Injuries or severe infectious diseases can lead to disability of the pet. The most common in cats is considered to be paralysis of the hind limbs due to spinal cord injuries. In this situation, the cat can only move on its front legs. Some owners can not accept such a misfortune and decide to euthanize, but some, on the contrary, do their best to support the pet. Of course, the pet will need to pay more attention and care, but the animal, unlike humans, will not experience psychological problems from the awareness of their disability.
The solution to problems with urination
Usually, after a severe spinal cord injury, more than half of cats experience problems urinating. And we are not talking about urinary incontinence, on the contrary, there is a delay and stagnation of fluid.
Some owners believe that their pet is incontinent, although the opposite is true. Part of the urine begins to be released from the overflowing bladder under strong pressure. As a result of this constant “leakage” , an erroneous opinion about the diagnosis is formed. This condition is extremely harmful for the pet, as a result of the inability to go small, urine begins to enter the kidneys, which leads to kidney failure and pyelonephritis.
The most important thing in the owner’s place is to understand whether the animal can empty the bladder itself or not. If this does not happen, it is necessary to squeeze the accumulated urine several times a day. This procedure is simple, any owner can easily cope with it, especially since the veterinary clinic tells you in detail and shows you how to do it.
After emptying, nothing should flow out of the urethra. It is important not to put a diaper on a sick animal. This is due to the fact that cats have very caustic urine, and the constant wearing of diapers leads to the formation of bedsores. In addition, wet wounds are formed, and inflammation begins in the bladder itself.
If your pet is really diagnosed with incontinence, buy him special protective underwear. Such underwear is also put on cats at the time of estrus, to prevent accidental relationships. Inside the panties, a special pad is attached, which is changed as it is filled.
If the owner of the cat will not be lazy and will make manual emptying of the bladder several times a day, this will not only make life easier for the animal, but also significantly reduce the cost of diapers, diapers and toilet filler.
Depending on how much the spinal cord was damaged, defecation processes are disrupted. For example:
- in cats with disabilities, food begins to flow through the intestines more slowly than usual;
- there is a violation of the sphincter of the rectum;
- loss of impulses when the rectum is full, as a result, the animal does not strain the abdominal wall, and the sphincter remains in a compressed state;
- in rare cases, fecal incontinence.
To prevent unpredictable self-defecation, when feces fall out during the movement of the animal around the apartment, you need to take this process under your control. To do this, you need to stimulate the animal’s sphincter with your finger, thereby causing reflex emptying of the rectum.
The main thing is that the pet goes to the toilet “in a big way” at least once every two days, and the feces themselves are soft.
How to feed a cat with a disability?
Paralyzed cats need a stable diet. If a four-legged friend ate exclusively home-made food before the disability, there is no need to switch to another type of food after the injury. Mostly Pets are fed with specialized food. With this diet, you can easily monitor calories, because the obesity of Pets on disability is a serious problem. Despite the fact that the animal can easily move on its front legs, you can not increase the load on them. Therefore, the diet includes light foods, such as light or sterilized.
Since non-walking cats often have problems with the genitourinary organs, owners need to carefully monitor their drinking regime. Ideally, feed your pet wet, not dry food. If, after all, urolithiasis has overtaken a four-legged friend, appropriate nutrition is selected.
Diet is extremely important for the formation of normal feces. Fiber is responsible for soft stools, the more of it in the cat’s diet, the better. It helps speed up the movement of food through the intestinal tract. If the animal is constipated, it is recommended to change the food.
The selected diet is not changed without medical indications from a veterinarian. Do not give the animal treats, as this can disrupt the unstable balance of the digestive system.
Massage and physical activity
Physical exercises and light gymnastics are assigned to Pets who have hope of recovery. Few people know that disabled Pets need a simple 5-minute massage every day. It is quite simple and consists in simply bending the limbs several times. If the cat owner does not do this, the hind legs will stiffen and interfere with the animal during movement, as well as taking a normal position during rest.
Massage for disabled animals is the only way to slow down the atrophy of the lower extremities. Below are a few more exercises to warm up your muscles:
- after the main flexion/extension of the limbs, you can simply tickle the paws, thereby helping to improve blood circulation in this area;
- massage of the front paws, shoulders and neck – due to the increased load on them helps to avoid cramps and spasms;
- as a result of the immobility of the hind legs, the animal can not scratch itself, this function must be taken over by the owner and every day comb its entire body.
Moving around the apartment
With irreversible changes in the spinal cord, some cats can move around the apartment with a spinal gait, i.e. the hind legs walk reflexively and are not controlled by the brain. Of course, the back half of the cat moves clumsily, with a strong amplitude, but this is not so important, because the pet goes independently. With a spinal gait, the hind legs are rarely injured, but cat owners should be on the alert, and if they find abrasions, they should put socks on their paws.
If this gait does not work for the pet, it will still move deftly and quickly on its forelimbs. Advice to all owners of cats with disabilities don’t help Pets in the movement. Don’t do the animal a disservice. If you see that the pet is trying to climb on the sofa – do not interfere. Let him do it himself, without help. This is the only way to achieve active behavior and develop new skills in paralyzed cats.
It is extremely important to play with a disabled cat, as with a normal pet. You can equip a multi-tiered house on which the animal will move and crawl.
Some owners buy a four-legged friend a Walker or stroller. These devices are mainly needed for dogs, but they are also used for cats. You can put a Walker on your pet during active games. But it is better to remove them during the rest. In General, everything is individual here. Some cats are happy to accept strollers and walkers, and some, on the contrary, do not allow them to wear them.
How to deal with bedsores?
Bedsores appear in sick cats for the following reasons:
- improper care;
- the postoperative period;
After surgery, you can avoid the formation of bedsores. To do this, you need to buy a special mattress, change the bedding every day and help the cat change its position every three hours. If the wounds still appear, the veterinarian prescribes special disinfectants and dressings.
There are cases when cats try to bite off their paws or tail, which they do not feel. Therefore, it is important to monitor the behavior of the pet, and if it goes from simple licking to more stringent measures, you need to put a collar on it and show it to the doctor. Over time, this problem disappears by itself.
An animal’s disability is not a sentence. The life of a disabled cat can be interesting and fulfilling. Caring for a sick pet does not take as long as many people are afraid – just 10 minutes in the morning and evening. Give your pet a chance, and after a couple of months spent together, you will understand whether you and him are comfortable. If the animal is not experiencing suffering? Then you will make the final decision about the future of your pet.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.