Spinal and Vertebral Birth Defects in Cats
Surgery can be helpful for cases involving narrowing of the spinal canal and decompression of the spinal cord. Secondary damage due to spinal compression may be avoided if surgical intervention takes place early on. If the spinal compression is diffuse or long-term, your cat may not respond to surgery. If your cat has an opening in the skin where the spinal malformation is present, it may be surgically repaired.
If your cat is showing neurological signs such as dizziness, seizures or paralysis postoperatively, restricted activity combined with physical therapy may be helpful.
Living and Management
Your cat will need to revisit your veterinarian every four to six months for neurological examinations and to monitor progression of clinical signs. X-rays will be retaken with each follow-up visit as well.
In some cases, management of long term symptoms will be necessary. Fecal and urinary incontinence are common, as well as constipation and urinary tract infections. Medications to soften the feces, an easily digestible diet, and occasional treatment with antibiotics is standard for some cats with spinal malformations.
Cats that have been diagnosed with this defect should not be bred, nor should their parents be bred further, since congenital spinal and vertebral malformations are hereditary. Spaying and neutering is strongly recommended for these animals.
Something that appears white or light grey on a radiograph
A type of paralysis that may be only slight; affects the way that an animal is able to move
The study of the spine after dye has been injected
The act of making an opening narrower.
Pertaining to the chest
A bone in the spinal column
A medical condition; implies that the patient is unable to control their urination.
Any growth or organ on an animal that is not normal
Moving or located away from the midline; located along the side
Inducing death on an animal or putting them to sleep
A condition in which growth and development are not up to normal standards
The number one cervical vertebrae.
The term used to describe the movement of an animal
Transmitting genes from parent to child
A medical condition in which an animal is unable to control the movements of their muscles; may result in collapse or stumbling.
Term used to refer to an infection that is present but has not yet begun to spread
The curve in the spine, usually associated with an animal being in estrous
Kneecap Dislocation in Cats
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Hernia (Hiatal) in Cats
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