Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Paralysis Due to Spinal Cord Injury in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Myelomalacia in Cats

 

The terms “myelomalacia” or “hematomyelia” are used to denoted an acute, progressive, and ischemic (due to blockage of blood supply) necrosis of the spinal cord after injuring the spinal cord. The premature death (necrosis) of the spinal cord cells first appears at the site of the injury but progresses forward and backward from the point of injury over time. 

 

Dogs and cats of any age or breed can succumb to this condition.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Paralysis of hind limbs
  • Numbness to pain in areas lower than the injury
  • Loss of tone and reflexes in hind limbs due to softening of spinal cord (malacia)
  • Hyperthermia
  • Dilated anus

 

Causes

 

  • Type 1 disk disease
  • Spinal injury

 

Diagnosis

 

You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. The questions may specifically pertain to accidents or injuries that may have befallen your cat. He or she will then conduct a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) -- the results of which may be normal initially, but which may deteriorate as injuries to vital organ worsen.

 

Spinal X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are other valuable tools for evaluation of structural and functional aspects of spinal cord. These tests may show evidence of herniated disks and vertebral fractures. Your veterinarian will also take cerebrospinal fluid (which protects and nourishes the brain and spinal cord) and will send the sample to laboratory for further evaluation.

 

 


Treatment

 

Unfortunately, there is no treatment currently available to reverse spinal cord damage. There is also no single therapeutic protocol agreed upon among veterinarian; often, treatment to treat secondary effects will vary from patient to patient. There are some drugs (methylprednisolone sodium succinate, m 21-aminosteroid compounds) that may halt the progression of the disease, but their effectiveness has not been proven.

 

Living and Management

 

The prognosis of cats with myelomalacia is not good. Paralysis is always permanent and many veterinarians will recommend euthanizing the animal so that it does not suffer -- and possibly die from -- respiration difficulties. 

 

 

Related Articles

Brain and Spinal Cord Inflammation (...
Polioencephalomyelitis is a non-suppurative meningoencephalomyelitis(non-draining...
READ MORE
Face Nerve Paralysis in Cats
A dysfunction of the facial nerve (seventh cranial nerve) is medically referred to...
READ MORE
Front Leg Injury in Cats
Cats can experience a forelimb issue after experiencing an injury due to jumping,...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM