limping

Veronica MorrisVeronica Morris El Cerrito/SF Bay areaMember Posts: 14,677
edited 8 December, 2005 in Cat Health
*Saleen's mom here* On Tuesday of last week I noticed Saleen was limping a little. Basically, if he jumped off the bed or something, the first four or five steps he took were limping, but after that they were fine. We figured he'd just strained something and the jumping was aggrivating it. This continued (limping for four or five steps only after jumping down from somewhere) through the rest of last week. Then on Friday night he started limping all the time and when he sat down he'd hold that foot up off the ground. So of course we immediately made a vet appointment, and the earliest one they had was yesterday (Wednesday... a week and a day after any signs of limping showed up). He stayed the same limping all the time and holding up the paw when sitting up until Wednesday morning. When we got to the vet, we let him out of the carrier and he walked around the room without any trace of a limp! A few times during the week we had tried to see where the injury was so we had palpitated his whole leg and thought it was in the paw. So we had the vet do the same and he did look towards the paw when the vet manipulated it but didn't meow or otherwise act in pain. The vet said that sometimes they can get an infection somewhere else in their body and it will migrate to a joint. He said that usually sprains go away and get better over time and infections get worse, so that is why he's thinking infection. He also said it really didn't seem like anything was broken. As some of you might know from other posts, Saleen has been challenging our dog's dominance lately so they have been getting into scuffles. So it's possible she scratched him somewhere and the infection traveled. It's also possible that he sprained his paw while clawing her in the face (the dog came off slightly worse the wear in the last fight). Anyway, we're giving antibiotics twice a day starting last night. I haven't seen any improvement yet, in fact he seems to be worse even! Here are my questions: has anyone else had this infection traveling to joint thing? has anyone else had something with similar symptoms, what appears to be a soft tissue injury getting worse over time? I just got some syn-flex (glucosamine) for the pup, does this sound like any form of arthritis and so should I give him syn-flex, too? The vet said that if it's not better in two weeks then we might consider an x-ray, but that you can't really see soft-tissue injuries in an x-ray. So, any advice? (and yes, we've restricted his jumping as much as possible, started that immediately on Tuesday) Thanks!

Comments

  • Sally WrightSally Wright DenverMember Posts: 130 ✭✭
    edited 27 February, 2006
    I don't have any advice, but I hope he starts feeling better soon!
  • edited 27 February, 2006
    An infection in a joint is a pretty serious situation. Generally it is ALSO accompanied with systemic signs--not feeling well,decreased appetite, fever, etc. An infected joint is generally PAINFUL and may be swollen. There is an EASY way to tell if a joint is really infected--and that would be to have your vet actually tap some of the fluid from the joint. This is a really useful thing to do--not only does your vet get a sample to LOOK at for inflammatory cells, but you can also culture it and find out what sort of bacteria is causing the problem and what antibiotic to best use agianst it. A tap is done under sedation, but you can ALSO get good quality xrays doneat the same time (x-rays for joint injuroes are much better done under sedation--less pain for your kitty, less radiation exposure for everyone) Without a puncture wound to the joint, this sort of thing is really uncommon. YOUNG animals that do not get mom's first milk (which is full of antibodies) can have this happen (a common scenario in horses, actually) but its rare to unusual to have that happen otherwise. Other things to consider: autoimmune joint disease (a tap will diagnose this as well) or an injury. Frankly, I think 2 weeks is FAR too long to wait in this--you already ended up waiting a week to go in! If this was a simple, wil reslove on its own deal, it would be doing so by now! I would call your vet back and request a more aggressive work up--if he REALLY thinks this is a joint infection, he needs to tap it. He needs to at least x-ray it. If there is no fluid to tap, hooray, you probably don'thave a septic joint. If there is, you have gone a long way to diagnosingthe problem. Good luck, and do keep us posted!
  • Veronica MorrisVeronica Morris El Cerrito/SF Bay areaMember Posts: 14,677
    edited 27 February, 2006
    Thanks Kieko, that was really helpful! Here's some more info that might help you out: He definately is feeling just fine (or at least acting just fine). He is chasing his cat sister, playing with toys, eating with gusto, trying to steal the dog food, having completely normal pee and poos, drinking normally etc. Nothing is swollen that we can tell through his fur... looks and feels the same size as the other paw. Yeah, I would think a joint infection would be super painful (I have arthritis myself)! He's never acted like it's that painful, though, more like it's a nusience (I'm not trying to say he doesn't have an infection, I'm just talking about his symptoms some more) As to tapping fluid from the joint, we don't even know what joint to ask the vet to tap! It seems like it is somewhere in his paw pad or toe bones. Would they be able to tap all the joints there or would that be futile? Saleen is definately not young! He's at least 5 years old. I don't know how long he nursed for, but this is the first health problem (besides cavities, chronic gingivitis even with brushing) that he's had since I got him (I think he may have been just getting over an upper respitory infection when I brought him home, though). There is definately no puncture wound to that leg at all. We've checked it over very thoroughly. We have found a scratch on his back probably from either the other cat or the dog, but it doesn't look inflamed or infected or anything other than healing normally. It did seem like a very odd idea to me that an infection would travel through the whole body and then take up residence in one joint, but I suppose anything is possible. I guess autoimmune joint disease is always a problem. Again, though, would they be able to do a tap since we don't even know which joint is the one hurting him? Injury was my first guess, but when it got worse instead of better like sprains usually do that's when I thought something else must be going on. Yeah, so it was a week and a day when we actually got to the vet (but only like three days since the limping was more than just a few steps), and it's now been another 3 days since, so yeah, a week and a half. I agree, that's a long time for an injury to take to heal. However, he does seem to be getting better. Now it's back down to limping for about 8-10 steps after jumping down from the couch or wherever and then he's walking around OK. I don't know if it's just an injury that's healing, an infection that's going away because of the antibiotics, or some sort of arthritis that's been helped by the recent addition of glucosamine (liquid) into his diet. So yeah, the joint tapping sounds like a good idea, if only we can figure out which one to tap. I know if we take him to the vet again he'll just not limp like last time so we need to be able to figure out which joint is the hurt one before taking him in. Any advice on how to do so? When I palpitate his paw it seems to be on the right side that is hurting more than the left, but I really can't tell a difference in his squirminess when squeezing various toes or parts of his paw in that region. Thanks for all your help!
  • Wendy HutchisonWendy Hutchison Member Posts: 46
    edited 27 February, 2006
    Hi. What I would do (and have done with alot of the cats around here) is watch Saleen. What arm or leg is he favoring (limping). One of my roomie's cats, Lily, every now and then will limp. It takes just standing still and watching her to see which one is giving her a problem. In her case, it seems to be from getting into tussles with one of the other cats and it just goes too far It could be an infection, it could be early arthritis or bursitis. It could also be an injury from wrestling too rough with the dog. It could even be from jumping down from a really high surface if he does things like that. The only other time we notice one the cats limp is when they're kitten and a few have had literal growing pains. But that passes pretty quick. The only other thing to consider once infection/arthritis/bursitis/injury from fighting or jumping is ... he's been hurt but is now milking it a little for some extra attention. I put nothing past what a cat can think up! Good luck and let us know how he does :)
  • edited 27 February, 2006
    Helllo Salem... As far as what joint to tap--if your vet did a thorough exam (beyond watching you not limp in the office) he should be able to identify a potential problem--this is, after all, his job as your health provider! A thorough muscul0-skeletal exam includes watching the patient move--but it also involves though palpation of all the joints (even toes!) Sometimes the adrenaline boost you get going through the vet's door is enough to provide some temporary analgesia and make lamenesses temporarily exam...hoever on examination the vet can often still find something that hurts. Infected joints swell. Joints with auto immune disease swell! A swollen joint should be tapped. If there isn't one, this points away from these as problems. A persistant lameness should be x-rayed though, even without a tap. Glucosamine is great, but in my experiece in takes weeks to really start working, and it is not an analgesic--it acts by protecting the cartilage in a joint from the effects of inflammation. Inflammation is VERY BAD for joint cartilage--this is part of the reason arthritis is so difficult to deal with--continued inflammation damages cartilage which leads to inflammation...and so on. Glucosamine doesn't rebuild cartilage reguardless of label claims--but it does reduce the effects of inflammation ont he joint. Again...good luck!
  • Sue EnglandSue England Mount Druitt, SydneyMember Posts: 385
    edited 27 February, 2006
    There is a thing known as Liping Kitten Syndrome and you can look this up in Google or Yahoo to get more information, it is a mix of 2 strains of 2 viruses, we see this a lot in our rescue kittnes. Some of the time they become painful and need pain medication, most of them get through it very quickly yet we do get the odd few that suffer for a few days. Most vets here in Australia done have much understanding over Limping kitten syndrome, not sure if its just because they dont acknowledge that kittens get viruses and they know it will clear or what. Id assume your better now?
  • Veronica MorrisVeronica Morris El Cerrito/SF Bay areaMember Posts: 14,677
    edited 27 February, 2006
    Sulemiman, we've been watching which arm he's limping on. It's his front right one. The first time we tried to feel which joint was having problems it seemed like it was his paw, but we've tried again a few times and now it seems to be his wrist. But luckily the limp is almost completely gone now (you have to watch closely to notice it at all!). I do think he is milking it for attention, though! Every time I break out the treats he hobbles over with his paw all held up like it's really in pain even though he was fine a second before. And then when he walks away from eating he's just fine. What a silly kitty! Kiko, the vet couldn't tell which joint it was because Saleen really didn't act in pain at all at the vets office. He looked at the vet during the examination of the right side of his paw but didn't meow or react differently when manipulating a few different toes and the ankle etc. He's a tricky kitty all right! And there's never been any swelling, either. We're giving syn-flex, which is liquid glucosamine. Since it's liquid you're supposed to start seeing results within a week since the pills aren't easily broken down and a lot don't get absorbed. I've seen results on my dog who is also getting the syn-flex within a week, too. Much more jumping on and off the bed (not sure if that is a good or bad thing!). Oh, and it does have Yucca in it, too, which is a natural pain releiver/anti-inflammitory, too. Jordan, limping kitten syndrome sounds like it's for younger cats. Do older cats get it, too? Saleen's at least 5 years old and has never had a problem like this before. I have read some articles about it a few years ago when I was volunteering in a shelter and it seemed like a younger cat type thing. But maybe the research has moved ahead since then? Definately possible he could have contracted viruses since when I got him about 4 years ago he had been a stray. Just to wrap it up, he's not limping almost at all anymore (except when begging for treats!). But I still don't know why he's better... not that it's super important why! I'm just happy he's feeling better, and I'm sure he is, too! I know he'll be sad to stop getting the antibiotic when it runs out because he's come to associate that with a piece of dried salmon so he jumps up onto the toychest in anticipation when I bring out the bottle!
  • Sue EnglandSue England Mount Druitt, SydneyMember Posts: 385
    edited 27 February, 2006
    You are very correct, Limping Kitten is rare in older cats but has been reported. Once there is a outbreak in kittens it can be seen in many. Usually when an Adult does have an onset of Limping Kitten they are effected far more worse than a kitten and sure seem unwell. Wonder if you add Calcium to your kitties diet? We could all use extra calcium no matter what. Hope the problem clears soon
  • a na n Member Posts: 10
    edited 27 February, 2006
    Thanks so much for the info about limping. Momma and Daddy needed help and you gave them some good ideas!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!