysis, an asymmetry of the muzzle is observed: one of the corners of the mouth and eye drops down there is no blinking and movement of the facial muscles.
If the paralysis is bilateral, both corners of the mouth seem to slide down, due to which the expression of the muzzle becomes dull.
Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic
Diagnostics is carried out in a complex way. First, the veterinarian examines the animal, tests for tendon and neurological reflexes.
And feels the paralyzed limbs. It is necessary to understand whether the cat feels touch, is in pain, or is no longer able to respond to stimuli.
The necessary diagnostic methods for paralysis include blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound of internal organs, MRI of the brain, x-rays, dopplerography. If an infection is suspected a bacteriological analysis is performed.
Method of treatment and prognosis
Many pet owners are convinced that if a cat is paralyzed, then the only humane way to put it out of its misery is euthanasia.
This is only partly true. Indeed, if the condition is serious, then in order not to torment the cat, it is more reasonable to euthanize it. However, this measure is considered as extreme.
If it was possible to identify the cause that provoked paralysis, the treatment is aimed at eliminating it, and, perhaps, it will be possible to cure a pet even without consequences.
One or more operations may be required in the veterinary clinic, after which a long recovery period will follow.
In addition, depending on the etiology of paralysis, the veterinarian prescribes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Rimadil, Carprodil, and Flexoprofen), anticoagulants (Clopidogrel, Heparin, and Aspirin), and antibiotics to relieve pain. If the animal experiences severe pain, the use of opioids (Fentanyl, Hydromorphone) is not excluded,
In inflammatory processes, injuries, steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are indicated. Well-established Metipred, which is administered drip. With tick bites, treatment is etiotropic.
Strengthening therapy includes the use of vitamins, in particular group B, which contribute to the restoration of damaged peripheral nerve endings.
In case of dehydration, it is necessary to replenish the lost fluid using a dropper. If the animal is having difficulty breathing, oxygen therapy is necessary.
The prognosis for complete or partial paralysis is variable, depending on many reasons – the age and condition of the animal, the degree of damage, etc.
What to do at home
If the owner wants to cure his four-legged pet, he must follow all the instructions of the veterinarian. You cannot change drugs, reduce or increase the dosage at your discretion! You need to understand that some medications your pet will have to take a long period.
Physiotherapy is of great importance in the recovery process. The cat will be very useful swimming with support, gymnastics (exercise “walking”, flexion and extension of the limbs, etc.), and light, but quite intense massage for 10 minutes three times a day. It is necessary to train the limbs, otherwise the muscles will atrophy.
Veterinarians recommend assisted swimming, but only if the cat is not afraid of water. It should be noted that even the slightest stress is an unacceptable factor.
In order to return sensitivity to the limbs as soon as possible, you can scratch and tickle the paws.
If, despite all efforts, mobility does not return to the cat, it is advisable to purchase a special wheelchair so that the patient moves around without dragging lifeless limbs. As a rule, pets quickly get used to such devices – in just a couple of weeks. Thus, even if the cat remains disabled, it may well lead a normal life.
Preventive measures include the prevention of infectious and viral diseases, timely vaccination and deworming, scheduled examinations in the veterinary clinic.