- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
Could you give me some advice, please? Two nights ago, one of my three cats, Ginger, didn’t get into bed with me like he usually does. The next day, I couldn’t find him. Eventually, FI found him hiding under the bed and stroked him. However, when he went to pick him up then Ginger wouldn’t let him. This is very unusual.
Later that day, when I returned home, I picked Ginger up and examined him. It was clear that something was very wrong with his back legs. He could barely move, wasn’t eating or drinking, and was really miserable. The next morning, he could still barely move, and I took himto the vet. The vet said that he had bilateral luxating patellae, and that he could give him painkillers, steriods, and anti-inflammatories, but that if the problem didn’t sort itself out then he would need surgery. Very expensive surgery. I didn’t ask how much, but this is a major op (or rather two ops… first one leg and then the other).
There were two potential causes… either he had been hit by a car, or it was congenital. I doubt that he was hit by a car… there are only three places he could have been hit… firstly, on the wasteland behind my house, where people park their cars. This is unsurfaced and covered in pot holes. Top speed is about 3mph otherwise you destroy your suspension. Secondly, at the front of the house. He would have had to come all the way around in a huge circle for this, due to how the houses are. The road in front of our house is double parked, and your top speed is about 7mph unless you want to total your car, because you only have about 6 inches of room on either side of your car when you drive through. In either case, I fail to see how he couldn’t have just got out of the way, or the cars wouldn’t have stopped for him. The third place is a major road which backs onto our house (hard to explain… it is quite a distance away, and it would be an odd route for him to take). Cars go up and down there constantly, and they are fast. But if he’d been hit there then he would be dead, I’m sure. Besides, cats are pretty good at avoiding roads where there is constant traffic. They are more likely to be hit on country roads, where cars are more unexpected.
Anyway. He has no other injuries, and is now eating, drinking, and peeing OK (although I’ve not seen him poo, this is normal… they can hold it in for 3 days or more). This leads me to suspect that it is congenital, and that he had a slip or a fall which made the weakness into an injury. He isn’t insured, but insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure anyway as it is pre-existing.
Has anyone had a similar problem, and could they advise please? How long should we wait before we return to the vet and reconsider surgery? What are the sort of signs that surgery is necessary? How much money are we looking at (bear in mind that I live in the UK)? Any other advice would also help.
Other info: he’s a young cat… less than 2 years old. He is an ex feral cat from SE Asia, and is from a colony which was part wild cat. He is extremely affectionate and very clever. He also loves to hunt, and it’s sad seeing him so unhappy.
As most bees are from the US, I should also probably state that it is the norm to have indoor/outdoor cats in the UK, that charities such as the RSPCA etc will not rehome cats if they believe they will be indoor only cats, that veterinary advice is to allow cats outside, and that there is no significant difference in life expectancy for indoor only vs indoor/outdoor cats within the UK.
EDIT: Just did some research, and it seems highly unlikely that he was hit by a car. Luxating patellae are apparently usually congenital, and even when they are a result of blunt force trauma then it is rare that both legs are affected… it’s usually just the leg which was struck hardest. Confirms what I thought.