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Very unhappy cat with a weird limp

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  • Very unhappy cat with a weird limp

    So I have a Siberian mix cat who I adopted from a rescue at 6 months old. We were keeping her inside 100% of the time but it jut wasn't working out. She was extremly hyper with insane amounts of energy. She also stopped using the litterbox consistently. We tried a litterbox in every room of the house, different kinds of litter, the vet examined her and found no physical reason for it. So we started letting her outside during the day for about 8-10 hours and it solved all of our problems. She was much happier, calmer and we had no more accidents in the house. So she is almost 2 years old and about 2 months ago she started limping on her left front leg very slightly on and off. When it got a little worse we kept her inside and the limp went away. As soon as she went outside she would limp again. So about 3 weeks ago I took her to the vet and he prescribed an anti-inflammatory and rest. He felt that she sprained something and if never fully healed. So she had two weeks where she was inside with the meds for the 1st week. She was 100% so I let her outside for one hour (put her out at her normal breakfast time so she just ran around a bit and came back for food) and she was limping BUT now it's her right front leg and her left leg is fine. So she went back to the vet today and he felt that it's some sort of a sprain and she is just being an idiot and overdoing it when she goes outside. So we came home with more anti-inflammatories and instructions for her to stay inside for weeks, preferably months. The problem is that means I have a very unhappy cat on my hands. She yowls at our back door and just wants to go outside. I will follow the instructions of the vet but was wondering if anyone else has delt with this. The vet said that the only other thing I could do is pay for her to be anestesized and x-ray both front legs but he felt that was overkill at this point.

  • #2
    Why does she need to be anesthetized for radiographs? My vet does feline rads all the time without drugs at all.

    Unless you know what's going on in there, it's tough to give any advice.


    • Original Poster

      So her name is Mako and she is a very sweet cat who loves people but when she gets upset she gets reeeeally gets upset. It was really hard for them to draw blood and have her microchipped. Once she has decided she has had enough that's it she becomes impossible to work with. He was able to examine both legs well but that was with me there holding her and comforting her. I think trying to position her for X-rays would be really difficult. I even have a hard time clipping nails because she doesn't want any of her paws touched. When we got her it was obvious no one had handled her she freaked out if you picked her up and she was absolutely filthy and was obviously neglected. She has come a long way but still has a stubborn streak.


      • #4
        Some cats really do need to be knocked out for rads.

        If you're going to try to keep her in for a while, I think you'll just have to let her complain. My cats are the same way, they HATE being up (they're normally outdoor cats) and will make a lot of noise especially late evening if they can't go out. You can try giving her a room with a good window, cat toys, etc and see if that helps. I might try to shut her in one room to try to contain the inappropriate elimination and maybe give you some peace and quiet when she's really wanting to go out.

        As for the litter box, if you have not tried it, they have found cats prefer an open box, no liner, with an unscented litter (Everclean was pretty well-liked). Usually they recommend trying several different litters at once in different boxes. And of course, big enough the cat can easily get in and do her business, and not too high (especially if she's a bit lame).


        • Original Poster

          knock on wood she hasn't had an accident since we've kept her inside. We do have an uncovered box with no liner and scent free litter. Trust me when she had the issue in the first place we went through every single possibility. The problem is with a very high energy active cat really not wanting to be stuck inside. Right now locking her in one room would only make things worse especially with our other cat and dog. I guess I will just wait it out and in a month or so insist on rads if she still comes back lame from being outside. Even though she is limping she still runs around the house and jumps on stuff as if nothing is bothering her. It's just really frustrating because if it was just the same leg I would have gotten rads yesterday but with it switching legs my vet is kind of stumped.


          • #6
            Originally posted by stargzng386 View Post
            knock on wood she hasn't had an accident since we've kept her inside. We do have an uncovered box with no liner and scent free litter. Trust me when she had the issue in the first place we went through every single possibility. The problem is with a very high energy active cat really not wanting to be stuck inside. Right now locking her in one room would only make things worse especially with our other cat and dog. I guess I will just wait it out and in a month or so insist on rads if she still comes back lame from being outside. Even though she is limping she still runs around the house and jumps on stuff as if nothing is bothering her. It's just really frustrating because if it was just the same leg I would have gotten rads yesterday but with it switching legs my vet is kind of stumped.
            That does sound like a confusing situation. Is there anything you could give her that would entertain her a bit more while she is confined inside to make her a bit less hyper? I recently got one of these for my cat who had to be confined inside for a while: http://www.amazon.com/Petstages-Chee.../dp/B000CCW1OE

            He's an older guy and I didn't really think it would be that much help, but he LOVES the thing and it keeps him entertained for quite a long while. Helps with the howling and scratching at the door...

            Good luck figuring out what is going on... hope your kitty is better soon!
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the suggestion! I do actually have one of those. Pretty much any thing that is predictable she gets bored with. My boyfriend and I are going to just try to play with her with her feather/mouse toys on a string on a stick more often. It's just difficult because we have to shut out the dog (she loves them too and will push the cats out of the way) and our other cat (Mako gets possesive and will growl at her if she tries to play with the toy) so it will just take some extra effort on our part. I did order a strong joint supplement today, maybe she just needs a little extra support for running around like a maniac outside.


              • #8
                If it doesnt get better with rest, I would have her sedated (not under anesthetic) for radiographs and orthopedic evaluation. No need for anyone to have to be in the room, exposing themselves to radiation, if the patient is sedated. If she is very fiesty, but otherwise young and healthy a strong sedation such as a medetomidine/ketamine/torb combination will give you 20 minutes of "VERY" cooperative kitty. Much cheaper than an anesthetic.

                Most of the time on and off front end lameness is soft tissue and wont show up on xray anyway. "unidagnosed" lamenesses usually are highlighted best with MRI.

                If its a shifting on and off lameness that keeps coming back maybe looking into immune mediated diseases would be helpful. Some of these exotic breed cats get some very strange diseases such as feline polyarthritis, pano (although likely too old for this), disko, distal neuropathy etc. however...yeah, most common cause of limping is strains and if rest is helping then I'd follow that path until you are conscerned otherwise


                • #9
                  Get her x-rayed. If your vet won't do it go to another vet. They x-rayed my semi feral (extremely loud, uncooperative, scratcher) in about 5 minutes. Yes, that limping was from a crushed left hip. Yes, probably from a car. And yes the were after effects for the rest of her life (narrowed urethra).
                  This really bothers me, an x-ray is relatively cheap and easy to do, why isn't the vet doing it? Your cat has a window of opportunity to be treated for broken bones.
                  Get her to another vet who has good experienced techs who can handle this.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for the tip of using sedation instead of anesthetics. If we do decide to xray her I will talk to my vet about that.

                    The vet will xray if I really want to but since the limp is switching legs and goes away 100% when kept inside he thinks it's soft tissue. Right now she is not limping at all just pissed she can't go outside. If I let her out she will come back with the limp again (who knows which front leg) and then it will go away within a few days. If it's soft tissue I don't want to put her through the stress of being knocked out and having both front legs x-rayed. If there were some sort of bone break in the front left which is the leg she started limping on I would assume that the window of opportunity is gone since it's been over a month and now she isn't limping on that leg. Also I do live in a very expensive area so it will be at least a couple hundred dollars. I am fine spending the money if it would help but since it does seem to be soft tissue I am ok waiting a bit and if this doesn't resolve then doing an xray.

                    I did order a strong joint supplement for her. No idea if it will do anything but if she is a maniac outside once this is cleared up I figured it's not a bad idea to keep her joints supported.