Paralysis Average Cost

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Average Cost

$1,400

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What are Paralysis?

Paralysis in your cat, even if temporary or partial, is always an indication of an underlying condition or injury. You should seek immediate veterinary care if your cat displays symptoms of paralysis as this condition may lead to death or serious, permanent injury if not treated promptly by a professional.

Paralysis in cats occurs when your pet is unable to control or move its legs or some other portion of the body. Complete paralysis involves the complete lack of ability to move legs, neck, tail or other bodily parts. Partial paralysis, also called paresis, is the lack of full control over the body which may occur as weakness, lethargy, twitching, or extreme slow motion.

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Symptoms of Paralysis in Cats

Symptoms of paralysis in your cat may range from subtle to obvious depending on the underlying cause of the condition. Symptoms may occur suddenly (acute paralysis) or escalate over a long period of time. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Inability to use or move portions of the body including neck, head, tongue, legs, tail or back
  • Improper or stumbling gait
  • Cat stepping on its own toes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Uncontrolled twitching
  • Extreme slowness of moving distinguishable from lethargy
  • Lack of or delayed reaction to pain or other stimulus to legs, body, or affected area
  • Difficulty eating or drinking
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Dribbling of urine

Causes of Paralysis in Cats

Paralysis in cats occurs when some portion of the structures that support the central nervous system have become damaged. A complicated pathway of nerves are encased within the spinal column of your cat. These nerves then connect the nerves in the brain to the nerves in the other portions of the body, allowing communication from the brain to the limbs, organs and other structures. When this communication is damaged, paralysis can occur. The location of paralysis can indicate which area of nerves has become damaged. Causes of damage can include:

  • Traumatic injury
  • Infection in bones or tissue near spine
  • Slipped discs in back that pinch or damage the nearby nerves (can occur when cat jumps from heights)
  • Inflammation in muscles surrounding the spine which places pressure on nearby nerves
  • Tick paralysis caused by tick bites
  • Tumors in the spine or brain which place pressure on the nerves
  • Malformation of spine or vertebrae
  • Certain chemicals or toxins that can permanently or temporarily cause nerves to cease to communicate (botulism is a common toxin)
  • Embolism which inhibits proper blood flow to affected limb

Diagnosis of Paralysis in Cats

To diagnose paralysis in your cat, your veterinarian will need a thorough physical history of your cat. Of especial importance will be any recent injuries, trauma, falls or other high impact events that could have caused damage to your cat’s spinal cord. It will be important to document the approximate onset of symptoms, whether paralysis occurred gradually or all at once, and whether there is any fluctuation in the severity of the symptoms over time. 

During the exam, your vet will pay careful attention and document thoroughly the severity of the paralysis and in which areas it is occurring. Your vet may attempt to manipulate each individual limb and may also encourage movement by positioning limbs in awkward positions in order to determine if your cat will move them back. Your vet may also use gentle probing, or potentially a fine needle, to determine whether your cat has any pain response. Attempting to elicit a pain response is a sensitive procedure and should only ever be conducted by a professional veterinarian.

Basic diagnostic tests such as blood and urine panels will help your vet determine whether there is an underlying infection that may be causing inflammation. Your vet may also take a sample of spinal fluid, if an infection is suspected.

The most definitive test for paralysis will be an MRI, CT scan or X-ray, which will allow your vet to see any damage to the structures around the spinal nerves. This may be done with or without contrast. Contrast refers to a type of dye that can be injected into your cat’s spinal area. This dye will respond differently to X-ray waves, allowing for additional detail in images.

Treatment of Paralysis in Cats

Treatment of paralysis in your cat will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. Suspected infection will be treated with antibiotics. In many cases, nerves can regrow or repair with time and proper care. If your vet diagnoses an injury which your cat will heal from over time, they may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pressure in the spinal area. They will also advise you on the proper home treatment. 

Cats should never be left in the same position for more than two hours and my need assistance in manually emptying their bladder and bowels. Nutrients may need to be administered intravenously or through a feeding tube. In some cases, heating pads and light massage may encourage blood flow to the affected area which can encourage healing and growth. Gentle manipulation of muscles will also help minimize any atrophy, which will get your cat back on their feet more quickly once they have healed.

Recovery of Paralysis in Cats

Prognosis for recovery in your cat will depend on the severity and cause of the condition. In some situations of severe damage or paralysis, it may be unlikely or impossible for your cat to heal. In cases of permanent paralysis, you and your vet will discuss the appropriate measures given your pet’s quality of life.

In instances that healing and recovery is possible, it will be vitally important to follow all schedules for medications and physical therapy. Due to the complexity of supportive care for cats suffering from paralysis, an extended hospital stay may be advised if you are not able to keep up with the necessary timing of care required at home.

Recovery from any paralysis will be slow and lengthy, but generally, you should begin to see improvement over the course of 1-2 months. Frequent follow-up with your vet will also be important to your cat’s long term health.

Paralysis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

meu
Bangladeshi
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pararalysis
Paralysis in hind legs

More or less the whole body is paralyzed , can't walk easily about 2 months,temp. normal,appetite & eating also normal. What type of treatment we can give ? We have given Inj. Neurobion, Multivitamin+Multi nutrition syp. and Syp.Barbit .Am I right? or what we can do now ? I'm a vet. this treatment I given today. but I want good suggestion from you Thanks.. My web.www.petcareclinic-bd.com

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

Dr Khan, as you are aware there are many causes for paralysis; have you performed any x-ray of the spine? With myelography? To look for lesions or instability that may be compressing the spinal cord leading to paralysis. Other causes of paralysis may be due to infections, tick paralysis, poisoning or tumour; I feel that further diagnostic tests would be required like x-ray (as previously mentioned) and blood tests (to look for an anomalies in the results). Treatment you have administered is phenobarbital and B vitamins which may help in some cases, but other cases would require treatment based on the outcome of further tests. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have many cats
One of them has all of a sudden vomiting convulsion Beeing in her self salivation and she recovers but the attacks repeated every day
After 4 days my little kitten has weakness in her rear limb and cannt jump what is the most suitable cause
It could be viral infection

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Lola
Calico
1-2
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

cant walk on hind legs

My cat woke up one at and started to loose the ability to walk or even her hind legs. Just today it started happening to her front legs. I have no money what can I do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

Paralysis may be caused by a few different conditions; without an examination by your Veterinarian and some tests it wouldn’t be possible to determine the cause. Possible causes may be trauma (delayed from a previous injury), poisoning, cancer, liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy), stroke, autoimmune disease etc… Each possible cause has a different treatment, which is why the underlying cause is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Cat was favoring his rear leg I took him to the vet they diagnosed him with diabetic neuropathy he was able to walk around go to his food and the litter pan after the examination he can't even stand up I called the vet she said it was stress of the visit is this true

My cat had baby's about 3/4 weeks ago she was hiding until she had them I moved and she can out and I got her back and only 1 survived both of the kittens legs were dragging she can only use her arms so i wash her up every 2 days and pick the flees off of her i see progress but 1 of her legs are getting a grip on my hand she moving 1 leg but the other leg las no movement how can I treat this cat I can a ford it and have no money to take to the vet what's a cheep way to cure this 4 week old kitten

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Nori
Domestic cat
9 Months
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

paralyzed tail
Paralysis in hind legs

Our cat was operated yesterday (sterilisation). After she came home she was still a little bit dizzy. I looked away for a moment and then I saw her downstairs. I don't know for surely but I think she had fallen down. At that time everything seemed right. But in a couple of hours we checked up on her but she couldn't feel her behind legs and her tail. She also can't control her peeing. We took her to a vet and she got some shots against swelling (medrol, metacam). We took her home and settled her between pillows and brought warm water. Now it is the next day. She still doesn't feel her legs. The vet checked her again and did a rentgen scan and said that her spine isn't broken. They said that they assume that one of her nerves (on her spinal cord) is being encumbered by a small swelling. Is it possible that her legs are paralyzed because of a swelling? What do you think asumming on my description? So the vet said that if she doesn't move her legs till Monday we will have to think about euthanasia. We really love our cat so please tell us your opinion about our treatment and what can we do besides that. Sincerely, Domen.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

Swelling can cause paralysis as pressure in the right place can render limbs paralysed. Your Veterinarian has prescribed steroids to decrease inflammation and a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug to try to reduce the swelling. If the spinal has no anomalies, it is a positive sign (in general); give the prescribed medication time to work, if after a few days Nori hasn’t regained use of her legs, a choice has to be made about offering her nursing care (carrying and cleaning her etc…) and euthanasia. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My cat had baby's about 3/4 weeks ago she was hiding until she had them I moved and she can out and I got her back and only 1 survived both of the kittens legs were dragging she can only use her arms so i wash her up every 2 days and pick the flees off of her i see progress but 1 of her legs are getting a grip on my hand she moving 1 leg but the other leg las no movement how can I treat this cat I can a ford it and have no money to take to the vet what's a cheep way to cure this 4 week old kitten

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Nori
Domestic cat
9 Months
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

paralyzed tail
purpel(ish) paws
Paralysis in hind legs

Hello. Yesterday I wrote to you about my cat. Now I have some more questions. The vet is giving her steroids. How long does it usually take for the cat to show any signs of improvement. She has been paralyzed for 2 days now. Her hind legs are also getting more harder (if you feel them) and paws are not so pink anymore(they are getting purple). Is that the sign that it will never get better? Did you ever experiance anything like that in your career? If you did, did cats get better or worse? She also doesn't feel if her vet pokes her with a niddle. Is it posible that a swealling causes that? Sincerely Domen.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

The problem with these types of cases is that the severity and response to treatment isn’t the same for every cat. Improvement (if any) will be slow, even if the swelling decreases the damage to the nerve may take a while to resolve if at all. The hardening of the limbs is probably due to muscle spasms and the change of colour of the paws could be due to poor circulation because of the lack of venous drainage due to muscle rigidity. I cannot comment on the prognosis as I haven’t examined Nori. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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rosa
Egyptian Mau
8 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Paralysis
Incontinence

Medication Used

Vitamin B injection
homeophathy

Hi!
about spasm in legs...
I am so happy to find page like this, thank you for your great work!
so I am living in egypt but from really from finland. I have cat about 8 months and I got her 6 months ago when she was only 6 weeks or so. herhint legs weren moving but after vet check they told me that nerves are still working and she has spinal injuryand nerve damage. she is also incontinent. when she was tiny she was standing for short while but not anymore without support. she hasnt improved a lot but I am not giving up for her. she has nopain and she is happy.
I like to ask about her "kicking" spasm, she is doing that with hint legs quite often. is there anything I could give her for that or can it go away it self and what does it really means?
She is getting acupuncture noand it might have helped abit. and she get maggage and physiotherapy (I support her to walk) and her legs are taking steps when I help her. so I still think there is hope but it takes loooong time ;)
she get vitamins and vitamin b-shots, anything else what could help?

we don´t have any specialists or alternative treatments here. But I was lucky to find acupuncture

Thank you and greetings from luxor

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

Spinal injury and nerve damage can be very unpredictable. The leg kicking that you are seeing would most probably be due to spasming due to nerves being trapped in the spine which may for a split second cause a pain response and a kick. Unfortunately, there isn’t a treatment to stop the kicking medically, but surgery may stabilise any area that is causing the trouble. There is a Veterinary School to the north of Luxor in Qena which may have Teaching Specialists which may be able to help more. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.svu.edu.eg/faculties/veter_medicine_e/

My kittens only a couple months old and I got home and she will lay down and whimper but she is keeping her back legs eased and her tail seems to be misplaced and higher up and just in found her back dips a lot

thank you so much!! I didnt know about school,great to know. wehave taken x-ray fromspine it looks normal. so i keep giving massage and contact school.

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Hugo
mixed
2 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Paralysis in hind legs

Hi, Our cat he can't move his back legs. he does have two marks on his foot which we think could be a snake bite. Previously we have spent a lot on him after a snake bite & can't afford to do it again. What can we feed him? We are giving him water through a syringe & hoping he will pull through.
Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
997 Recommendations

The problem with snake bites is not just the venom which can be deadly, but also secondary infection. Hugo should be receiving antibiotics, anti venom (if appropriate) and supportive care. To feed him you should get some smooth (not chunky) wet food and mix it with water until you get a smooth paste that is easy to lick up; this will cover food and hydration; but I recommend you visit your Veterinarian regardless of cost. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

You either have the cash to take him to the vet,or you don't. I can barely keep up with the bills.I feed and take in stray cats as I live in a rural area.One stray cat that I took in because she was pregnant delivered four kittens. Every one of the cats had flu like symptoms: runny nose and eyes,and no appetite,although the mother seemed fine. I gave them Amoxicillin. I bought Fish Mox online and diluted. A vet tech told me that they needed a capsule of L Lysine as well and gave me the proper dosages based on weight​.I fed them kitten formula mixed with Pate canned food every hour or two with a syringe.The mother stopped nursing them at about four weeks.They seemed to be thriving,with shiny coats.Their symptoms all went away,but one by one they developed paralysis starting in their back legs,then also the front and a vet put the second one down. He had no idea what it was.Over six mos time,all of them developed sneezing and flu symptoms several times and I'd retreat them.The third died at about five mos.,the last is not going to make it either. I've never seen anything like this and have taken in many.Its a horrible disease,but doesn't seem to be contagious as none of the others have contracted it. Hopefully this helps someone.They were walking fine,then the paralysis started suddenly and they'd die within a month. If anyone has experienced this and knows what it is I'd really like to know.Ive gotten all of the stray cats in the neighborhood spayed or neutered so hopefully that ends it.Thank you.

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Mavis
Cat
3 Years
Serious
Has Symptoms
Loss Of Balance
Paralysis
Mavis had gotten out of the house a few times over the last couple weeks and would stay out over night ( usually strictly an inside cat) I got a call from my daughter while at work and said that mavis was laying on the sidewalk and couldn't move.. when I got home she had her in the house and on the bed... she must have heard me come in the house because I heard a big thud and when I got to her room mavis had made it to her doorway but wasn't standing... so I love on her and tried looking her over.. I thought I would get her food and water but she had no interest... she then tried walking through the laundry room ( her litter box in on the other side of that room) but she could t use her left front leg.. she got to the litter box, used it and laid down in it as if she did not have the strength to get out.. so I got her out and cleaned her off... I looked her over and found two ticks in which I coated with oil so as to make the extraction easier and there are two decent size holes on her neck... should I give her antibiotics??
Pepper
Cat
4 Years
Serious
Has Symptoms
Paralysis
Our car has paralysis front left leg possibly from an acute trauma although not sure he lives outdoors mainly he is able to get around although the leg is limp and bent excessively at the paw ankle area he is eating and drinking also relieve himself normal we took him to the vet it may be from a fight the vet noticed a few puncture wounds the cat has no response to a pinch test very little feeling no x rays were taken although the vet started him on antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds and said give it up to 2 weeks any supplements that would help?
Bagira
Domestic Long Haired
8 Years
Moderate
Has Symptoms
Stiffness
Paralyzed Tail
My cat got bit in the tail by the spine several years ago when he was about four or five. We took him to the vet and he was supposed to be put to sleep, but he recovered. He lost almost all of his nerves in his tail and has trouble walking in his hind legs. Every yeat it gets worse and worse, i am very afraid for him and i need help.
Sammy
Domestic Short Hair
Serious
Has Symptoms
Partial Paralysis With Dragging Of Hind Limbs
Paralysis
My cat had a spinal injury. Her back legs were numb as well as her tail. The vet took x-rays and determined nothing was broken. He started her with a steroid injections and I've been giving her steroid pills daily. I am also taking her to the vet daily for laser tx. After day one she got feeling back but no movement. After 10 days her legs started shaking but she can't walk yet. I am hoping that this means her nerves are regenerating. Will she walk again?
Bobo
Siamese
15 Years
Serious
Has Symptoms
Vision Problems
Paralysis
15 year old, neutered 18lb siamese cat; found prone, responsive but unable to lift his head emergency animal hospital performed all primary diagnostics: blood test, x ray, abdominal sonogram, urinalysis: nothing abnormal after 24 hours at hospital, they started him on steroids and antibiotics; 48 hours later, he is scooting around, able to raise and hold his head up and eat/drink; still can't get up upon release, he continues to show improvement on third day, but still unable to stand up vets have no idea what it is hoping my dear boy recovers I'm with him 24/7, feeding him, administering meds, and keeping him clean his vision is compromised; he reacts if a hand comes towards him suddenly, but will not make eye contact he does not seem to be in any pain
Kitty
Domestic Short Hair
Moderate
Has Symptoms
Paralyzed Tail
My cat went missing one evening and came home in the middle of the night dragging her tail and seemed to be in some pain. I took her to the vet and he performed a probing test which my cat didn't respond to. We took an X-ray and her spine and tail vertabre are all fine. She is on Prednisone for the next two weeks to see if there is any progress. She let me look closer at her tail after her vet visit and I noticed a large gash which has already started scabbing over. She is black so I couldn't tell before bringing her to the vet. And there was no bleeding that I noticed when she came home. If she has no progress with movement, the next step is amputation. I'm trying to help her any way that I can. Giving some massage and warm compresses to help with blood circulation. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
Twerk
Bengal Cat
Unknown
Has Symptoms
Paralysis
My cat suddenly experienced paralysis in his back legs. No traumatic injury and blood tests normal. 5 hours later he is walking fine. Can this spontaneously resolve?