Spinal Cord Development Disorders in Cats

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Spinal Dysraphism in Cats


"Spinal Dysraphism" is a broad term encompassing spinal cord developmental disorders leading to various structural defects. It may be progressive or non-progressive in nature.


Spinal Dysraphism has been reported in Manx cats and some breeds of dog.


Symptoms and Types


  • Limb weakness
  • Imbalance
  • Neck or head pain
  • Uncoordinated walk
  • Postural abnormalities




Often, spinal dysraphism is due to spinal cord damage due to infection, trauma, or tumor(s).




You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. The veterinarian 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.


X-rays may reveal abnormalities related to vertebral column and spinal cord compression in some patients. However, without using sophisticated imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), the diagnosis is almost impossible in most cats.


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