Spinal Trauma Average Cost

From 362 quotes ranging from $2,000 - 6,000

Average Cost

$4,000

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What is Spinal Trauma?

Cat owners learn from the vet that spinal trauma can develop from one of several causes—the agility and condition of the cat may not be contributing factors. Damage to the spine, spinal cord, and blood vessels can lead to a number or complications. Medications, surgery and supportive treatment may give the cat some relief as it recovers.

Spinal trauma is an injury to the spinal cord in a cat. This could be the result of disease, a fracture of the spine, a tumor located on or near the spine, or a significant injury such as a gunshot wound. Along with damage to the spinal cord, the cat may experience pain, sudden or worsening paralysis, and possibly respiratory failure. Because of the potential loss of vital bodily functions, when a cat owner suspects the cat has a spinal cord injury, the cat should be seen by a vet immediately. Quick treatment may improve the chances of recovery.

Symptoms of Spinal Trauma in Cats

If a cat suffers a spinal injury, the onset of symptoms is sudden and can worsen over time:

  • Limp paralysis
  • Rigid paralysis
  • Pain
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence (if the tail has been yanked on or injured)
  • Lethargy
  • Reluctance to play
  • Limbs are limp
  • Unable to stand or walk
  • Lameness
  • Staggering
  • Limp tail

If the cat doesn’t seem to be experiencing pain in the limbs below the location of the spine injury, its prognosis may be poor.

Causes of Spinal Trauma in Cats

Cats, especially if they are allowed to roam outside, can suffer spinal trauma from one of several causes:

  • Gunshot wounds on or near spinal column
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Bite wounds on or near the spine
  • High falls
  • Cats may also experience spinal trauma as the result of a physical or health problem:
  • Ruptured disk
  • Defect or malformation of spinal column
  • Neurological conditions
  • Birth abnormalities (e.g. tailless Manx cats developing spina bifida before birth)

Diagnosis of Spinal Trauma in Cats

Vets begin examinations of cats with spinal trauma with a full physical so they can decide whether the trauma is related to an injury or an illness. After the physical exam, the vet orders X-rays that help narrow down the area of injury as well as its cause. The cat may also undergo a myelogram, which uses a contrast dye along with X-rays or a CT scan to zero in on the spinal injury. A specialist usually carries these tests out.

Treatment of Spinal Trauma in Cats

Once the vet has made a diagnosis, it’s time for treatment. If the cat’s spinal injury and symptoms are significant, the vet may recommend surgical intervention. Surgery usually removes the cause of pressure on the spine, which may reverse limb weakness or paralysis. If the cat’s spinal cord has been lacerated (cut), surgery may be an option to help the cat recover some function.

Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to help reduce swelling and inflammation of the spinal cord, as well as surrounding tissues. Vets also prescribe antibiotics to treat or reduce bacterial infections, giving the cat a better chance at recovery.

After surgery, the cat will need significant post-operative care, which means it will be placed in a cage to reduce movement. The cat may also wear a neck brace to reduce stress and pressure on the neck, minimize unnecessary movement, and allow the cat’s spine to heal. The vet and pet owner will need to monitor the cat closely to make sure that the cat doesn’t develop skin injuries resulting from the snug bandages wrapped around its body.

Some vets and pet owners may choose to give the cat physical therapy, which allows the cat to “relearn” movements lost after the injury and regain some ability to move around. The cat may also benefit from complementary therapies, such as massage and acupuncture. Depending on the severity of the cat’s spinal cord injury, post-surgical treatment may go on for several weeks or months.

Recovery of Spinal Trauma in Cats

Depending on how soon a spinal cord injury was diagnosed and treated, the cat may recover fully or may continue to feel the aftereffects of its injuries for the rest of its life. For instance, a spinal cord injury resulting from a yanked tail may seem to be insignificant. But, because the tail contains nerve roots, the cat may lose the ability to move its lower limbs, as well as developing urinary and/or fecal incontinence, which will be a lifelong condition.

Milder spinal trauma cases have a better prognosis than acute injuries. Pet owners who carefully follow all veterinary orders give their cats a better chance at recovery and a more normal life. Each cat and injury is individual. While vets have a regimen of treatments they prescribe for cats with spinal cord injuries, the cat’s chances at recovery rely on the severity of the trauma and how quickly the cat was given treatment. Cat owners should take their cats to each follow up appointment, which allows the vet to determine whether an existing treatment is appropriate or whether another treatment should be started. If the cat has lost sensation below the location of the injury, its recovery outlook may be poor.

Spinal Trauma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Koda
short hair
4 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

As I was opening my bedroom door yesterday I accidentally hit my cat. It looked like she was stuck for a moment before getting out of it then moved away a bit. I picked her up and held her for a little while but since this has happened before I didn't think anything of it. As the day progressed she started wobbling while she walked and when I lay her down she refuses to get up or move unless I move her myself. I woke up every now and then last night to make sure she was ok and I found out she had thrown up on the pallet I had made for her on the floor. Her nose is cold, her eyes are normal and her tail is up so i'm not sure what is wrong with her. Could it be spinal trauma from the door?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations
It is possible that Koda has some injury from the door, especially if she was stuck there for a moment as the pulling away can cause more harm than the actual door hitting her. I would get her checked out by your Veterinarian (also since she vomited as well) as I am unable to examine her and cannot say if she can rest it off or not. Spinal trauma can be delayed, especially when swelling occurs afterwards so she may have seemed alright immediately afterwards but the swelling may have lead to her becoming unsteady on her paws. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for the advice. I just got finished giving her some water using a syringe and she drank from it so that's good. I was messing with her legs to make sure they weren't hurt and everything seemed fine until I got to a spot just above her back legs. I messed with it and it seemed like it was moving, like cartilage in our legs when it get's hurt. Do you think it could just be sprained? I don't have the money to take her to the vet, otherwise I would. Can you recommend any home remedies for her?

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Hunter
Domestic Short haired
5.5 months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Back spasm
Lethargy
back pain

Medication Used

Anti-Inflammatory

They think my kitten fell and has a slipped disc or spinal trauma. They are hoping it isn't neurological. He is limping and not wanting to use his back legs. He is 5.5 months old. We are keeping him sequestered with minimal movement and on anti-inflammatory medication for the next while. Monitoring his symptoms to see if he improves. My question is, can I pick him up and hold him in my arms? Or will that aggravate his symptoms?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations
You can hold him gently and I am sure that body contact and love will make Hunter feel good during this painful time; it is just important to reduce his movement so he doesn’t jump around the house which would aggravate his spine. If there is no improvement, I would suggest returning to your Veterinarian for an x-ray to check the integrity of the spine. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mickey
dsh
4
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My cats has had problems with his urinary tract after he went in this time for a catheta he came home and has since gone down hill he now can't walk and the vet says he has no or very little feeling in his legs we don't no what caused this the vet thinks maybe this has been his problem all along he gave him a high dose of steroids yesterday and says if no improvement he will have to b pts on Monday is there anything we can do he won't eat or drink is this really the end pls help

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations
It is very difficult to think what may be causing these symptoms as they are not common to one specific cause but vague and may be related to many different conditions. During this weekend it is important to get Mickey is drink and eat even if it includes mixing some smooth wet food with some water and syringing it into his mouth slowly. An x-ray may be useful to see if there is anything going on with his spine or hips, but if a diagnosis isn’t found then it may be a case of euthanasia. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Puss
Calico
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Hind legs inactive with pain

My cat (female) is showing sings of spinal trauma from about a week. Her hind legs started to wobble and after couple of days she had to drag her hind legs to move. Now she cannot even walk and she became very weak. Took her to a vet and was given iv fluids. She is bit better and looks alert and occasionally sits up. But she does not eat or drink by herself so I am feeding her some food (dry cat food soaked in water or chicken broth) and water regularly. Normal Xray was done and there is no fracture or dislocation. Blood sample reports are also not indicating anything. I am not sure if these tests are sufficient to rule out injury to spinal cord. She feels pain in her hind legs and does not like to be touched around the mid point between the toe and hips. She has not lost any feeling in her hind leg toes. She also seems to be in slight pain if I rub on the spine about 4 inches from the tail and does not like to be lifted from her bed. The vet has prescribed vitamin syrup (Proviboost) and pottasium chloride syrup for a week, and Doxycycline for two weeks. She had fever so an injection was given to reduce fever. She was also given another injection for pain two days back. I want to know what are her chances of recovering, what further tests/scan should be done to determine spinal injury, what medication/surgery if needed, and daily care to help her heal faster. Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations
It is difficult to advise a course of treatment or prognosis when it seems all tests come back as being normal; I would look at going myelography (x-ray with contrast media) which may show some lesions in the spinal canal which may be causing some compression on the spinal cord. There are some parasitic conditions like Cuterebriasis or Toxoplasmosis which include paralysis as symptoms but normally present with other symptoms as well. If there is little information to go on, I would start to look at more alternative methods of therapy which may include acupuncture. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Emmie
tabby
7 months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
back pain

Hi, my 7 month old kitten ran out the door when my grandmother was closing it. She got hit a bit but seemed fine afterwards. She played outside, climbed some trees and then came inside. She spent the rest of the day sleeping. It's been 10 hours since and now she is crying only a little bit and her back is hunched especially near her bottom. She is limping a bit and is in a crouched position when walking. She looks tired and when she lays down her left leg is temporarily bent backwards (foot near her tail). We are very concerned and are wondering what to do until we can take her to the vet. Ps we gave her 50mg of ibuprophin

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations
Firstly, ibuprofen has a very narrow safety margin in cats and shouldn’t be used unless under Veterinary direction as it may lead to kidney failure. You should take Emmie to your Veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination as all that you can do in the meantime is restrict movement and keep her comfortable. Sometimes inflammation may be delayed and can cause symptoms to present hours after trauma. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/ibuprofen/

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pumpkin
Not sure
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

spinal

my cat got caught in a trap.. a wild animal one on a ranch.... i believe it's spinal but sure. he has control of everything still... he can walk around just while he walk he is very wobbly.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1214 Recommendations

A wobbly gait may be due to pain from being caught in the trap or due to spinal injury from the trap. The best thing to do would be to visit your Veterinarian for an examination and an x-ray to see if there is any spinal damage and to prescribe some painkillers to make Pumpkin more comfortable; until you can see your Veterinarian try to restrict movement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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