Spinal problems, medically known as myelopathy, refer to any pet health diseases that affect your cat's spinal cord. Depending upon your pet's unique case, these conditions can cause varying degrees of weakness or complete paralysis. Furthermore, spinal problems can affect just the front legs, only the back or just one. The conditions are: Blood Supply Deficiencies, Lymphoma, Histiocytic Tumors, Meningiomas, Bacterial Meningomyelitis, Feline Leukemia, Cryptococcus Neoformans, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Verterbral Fractures and Other Trauma.
How it Affects your pet
As stated above, pets become weak and this spinal cord problems may result in paralysis of one or more limbs. They can also cause your cat to lose control over its bowels and bladder. However, your cat's condition may differ from another animals depending upon the severity of its myelopathy.
The symptoms that your feline may display if it has a spinal problem depend on the severity of the condition. However, in any case, there will be some form of weakness or paralysis. Additionally, external stimuli such as exercise and jolts can worsen your pet's condition. There are some common symptoms to look for though, and they are listed here. Common Symptoms of Spinal Problems in Cats: Frequent Episodes of Clumsiness/Loss of Balance, Significant Loss of Muscle Tone and Bulk, Bowel and Urinary Incontinence, Difficulty or Inability to Stand, Difficulty or Inability to Walk, Run or Jump, Favoring One or More Leg/s Over the Others, Dragging One or More Limbs and Inability to Move Any Limbs (Complete Paralysis).
The treatment that will be necessary for your pet will depend on what has caused the myeolopathy in the first place. For example, if there has been trauma, your cat will need to be hospitalized and your veterinarian will need to reset any fractures. If there are any infections present, antibiotics and/or corticosteriods may be required. Pets that cannot eliminate on their own will need help. If your cat cannot sit on its own, it will need to be turned about every six hours to avoid skin ulcers. Physiotherapy will be necessary to prevent muscles from wasting away. Finally, if your pet is only partially paralyzed, it may benefit from using a specialized pet cart.
Spinal problems in cats can be either inherited or acquired pet health conditions. As such, most any cat can experience these problems no matter how old or what breed they are. However, there are some conditions that make some cats more vulnerable than others. Listed below, are the breeds that have a genetic predisposition to myelopathy and the conditions that make felines vulnerable to it. Most vulnerable breeds to spinal problems: Manx, Siamese, Balinese, Maine Coon and Scottish Fold.
Spinal Problems in Cats Affects
- As stated above, pets become weak and this spinal cord problems may result in paralysis of one or more limbs. They can also cause your cat to lose control over its bowels and bladder. However, your cat's condition may differ from another animals depending upon the severity of its myelopathy.