Disc herniation in cats: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Disc herniation in cats:  a condition that can affect our furry friend. Let’s see what are the symptoms, causes and treatment of this pathology.

Living with a four-legged friend means taking care of him and paying close attention to any behavioural or physical changes.

In that, when a feline is not well, it tends to change its attitude and to have physical problems. In this article we will see what are the causes and especially the symptoms to watch out for of a herniated disc in cats.

Disc herniation in cats: causes and symptoms

The intervertebral discs are discs containing disc fluid, present between one vertebra and the other and allow the cat to move freely.

When these discs break, this liquid escapes, which compresses the nerves of the spinal column, thus causing a herniated disc in the cat.

What causes these discs to break? The main cause of disc herniation in the cat is the aging of the latter. However, it can also happen that for unknown reasons the fluid-rich disc can harden and due to some trauma, move and come out of the vertebrae.

Depending on the severity of the situation, we can notice different symptoms in our four-legged friend if it has a herniated disc:

  • Problems with coordination or balance
  • The cat does not want to be active
  • The feline no longer jumps 
  • Ache
  • The cat complains when touched
  • The feline does not walk well 
  • Paralysis

In the event that the cat has one or more of the symptoms listed above, it is absolutely necessary to contact a veterinarian or take the cat to the emergency room.

Disc herniation in cats: diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose a herniated disc in your cat, your vet will need to know any symptoms seen in your cat and perform a complete physical examination of the cat.

In addition, there are many other tests that the specialist will carry out to be sure of the diagnosis:

  • X-rays
  • Myelogram
  • CT scan

The treatment is based solely on the severity of the hernia that hit the cat. In mild cases, drug- only treatment is possible . In severe cases, where the poor cat does not move well or is paralyzed, the specialist will resort to surgery.

The cat ‘s recovery time for a drug treated disc herniation is 4-6 weeks with an activity restriction for the Cat.

In the event that the latter has undergone a surgical operation, the recovery time varies from 6 to 8 weeks, always limiting the activity and giving the cat pain medications, obviously prescribed by the veterinarian.

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