Feline spinal injuries?

A few days ago, Cat #1 injured himself landing badly off the cat tree at ass o’clock in the morning. I have no idea how he managed that since it’s the same one we’ve had for several years and he’s not a clumsy cat. Crash > traumatized cat scooting under the couch > panic and a trip to the vet ER immediately when I realized that his back end wasn’t working right. :eek:

They couldn’t find any obvious breaks or internal injuries, and transferred us to a specialty hospital that has a neurologist on staff. After more tests it turns out that he has a “high velocity disk” (whatever that is) at around L4-L5 and a badly bruised spinal cord. His prognosis is supposed to be very good for a functional recovery with PT, and they’re supposed to be releasing him today. From what I’ve been able to tell, he can eat and evacuate (at least #1) – hopefully he won’t run into litterbox issues later because he can’t position like he used to. He has a history of FLUTD as well, so anything related to plumbing worries me.

Dopers, if you’ve had pets with similar injuries, what were the outcomes? I could use some reassurance.

Does the “high velocity disc” thing mean Kitty slipped a disc? Is that it?

Anyway, I have nothing to offer except 1) “ass o’clock in the morning” is an awesome phrase, and 2) best wishes for a speedy recovery.

We put down our cat that had similar problems. We had too many barn cats anyway.

Our kitty required surgery for her back injury, but hers was so bad she had no deep pain reflexes in her back toes.

That was 7 years ago. She made a full recovery in less than a month, and she’s still driving us crazy. :slight_smile:

We had a cat attacked by a dog who degloved her tail* and injured her spine. The x-rays suggested that the fractured spine could go either way, and we had to wait to see if she could eliminate too to see if we should put her to sleep or not. Long story short, she lived another 7 years sans tail.

  • an image that still haunts me

Thanks to the folks who responded. I don’t think Cat #1 is anywhere near having to be put down – he’s not a barn cat, he’s an indoor cat. He didn’t seem to be in pain when I saw him, just really anxious about being stuck at the vet’s.

He doesn’t seem to have much in the way of reflexes either and isn’t moving his tail, but your stories (not the putting down one) give me hope that he’ll make a good recovery as well.

Elfkin, I don’t blame you at all. Degloving injuries are some of the most horrifying I can imagine. :eek:

purplehorseshoe, I’m not sure exactly. That’s what the neuro said in her email, and I plan to try to get a specific definition that isn’t dumbed down when I go by to pick him up today.

Actually, a barn cat is more valuable than an indoor cat. They at least earn their living.

Currently, when Googling the following:

"high velocity disk" spinal

(because high velocity disk w/out the quote marks brought up too much extraneous stuff - high velocity clouds, etc.)

this thread is the # 2 result. So it would appear that it’s not a very common phrase … ?

Omar Little, you’re not being helpful here. The OP is looking for reassurance about a beloved pet. Knock it off.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator

Thanks. I tried that as well and didn’t get much in the way of sensible results, so I’m guessing it’s medical slang.

Duly noted.

I went through this with my little dachshund (who, unfortunately, died last month of unrelated causes. I’m still pretty upset about it- she was misdiagnosed by the vet and I’m not really wanting to talk about it all that much…) and a back injury.

We were offered the option of surgery or do-it-yourself non-surgical treatment with the estimation of the odds of recovery being about the same.

We chose the non-surgical route once we are able determine she could poop, pee and eat. But, she was one miserable dog for several weeks.

We kept her crated for 6 full weeks and gave her steroids, pain pills, physical therapy and hot and cold pack treatments. We only let her out for bathroom breaks and had to carry her back end in our hands or with a theraband (a large rubber band) for the first week or two while she recovered. I even carried her in my arms for walks around the block during this time since she couldn’t walk.

She did well with only mild occasional pain flare-ups in the two years she lived following the initial injury. We also made a few house modifications to prevent jumping and decrease the odds of future injury. She did not recover 100%, but well enough to be mobile and moderately active.

Of course, all these things will likely be harder with a cat.

Best wishes!

Boy, it depends a lot on the specific injury but I’m guessing your cat has a good chance of a decent recovery. The real issue is whether or not she can poop and pee properly and if she can she can sit or move about without too much pain. Sometimes spinal injuries can make a pet incontinent or related nerve damage means they can’t, umm, hold their sphincter shut.

If she currently does have that problem, it may go away as she heals.

Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for your kitty lizardling.


HA! My house cats come to greet me at the door, offer me affection and snuggles, entertain me with their wild antics, keep me warm in the nighttime and comfort me when I am too ill to move from the house… as well as keeping my house free of every kind of vermin. They more than earn their share of food and cat treats.

Lizardling, I hope your kitty makes a full recovery and lives to share your life to a ripe old age. May the Bright Blessings of Bast be upon you both.