Neck and Back Pain Average Cost

From 547 quotes ranging from $300 - 4,000

Average Cost

$2,200

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What is Neck and Back Pain?

If you are able to notice significant change in your cat's behavior that can indicate neck and back pain, then you should immediately take your pet to see a professional to gain an accurate diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.

When your cat is experiencing any sort of discomfort along the spine, it is feeling neck or back pain. Neck and back pain ranges in intensity and is sometimes not easy to discern from other pain. For example, pain originating from the abdomen can sometimes be confused for pain in the back and vice versa. Since animals cannot clearly communicate their discomfort, it can be difficult to figure out exactly where the pain is and what may be causing it.

Symptoms of Neck and Back Pain in Cats

Cats can appear outwardly indifferent when something is irritating them, so signs of pain are not always apparent. Also, pain in one area can be mistaken for pain in another part of the body. It's important to pay close attention to how your cat behaves in order to determine if it is suffering from neck and back pain. Here are a few telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Arched back
  • Change in appetite
  • Vocalization (e.g. crying out when touched)
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Weakness in limbs
  • Change in posture/gait
  • Spine deformities
  • Inability or reluctance to turn head
  • Bruises around spine

Causes of Neck and Back Pain in Cats

There are a few injuries, diseases, and other conditions that can cause neck and back pain. Common causes include:

  • Trauma (e.g. bite wounds, spinal fractures)
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Organ disorders near the back causing referred pain (e.g. kidneys)
  • Vertebral disk disorders
  • Dislocations
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation/infection of the meninges (membranes that surround the spine and brain)

Diagnosis of Neck and Back Pain in Cats

To diagnosis the issue, your veterinarian will perform a complete examination as well as conduct a full medical history. If the cause isn't obvious, such as the case with an injury, then your vet will perform a variety of other diagnostic tests. To search for signs of infections as well as check on the state of vital organs, a Complete Blood Count (CBC), urinalysis, urine culture, and a biochemical profile will be taken.

Abdominal X-rays will show if there are any abnormalities in the organs, while spinal radiographs will check the spinal canal, vertebrae, and the disks. The latter is typically performed when your cat is under general anesthesia or heavy sedation. Other tests may include myelography, CT scan, or MRI to identify trauma or cancer and EMG to diagnose or rule out muscle disorders. If meningitis or inflammatory infectious diseases are suspected, your vet will recommend a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, which requires a spinal tap.

Treatment of Neck and Back Pain in Cats

The exact treatment plan to manage and correct your cat's neck and back pain will be determined both after discovering the root cause and determining the severity of the discomfort. In some cases, back and neck pain can be simple to treat. Other times, however, treatment can be difficult, and it may take some time to see results.

Medication

Both pain and anti-inflammatory medication is usually given to help manage and treat pain. If your vet has discovered an infection, the treatment will include a round of antibiotics. The risk of side effects and relapse, especially with antibiotics, is high, however. Because of this, you should always consult with your vet before administering any medication. If cancer has been detected, chemotherapy drugs may be administered.

Surgery

There are some situations in which your cat's neck and back pain will require far more invasive intervention, like a surgical procedure. Surgery goes hand-in-hand with medication as your cat will typically receive some medication to help cope with pain and prevent infection following the procedure. Operations are recommended if your cat is suffering from very difficult ailments. Conditions that usually require surgery are ones that deal with spinal injury, cancer, infections in the vertebrae and disks, and in the case of paralysis.

Recovery of Neck and Back Pain in Cats

If your cat has undergone any procedure, or if therapy has been recommended, it is important to closely monitor your cat's activities. Try to keep movement to a minimum and only what is suggested by your vet. Never allow your cat to perform any exercise that has not been approved by a professional. The outlook for cats that suffer from neck and back pain vary with the nature of the underlying condition. Also, when giving medication, always continue it as long as the vet prescribes to prevent complications or recurrence or infection or other issues.

Neck and Back Pain Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Elton
Im not sure
5 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

I'm not sure if my question went through but my cat Elton was playing with my other cat Mac.. Elton got up and had trouble lifting his head. I clearly saw it started as they played on the ground. Since then his head has been facing down. No moaning or crying.. Tried touching it ans he pulls away after a bit.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
513 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Since you saw the timing of when this happened and it seems to have been an injury that happened while they were playing, it would be a good idea to have him seen by your veterinarian today. He may have had a muscle strain or sprain, or injured his neck or back in the rough housing, and may benefit from pain medication or muscle relaxants. Many OTC pain medications are toxic to cats, and your veterinarian will be able to examine Elton and make sure that he is okay, as well as prescribe any medications that might help. I hope that he is okay.

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Georgia
American long hair
13 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Crying
Spine arched
Self defence biting
Angry meow when petting
Doesn't like being picked up anymore

My cat is old, I know with age comes problems but I think my cat has back problems. In general she never liked being picked up but I do it anyways because she is so fluffy and cute. More recently when I do its more crying out than struggling to escape. Also, when I pet her, she always hates it when I pet down her spind to her tail. Since I'm her owners she will angry meow at me when I get any where near her tail area(any back area by legs too) but if my parents pet her there she will straight up bite as a warning. Something up with the mid to back end of her spine for sure.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
513 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Cats can suffer from arthritis as they get older, and it can be quite painful. Since I can't examine Georgia, I can't say for sure what might be going on, but if you have noticed that she seems uncomfortable, it would be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian - they'll be able to assess her general health, perform any testing that needs to be done, and prescribe pain medication if she would benefit from it. Since most OTC pain medications are toxic to cats, your veterinarian will be able to give her something that will be appropriate for her.

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Fluffy
Domestic longhair
7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Licking at Genitals

3 weeks ago my 7 month cat started crying and rolling on the ground while lifting her back. she used to constantly lick her back but when i touched to see if theres a pain, she wouldnt ma ke a sound but run away so i took her to the veterinarian and he gave her ketopefen syrup and clavamox and with some injections and she was okay ... Now she has started doing the same thing again and i really dont know what to do

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
513 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Fluffy isn't spayed, that behavior can be very typical for a heat cycle in cats. She may also have been painful, or been showing signs of a bladder infection. It would be best to have her examined by your veterinarian, as they know whether she is spayed, and will be able to examine her to find out if she is painful and needs pain control. They will also be able to do lab tests if needed to determine where the source of the problem is, if needed. I hope that everything goes well for Fluffy.

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Toulouse
tabby
8 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vocalization
Stiffness in the neck
Loss of Appetite

I just adopted a new kitten, Toulouse, last Saturday. He was a very frisky, playful, and energized kitten. He only usually takes 2-3 20 minute naps a day and would be running around the house. Yesterday he woke up to his normal self and as the day went on his mood changed more and more. He slept all day and when we picked him up or touched him he would give a little cry. We have been trying to leave him a alone as much as possible but he is still sleeping, not eating or drinking and I am so worried and do not know what to do. The only think I can think of is that he was playing to hard and hurt his neck because nothing dramatic happened to him all day.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
513 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us today. Toulouse should see his veterinarian this morning. WIthout examining him, I can't diagnose anything, but he could have had a trauma, or he could be suffering from meningitis, or an infectious disease. He can't go very long without eating or drinking, or he will get dehydrated. Your vet will be able to look at him, figure out what needs to be done, and hopefully he'll be feeling back to his normal self soon!

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Ruby
Domestic shorthair
7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My 7-month cat has been growling when we touch her lower back and try to pick her up. She's also been slightly lethargic. This started 5 days ago, and she's never growled when we picked her up before. 2 weeks ago, she had conjunctivitis, but it's been clearing nicely. She also has some patches of ringworm, which she recently got from our other cat. But I don't think her growling and lethargy is related to her conjunctivitis or ringworm. Our other cat with ringworm isn't acting like this at all.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2008 Recommendations
Pain in the lower back and pain when lift up may either be attributable to spinal pain or to pain originating in the abdomen, without examining Ruby I cannot say which would be the cause. Try to give her plenty of rest as well as treating for the ringworm, but ideally you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine the origin of the pain so that treatment can be given. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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