Leg Paralysis Average Cost

From 397 quotes ranging from $500 - 4,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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What are Leg Paralysis?

When leg paralysis occurs in a cat, it is in need of urgent veterinary attention. Care should be taken when transporting the cat so as not to cause further impairment or injury.

The inability of an animal to move or feel one or more legs is referred to as leg paralysis. When motor and sensory function is only partially impaired, this is referred to as paresis. When function is completely impaired it is referred to as paralysis. The inability to move all four legs is tetraplegia, whereas paraplegia occurs when the animal cannot move two legs. Leg paralysis can be the result of several things that are not common in cats including trauma from a fall, accident or abuse, viruses, or tick bites.

Symptoms of Leg Paralysis in Cats

General symptoms of paralysis are:

  • Loss of movement and/or loss of feeling in leg(s)
  • Incontinence (urinary or fecal)
  • Constipation
  • Limb weakness (paresis) or inability to move (complete paralysis)
  • Lack of pain response in the limb(s)

In addition, symptoms specific to the cause of the paralysis may be present as in the following situations:

  • Dragging leg: radial nerve paralysis
  • Cold limbs, absent or hard to discern pulse in groin: thrombosis (blood clot)
  • Dilated pupils, coughing: tick paralysis
  • Pain, reluctance to move: slipped disc or spine injury
  • Swollen abdomen, weight loss, fever, labored breathing: feline infectious peritonitis
  • Loss of appetite, lethargy: toxoplasmosis
  • Neurological symptoms such as circling, tilted head, fixed pupils: stroke

Causes of Leg Paralysis in Cats

There are a variety of causes of paralysis in the limbs which result in a malfunction in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the legs. These include:

  • Blood Clot: Thrombosis where the aorta joins with iliac arteries results in paralysis of both legs. Thrombosis in iliac artery of either leg can result in paralysis of that leg specifically
  • Tick bite: Ticks bites can release neurotoxins into the cat, resulting in nervous system malfunction and paralysis.
  • Stroke: Lack of oxygen to the brain destroys the part of brain controlling leg movement.
  • Trauma: Broken pelvis, injured spine
  • Cancerous tumor: Tumors in the brain or spine can impair CNS function.
  • Slipped disk: puts pressure on spine
  • Toxoplasmosis parasitic infection  Usually is symptom-free in cats but can, in rare cases, cause nervous system impairment.
  • Viral infection: Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
  • Botulism
  • Inflammation of the spine or CNS
  • Infection of CNS
  • Cryptococcus - fungal infection that can affect the CNS
  • Nerve damage

Diagnosis of Leg Paralysis in Cats

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical and neurological exam. He or she will look for signs of trauma and check for pain response in the affected limb(s). They will look for tick bites and check for a weak or absent pulse in groin area that would indicate a thrombosis. Your vet will ask you for a complete medical history of your cat, including any possible accidents or environmental hazards.

In addition, a blood count and urinalysis will be performed to identify possible secondary causes such as infection. An x-ray or ultrasound may be ordered to provide images of the spine and brain, which may reveal tumors or inflammation. In the case of a suspected slipped disk a myelogram may be performed, which involves injecting dye and performing an x-ray to see where a slipped disk may be pressing on spine. If FIP is suspected, a test for FIP may involve taking a fluid sample from abdomen or taking a blood test depending on the type of FIP suspected.

CTs or MRIs are also useful tools to locate the source of nervous system malfunction resulting in paralysis.

Treatment of Leg Paralysis in Cats

Leg paralysis in cats is an urgent condition and requires veterinary treatment. Your veterinarian will provide supportive care such as hospitalization, intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy as appropriate. Steroids or anti-inflammatories to reduce spinal inflammation are commonly administered. 

  • Further treatment options for paralysis will vary depending on the cause. Various treatments include:
  • Administration of antiserum to counteract neurotoxins released by a tick bite. 
  • Surgical removal of tumors causing nervous system impairment.
  • Painkillers and surgery, if required, to repair trauma or injury causing nervous system impairment.
  • Severe cases of toxoplasmosis may require antibiotics to kill the parasite causing CNS disorder.
  • Thrombosis can be treated with clot-dissolving medications and painkillers but prognosis is guarded and euthanasia may be recommended.
  • Massage therapy and physiotherapy for radial nerve paralysis may be beneficial.

In cases which paralysis is caused by FIP, there is a poor prognosis and euthanasia is usually recommended.

Recovery of Leg Paralysis in Cats

Prognosis and recovery will depend on the cause and extent of nervous system impairment that resulted in the paralysis. Massage and physiotherapy can be beneficial on a continuing basis. The animal should rest in a confined area without stimulation from other animals or exposure to hazards in its environment that could cause further injury.

Leg Paralysis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

BAGIRA
Bombay Cat
4 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

No movement in Hind Legs

My cat is 4 months old and of domestic breed located in India. Unfortunately, he was attacked by two stray dogs following which he received an injury on sides of his spine just shy of his front legs and loss of hind legs movements. Although there is strong pulse underneath the thighs and hind legs being warm, he still drags the legs around the house. The cat has sensation in his legs and often moves it during the physio exercises suggested by the vet. I have provided him every treatment available but have failed to regain activity of the hind legs. Could you please advise me on this?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
The problem with spinal injuries is that even though there is adequate blood supply to the legs, if the spinal cord is damaged then recovery may not occur; the movements in the hind legs during physiotherapy may be spinal reflexes and not signs of improvement. Apart from rest, there is little else I can recommend at this point apart from following your Veterinarian’s instructions. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I do have the X-ray results and my VET tells me there is nothing wrong with the spine. Please do help!!!

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Basma
Domestic short hair Tabby
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

cant walk

Hello i have a cat (basma) she is "paralyzed" in her back legs .. but recently she has been twitching them she can sort of feel it when i touch her feet but not her tail .. one of her legs lock out straight
Do you think if i keep moving them around and maybe build up some muscles she may be able to walk of atleast one of her legs? I mean she pushes back on me with her legs but still drags the around

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
It is difficult to say whether or not Basma is regain sensation or not, sometime a reflex may seem like improvement but may not be; there are phenomenon like spinal reflex walking where paralysed dogs and cats may walk again but the conditions need to be right for this to occur. I don’t want to give any false hope, but consult with your Veterinarian if you are seeing improvement but it may just be spinal reflexes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Keep working with Basma!!! I as well have an 8 month old cat who had a similar problem, she would drag her little hind legs. I would constantly massage her legs and help her walk around a bit ( preferably on carpet or foam.) My cat walks now, and even runs around! Hope all goes well with your cat!

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Lil Tiger
Dragon Li
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My cat suffers paralysis.
My country have no medication for my cat.
I have no idea which method is good for my cat. I need help.
My cat can't stand up
He lose weight.
It was been 5 days.
I feeds him chicken soup.
Plz give me advice for my cat to recover his health.
He looks so depression.
Sorry my English skill not good.
I can't explain his situation more than this.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Your English is fine, but unfortunately, I cannot tell you what is wrong with Lil Tiger or recommend any treatments without examining him and determining what is going on with him. He may have a systemic disease, or parasites, or a neurologic or muscular problem. I'm not sure if you don't have medications, or don't have access to veterinary care, but he does need to be seen, and evaluated, so that some treatment might be started. There are some diseases that just need medical treatment. I hope that he is okay.

I really thanks for your replying.
I need some home medical treatment for my cat because
my country veterinarian told me that they only thing they can do for my cat is neural hypodermic and whether good or not is depend on his fate. I don't like fate. At least as much as I can do myself for my cat. I want to know which food is suitable and which exercises are good for my cat's health.My country conditions is so poor. They cannot possible good medical method for pets. Please some home medical treatment method to improve my cat's health. I don't wanna let him go. 😔

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Tiago
mixed
6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Leg paralysis
Loss of Balance
Loss of Appetite

Hi, I have a 6 years old male neutered cat (Tiago) and 2 days ago I noticed that his front left leg was lifted and seemed he didn't want to use it. He was discomforted when I try to touch it and I assumed he hurt it somehow (I didn't see that, I assumed it).There was no sign of bad locomotion or instability before that. Yesterday I took him to the vet who said it could be tendonitis or a minor trauma and the best thing to do would be to wait a few days to see how he is doing before going into an MRI. Today morning I felt he was doing a bit worse (more difficult for him to move) and noticed that he had no appetite and although he was not in pain his back right leg also seemed to be working with difficulty and he only wanted to stay curled. I let him rest a bit for a few hours. Later on, I realized that he was getting even worst and he wouldn't move at all so there is something really wrong with him. It is Sunday and I managed to get my vet on the phone a couple of hours later. I will take him there in the morning (9 h from know). He advised me for now to administer cortisone. I did that (1 h ago/ 5 mg prednisolone). Generally, he is a healthy cat and never had health issues besides a mild urine infection 2 years ago and a stomatitis 3 weeks ago. To treat that he got a depo-medrol injection (29/12/17 and antibiotics for 8 days (finished his treatment 5/01/18). He is a bit fat (13lbs) but overall he has been a healthy cat. I only have access to this one vet since I live in a remote area. Any idea what is causing this? I checked on him right now and I have the feeling (and hope) that cortisone is working. He still doesn't want to move but he is kind of "less" paralyzed. I hope it is not something super bad and he will recover. In the same house, I have one more male cat (one year older) but has no symptoms of any kind and a healthy 3 legged female dog that gets along very well with him.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
Injuries, sprains, spinal disorders etc… may all cause some type of paralysis or a reduction in the use of a limb (or two); many times before Veterinarians suggest any expensive diagnostic tests we prefer to allow rest (if there is no obvious sign of fracture or other serious injury), rest is best in most cases and improvement or resolution may be seen after a few days. Without examining Tiago I cannot give you any specific advice apart from follow your Veterinarian’s advice and visit them in the morning. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kitty
Street
Two Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

No sensation in rear legs

Rescued a paralyzed kitten who is about two months old. Both his rear legs and tail has no sensation. Doctors said to put him down that is euthanasia. Can any other alternative is there to give him a new life. Please help.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that is happening to Kitty. Without knowing more about what happened to him, it is hard for me to comment on what might be done, but if your veterinarian is suggesting that his quality of life will suffer due to his injuries, euthanasia might be the kindest thing to do. You might want to consult a physical therapist to see if the kitten would benefit from that, but it sounds doubtful based on your veterinarian's opinion. I'm sorry for Kitty.

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Fluffy
Arabian Mau
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Leg collapsing at hock

My 6 month old kitten was spayed 3 days ago and has since had problems with the hind leg she was injected in. The vet says the needle probably touched a nerve. The first day she walked with a completely flat foot from the hock down. The last two days she tries to use her toes but she collapses at the hock on every step. The vet will look at her in 5 more days time. What should I do with her in the mean time? What can the vet do to help? We live in Saudi Arabia and can't see another vet as this is the only one within reach. Thanks.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that that is happening with Fluffy. Time will hopefully help heal the nerve that was damaged. There isn't a lot that you can do while waiting for her to recover, but you can do passive range of motion exercises if she will let you, where you move the leg in a circle, gently, to keep the muscles loose and the joints healthy. If she seems to be using the leg more, that may be a positive sign. I hope that she recovers.

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she was stray
stray
5 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

i saved a cat from stray dog attack i took her to vet. as she was unable to move her hind limbs vet. told that she is paralysed...so they kept her with them only...i want to know will she be able to walk again or she ll just crawl ?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
484 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. Without knowing what is wrong with her, or examining her, I can't say whether she will walk again. It depends on the extent of her injuries, whether she has perception in those back legs, among other things. Cats sometimes have miraculous recoveries if given care, but I can't say whether she will recover or not. I hope so.

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rui
DOMESTIC
3 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

spinal cord injury

dr. my kitten age 3 months had fallen from 5th floor, and i took her to clinic their dr. gave her depo medrol injection & didnt diagnosis & said to observe her activity 24hr. after 4 days she died because her gallbladder was swelled. plz tell me there was a negligence of that dr.? plz help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
If I had a kitten which had fallen five stories, I wouldn’t have sent them home but kept them in for observation; a neurological examination and x-rays should have been taken as a minimum. I cannot comment fully, but I would have kept Rui in for observation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Macbeth
Unknown
6 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

So I adopted a cat and his two hind legs are paralysed and also a really swollen butt. my vet told me the paralysis might be temporary and that he'll need my assistance when urinating or defecating because of it for a little while. how do I help my cat with these tasks,since he isn't able to use a litter box or properly clean himself on his own because of his condition?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
A cause for the paralysis should be determined, an x-ray would be useful in this case to see if there is any severe injury or pathology causing the paralysis. In the meantime, all you can do is clean up after Macbeth as you are unable to gauge when he will need to urinate or defecate. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maja
Tricolor
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness

Medication Used

Prednisolone

Hello, I have a question. (I’m from Czech Republic, so my english isn’t the best). About three and half months ago, my cat seemed different to me. She was depressed, so I took her to a vet, where we found out (after X-RAY) that my cat has some kind of bump/bulges on her back and it has to do something with spinal cord. She got prescribed Prednicortone (prednisolone corticosteroids) and after three and half months of dosing (half a pill every other day), nothing changed. Her back still hurts at touch and I noticed that her hind legs are weakened. It’s not like she can’t walk or something, but I still see they’re weaker than they were when she was healthy. The vet said that surgery would cost something about 40 000 czech crowns which is about 1500$. I’m 18 so I cant afford something like this even if I wanted. Is there an option that the hind legs would stop weakening more? Or is it gonna get worse? I really don’t know what to do.. Thank you for your response.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
Dobrý večer, I have spent some time in the Czech Republic - beautiful country (long with Slovakia, Poland and Hungary); I have also visited the Veterinary School in Brno for a tour back in 2004 or 2005 I think it was just for the day. It sounds like Maja may have a herniated disc which is pressing on the spinal cord, whilst uncommon in cats it may still occur; medical therapy with corticosteroids along with strict rest is usually tried first, if this is not successful then surgery would be indicated. Treatments like laser therapy (not sure if available in the Czech Republic) are only indicated after the surgery; you could try an Acupuncturist if you are within a reasonable distance of Brno (bottom link below). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://web-dvm.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/IV_disc_disease.jpg www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19186087 www.veterinarynaturalclinic.com

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Cello
white
1 Month
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Paralysis
Breathing Difficulty

I found a kitten 2 days ago near the dumpster. I took him in and named him Cello. Cello doesn't move his front legs at all. He had an eye infection that we cured. He was eating, drinking, sleeping and pooping normally. The next day I took him to the vet. He said that Cello has a virus that is damaging his brains and spinal cord. He's going to die soon and there is no treatment that can help him. The vet said that he got the virus from the environment he was in. Now Cello is breathing really fast, not moving at all or making any meowing sound. Regarding the breed, i am not fully aware of it.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1988 Recommendations
It is possible that the Veterinarian may be referring to something like Panleukopenia virus is affects typically cats younger than a year old and has a high fatality rate in kittens younger than three months which are showing neurological symptoms. The virus is everywhere, but most cats are kept indoors until they are fully vaccinated so it isn’t normally seen. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.avma.org/public/petcare/pages/Feline-Panleukopenia.aspx www.msdvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/feline-panleukopenia/overview-of-feline-panleukopenia

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