Weakness and Paralysis in Cats
Spinal Cord Injuries continued...
Protect the cat’s spine. Use a blanket or towel to lift her onto a flat
surface, such a board, before transporting.
Treatment: All spinal cord injuries require immediate veterinary attention.
A cat with spinal cord trauma may also have other life-threatening injuries
that take precedence. All cats who are unconscious or unable to stand should be
considered to have spinal cord injury and must be handled with great care to
protect the spine.
At the scene of the accident, move the cat as gently as possible onto a
rigid, flat surface, such as a plywood board or a folded-down cardboard box,
and transport to the nearest veterinary clinic. Sliding the cat onto a blanket
or large towel and lifting the corners is a satisfactory way of transporting
the cat if no board is available.
Spinal cord injuries are treated at the veterinary hospital with
corticosteroids and diuretics to prevent the cord from further swelling. A cat
with a mild contusion or bruising of the spinal cord will begin to recover in a
few days. However, if the cord has been severed, it cannot regenerate and
paralysis will be permanent.
Protruding discs are common in older cats but seldom produce weakness or
paralysis as they do in dogs. They may cause pain. Most are the result of
trauma. There is an increase in the incidence of disc damage with age, and
ruptured discs are primarily seen in cats over 15 years of age.
Treatment: Treatment may include pain relief and/or surgery for severe