Leg Paralysis Average Cost

From 397 quotes ranging from $500 - 4,000

Average Cost


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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

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.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1722 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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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?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1722 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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2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Medication Used


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.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1722 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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1 Month
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

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.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1722 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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