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

Ash
Mix
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sensitive to touch
Stiffness
Lazy
back pain

My cat is having back pain and crys out when it is touched. Sometimes she actually tries to bite because it hurts. My dog sometimes plays a little rough with her and she plays with my other cats. Is it something I should be concerned about or is it just something minor?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
If Ash is suffering from this level of pain, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and possibly an x-ray to determine overall severity and whether treatment is required. In the meantime, you should restrict her movement to a cat carrier for example so she cannot move or play with the dog or other cats. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chewbacca
Maine Coon
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain when pet in back area
not as active
Pain When Lifted
Sleepiness

My cat Chewbacca hasn’t been acting himself lately. He normally is running and playing with our other cat and loves to be picked up and cuddled with but lately he has been laying around the house not doing much. He has to claw his way up to our bed now instead of just regular jumping like he use to. He’s been taking medication for pain but nothing seems to be getting better. Every time I try to pick him up he gets annoyed and when petting the lower area he starts meowing like he’s in pain

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1044 Recommendations
I'm not sure what medications Chewbacca has been taking, or what testing has been done for him, but what you describe does not seem normal, I agree. He may need x-rays, and an examination by your veterinarian. Unfortunately, I cannot determine what might be going on with him without seeing him or more details. I hope that he is okay.

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Oreo
Black and white cat
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Bad balance, loss of appetite

My cat has not been eating like she normally should be. She use to eat 2 times a day of a bowl of wet food and now she barely eats that or drinks much water. She has been hiding alot more now to. Dont know if it is cause we have 2 small kids and they scare her. She also when touched around her neck and head tightens her neck and pushes her head down like she doest like to be touched. Sometimes when touched to its like she goes numb and freezes up and shakes some. She also has not had good balance since all this has started. Have taken to the get 3 times and they not really sure what it is. She isn't peeing amd poopimg as much anymore either

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1044 Recommendations
Oreo does sound like she may be having a problem, and it would be best for her to figure out what it is. If you have had her seen at your veterinarian 3 times, I'm not sure what treatment she has had or what testing, but she may need x-rays, or pain medication. It may be a good idea to have a second opinion, as I cannot see or examine her. I hope that she is okay.

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Tallulah
Ragdoll
12 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Ataxia

My 12 year old cat started having issues jumping up on the bed - she uses her front legs and pulls her back legs up. Then she started being wobbly on her back legs and occasionally collapsing, especially on shiny surfaces. She has been to the vet 3 times and had blood tests (all fine) and an X-ray that also showed no problems with her bones. He put her on 5mg of pred and that seemed to work until we dropped the dose to 2.5mg and she went back to being wobbly. My vet doesn't agree at this point that we should get a CT scan or other scan because he says that there isn't really any cure for anything they might find and if it's a muscle problem then the steroids should fix her. What would you do? Should I get her a CT scan to see what's going on or is that just a waste of time and distressing for her...? She is eating, toileting and playing fine (in terms of being alert and swatting at toys). The vet agreed she was happy and not in any real pain. He also checked her for saddle thrombus and it's not that. He said her blood tests didn't show any signs of cancer but I know that they aren't always able to detect it. I'm just not sure what to do next...She is an indoor only cat and did not suffer any trauma that we know of.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
The problem is that if a CT scan provides a diagnosis, would anything be able to be done? Whilst as a Veterinarian I prefer to get to the bottom of a diagnosis, we need to consider the cost of a procedure and whether or not it would change the quality of life of the patient. If there is an improvement with steroid therapy, continue with the original dose to allow Tallulah some mobility and monitor like that. A CT scan would be more of a way to diagnose the condition (if at all) than actually treat the underlying issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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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
1044 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
1044 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
1044 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
1044 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
2466 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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