Sunday, August 11, 2013

1068. Sunday's interesting cases. The Maine Coon and the Beagle have back pain

Sunday Aug 11, 2013

Two similar back ache cases.

The Maine Coon cat came back again for review as the owner felt that the cat was better but not back to normal. The cat was not as sociable as before. 

The cat had fallen when held by a girl several days ago. The cat was OK the next day. Today, the cat meowed loudly when I pressed the spinal area from C4-C8, the thoraco-lumbar area and the sacral area near the tail. He did not hiss as during the first visit. I pinched his paws between the digits. No pain response from the four paws except the right hind which was withdrawn. I used a forceps to clamp the left fore paw skin between the digits. The cat responded a bit by meowing. "Better not test more paws to irritate the cat," I said to the owner who has two pre-teen daughters with her. "The pain is more serious. Has the cat been walking all over the apartment instead of being confined to a small area?"

"No," the owner said. "The kitchen area."
"The gum is slightly pink now as compared to snow white at the first visit," I showed the owner the parted lips of this gentle cat. "That is good news."   

Now the cat will be strictly confined for 3 months. It is unrealistic to expect the owner to do it. The litter box could be a low tray instead.

Many times, I encounter a pair of similar cases.  A few days ago, another expatriate brought in a Beagle not able to stand on his hind legs. His maid had scooped up bloody urine from the newspaper and handed to me for urine examination.

"My dog had spinal disc surgery," the owner said. "Twice."
"Was he paralysed before the surgery?"
"Not for the second time in April but he had surgery done too. The first time, he could not get up to walk."

Urine tests showed blood and bacteria. Blood tests showed low platelets. I texted the owner on this Sunday morning to enquire if the dog can stand and walk? He texted back later to say the dog is OK after seeing a 24-hour vet and thanked me. In this case, the dog had jumped from the car. He had a 25-minute walk recently and after that could not stand up on his hind legs. The dog winced when I pressed the lower spinal area.  I used the pedal pain test as in the Maine Coon. No pain from all four paws. I clamp the artery forceps between the digits on all 4 paws. No pain.

So both the cat and the dog had spinal pain.

Strict confinement, no exercise, no jumping and no running will be ideal, for the next 3 months as both have a good chance of recovery. Provided they can be confined for 3 months!

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