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Old 07-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My young kitty is stumbling in her back legs

About a year ago I had a large male cat that had to be put down because of a saddle thrombosis. He displayed weak legs intermittently for several months before the crisis incident. Then he went down one day and was completely paralyzed in the hind quarters.

Now, I have a replacement kitty that is now about 15 months old. She is now, for the past two weeks, displaying the exact symptoms and my older cat.

As a note...My deceased cat has a brother/litter mate that on occasion has displayed these symptoms, but always gets better.

I am now getting very concerned there is an environmental problem around my house. They are indoor cats with the exception that I allow them on my patio/back yard that is heavily fenced. Obviously I have lawn treatments done and of course we here in my part of the world are overrun by wild rabbits and squirrels and birds.

They are fed three different varieties of premium dry food, and each morning I feed them a tablespoon of tunafish mixed with an equal amount of warm water.

The kitty seems ok most of the time but on occasion collapses in pain and what appears spasms in her back legs. She literally wallows around on the floor for several minutes before she is able to move/walk.

I took her to my vet last week and he did x-rays, and extensive blood work (cost me $462.50 US) Ouch! and found nothing out of the normal ranges.

I hate to see her in so much pain, but it seems to pass, but is not getting better.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks from Billy, Creampuff and Icebox..
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Since all the tests were normal, it could be epilepsy. It might be helpful if you could videotape or take pictures when she is like that, so the vet can understand. You also may want to get a second opinion.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ffI am now getting very concerned there is an environmental problem around my house. ... Obviously I have lawn treatments done ... each morning I feed them a tablespoon of tunafish
In terms of toxins around your house, the two red flags that go up when reading your post are potentially toxic lawn chemicals and mercury poisoning from the daily tuna feedings. If you're going to allow your cats to go outside, you should stop all chemical lawn treatments.

By all means, let your vet know exactly which lawn chemicals your cats have been exposed to. You should also have the cats tested for mercury poisoning and stop feeding tuna except perhaps once or twice a month as a special treat, assuming they don't already have mercury poisoning. Ask your vet, also, if there are any diseases prevalent in your local wildlife population and could infect your cats to produce their current symptoms.

Laurie
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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"In terms of toxins around your house, the two red flags that go up when reading your post are potentially toxic lawn chemicals and mercury poisoning from the daily tuna feedings. If you're going to allow your cats to go outside, you should stop all chemical lawn treatments".

Exactly what I was thinking!
It really does sound like something in your house is making your cats sick and lawn chemicals could do it!
Mercury poisoning is also a huge possibility with that much tuna juice.
I hope you can figure out what it is and your kitties recover.
Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In terms of toxins around your house, the two red flags that go up when reading your post are potentially toxic lawn chemicals and mercury poisoning from the daily tuna feedings. If you're going to allow your cats to go outside, you should stop all chemical lawn treatments.

By all means, let your vet know exactly which lawn chemicals your cats have been exposed to. You should also have the cats tested for mercury poisoning and stop feeding tuna except perhaps once or twice a month as a special treat, assuming they don't already have mercury poisoning. Ask your vet, also, if there are any diseases prevalent in your local wildlife population and could infect your cats to produce their current symptoms.

Laurie
Sounds like it could possibly be mercury poisoning. I had no idea that it could be a cause. My question is how do pet food makers prevent mercury in their wet foods containing fish products?
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My question is how do pet food makers prevent mercury in their wet foods containing fish products?
I doubt if they do. That's probably one reason why fish-based foods are not recommended as a steady diet for cats. Manufacturers, though, may also minimize mercury content by using specific fish species from sources known to have lower mercury levels, and they may use enough fillers in their foods to keep the actual fish content to a minimum. You'd have to contact the manufacturers directly if you want their explanations of mercury content in fish-based pet foods.

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Old 07-15-2010, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I doubt if they do. That's probably one reason why fish-based foods are not recommended as a steady diet for cats. Manufacturers, though, may also minimize mercury content by using specific fish species from sources known to have lower mercury levels, and they may use enough fillers in their foods to keep the actual fish content to a minimum. You'd have to contact the manufacturers directly if you want their explanations of mercury content in fish-based pet foods.

Laurie
Mercury Poisoning in Cats | eHow.com

Just found this article. I am stopping my daily Tuna fish today...The symptoms are exactly as all my cats have displayed....
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh no! Take them both to the vet and tell the vet you suspect mercury poisoning.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of this. I'm just wondering if it is a coincidence that your new kitty has the same symptoms as your previous cat? If the kitty has saddle thrombosis, would that have shown up in the tests?

It seems like there are various possibilities for why a cat may have weak hind legs. I recently went through the same thing with a kitten of mine (8 months old). He gradually developed weaker and weaker hind legs to the point where he could barely stand up or walk (and he'd spasm too). The vet also couldn't find anything wrong with him, he did xrays, blood work, and urine tests, although if I remember correctly he had higher protein levels than usual.

It turns out that it was a horrible disease called FIP, which unfortunately, is fatal. It's very hard to test for, and there currently aren't any tests to 100% confirm if a cat has FIP while it is alive - I only knew for sure after he was put down and they performed a necropsy on him.

I really really hope that it isn't FIP though, and that you're able to find out what's the cause of your kitty's illness.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you've had to go through all of this. I'm just wondering if it is a coincidence that your new kitty has the same symptoms as your previous cat? If the kitty has saddle thrombosis, would that have shown up in the tests?

It seems like there are various possibilities for why a cat may have weak hind legs. I recently went through the same thing with a kitten of mine (8 months old). He gradually developed weaker and weaker hind legs to the point where he could barely stand up or walk (and he'd spasm too). The vet also couldn't find anything wrong with him, he did xrays, blood work, and urine tests, although if I remember correctly he had higher protein levels than usual.

It turns out that it was a horrible disease called FIP, which unfortunately, is fatal. It's very hard to test for, and there currently aren't any tests to 100% confirm if a cat has FIP while it is alive - I only knew for sure after he was put down and they performed a necropsy on him.

I really really hope that it isn't FIP though, and that you're able to find out what's the cause of your kitty's illness.
Jang, As I mentioned in my original post, I had a non-related cat die of Saddle Thrombosis, but displayed these exact symptoms before he passed. Since then, his brother has displayed the symptoms on several occasions, but always seems to get better.

When the new kitty started displaying the symptoms I became suspicious that it was something around the house or something I was feeding them. The only common thread was the daily feeding of Tuna-fish. I had NO idea it was not recommended for cats.

As of this morning, no more TF for my cats.

Billy, Icebox and Creampuff....
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