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Limping cat,yet not in pain
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animalcrazy8 posted:
I have a 3yr old cat,her name is chloe,and she has her front paws declawed. for the past month she has been limping,and more in the past few days. She eats,and drinks fine,and plays with our 5month old kitten just fine. she does not seem to be in pain,or stops her from jumping,or running. I checked her paws to see if anything was stuck,but I dont see or feel anything. Is there any reason she would be limping? I just hope she is not in pain. thanks.
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srstephanie responded:
Hi animalcrazy,

I think the very act of limping suggests that Chloe has some pain, since pain is the usual cause of a limp.

Cats have not been domesticated as long as dogs and they still have many of their natural, wild instincts ... one of which is to hide pain and illness because any sign of weakness will make them more vulnerable to their predators. That is why we cat owners have to watch carefully for any subtle signs of illness or injury because, often, by the time we notice symptoms, the cats are quite sick. If Chloe has a noticeable limp, then it is probably wise to take her to a vet to get it checked out.

You don't say what leg she is limping on. Is it one of her front legs? If so, it might be a complication of her declawing. As you probably know, declawing is the amputation of the toes at the first joint. Most cats do okay after recovery from the painful surgery, but occasionally there can be future problems. It would be something for the vet to check if it is a front leg.

If she is limping on a back leg, yet still able to jump, it is probably a minor problem but she may have landed wrong and hurt a joint. Obviously, I'm not a vet ... but I think limping in a 3 yr old cat is worth a vet visit. A vet can do a proper examination of joints, etc and if necessary take x-rays to see if there is a problem.

Good luck,
Stephanie in Montreal
 
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animalcrazy8 replied to srstephanie's response:
thanks for your thoughts! I dont agree with de clwaing,but my husbands parents,did it,without telling him. we will get her checked out. we are moving,and i dont want her more stressed out.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
You don't say when your cat was declawed but if it's been within the last few months, it could be related. Some cats will favor one paw for a few months after surgery, mostly holding it up when they sit, but walking relatively normally. No one knows why this is, as there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the affected paw. It generally resolves on it's own but can last up to six months.

If it's been longer than that since she was declawed, it's unlikely related. In that case, I'd have your veterinarian give her an examination. There are many, many things that can cause limping.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice
 
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DeclawingCripplesPawsForLife responded:
I'm so sorry to hear your cat was de-clawed by your In-laws and now experiencing one of the many consequences of the surgery. I worked at a vet office and complications from this surgery are very common and can show up at any time during the cats life. The vets though don't want the public to know this, they like to pretend that cats have no physical or emotional reaction to having their finger bone digits severed or burned off when nothing could be farther from the truth. They wouldn't be able to sell the surgery at the high rate that they do if the public knew the real truth about it.

I sympathize with you because I pulled a declawed cat out of a high-kill shelter who was dumped by his family because he stopped using the litterbox. His paw pads are ulcerated and he has inflammation all around his P2 bone ends & wrist joints (I had his paws x-rayed) so he can't dig litter in the box and has caused severe urine damage to my home, which is nothing, of course, to his suffering. If only his vet would have said NO to declawing - like the good vets do - and instructed his family to just trim his claws instead!

The fact is that declawed cats are amputee victims that experience phantom pain for the rest of their lives like human amputees do, not to mention muscular & skeletal pain. So I would highly recommend getting your cat to the vet asap (preferably a vet who doesn't de-claw since they seem to be the only honest ones about the ramifications of the surgery) to have her paws examined & x-rayed. Cats are masters at hiding pain - check out this declawed cat who walked around for 10 years with a claw growing back in her paw with no sign of pain because she just coped with the discomfort: http://community-2.webtv.net/stopdeclaw/complications/

Your declawed cat could also benefit from a Joint Health Supplement to help cushion her wrist and elbow joints since they are prone to arthritis since she no longer has her weight bearing Third Phalanx finger bones: http://www.revivalanimal.com/store/p/6751-Composure.aspx

Also, check out this link about declaw repair surgery, it has a lot of good information: http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/dr-ron-gaskin-is-a-good-vet-who-performs-declaw-repair-surgeries.html

Best of luck to you and your kitty! One day soon declawing will be illegal and no more cats will have to needlessly suffer!
 
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CatAdvocate responded:
Also sorry to hear your in-laws did this. I hope you will pass along the facts to them.

Spirit Essences offers "Declaw Remedy" to help with both the physical and psychological trauma that occur with declaw surgery. I've not tried this, but some people report it helps. - http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/declawing-a-rational-look/

Arthritis appears to be a common problem, especially in declawed cats. There are several things that can help - http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/arthritis-in-cats/

A quality Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement is useful for both people and pets to help reduce inflammation - http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/omega-3s-are-essential-for-your-cat/


Dr. Weigner said:
  • "Some cats will favor one paw for a few months after [declawing> surgery... No one knows why this is, as there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the affected paw."
Wow. Amputating the end of each of a cat's toes, and there's NO connection to the limping?

Cats and dogs are digitigrades; they WALK on their toes!

Declawing usually results in smaller, rounded toe pads which means more weight on LESS padding! Declawed cats are walking on the amputated ends of the bone. In response to the increased pressure and painful irritation, you will probably see calluses form on the toe pads. There is a also a chance that declawed cats will end up with ulcerated and infected toes as declawing surgery has a complication rate more than 50%.

When our little declawed cat (we found him outside, already declawed) walks across the hard floor, I can hear the bones hitting the floor, compared to our other cats with normal, quiet paws! He is defensive and can't trust other cats, and shows abnormal behaviour, like suddenly crying out and lashing out at them. His toe pads are as I described above. He gets very distressed when placed in the carrier, which could be due to his extremely painful experiences associated with declawing.

I agree with veterinary professionals, rescue groups, and others who've witnessed the problems associated with declawing cats; surveys and data support our observations that declawing often causes more problems than it solves.

Declawing is illegal or considered to be inhumane or cruel in many countries outside the US and Canada. It has also been banned in eight cities in California. This article summarizes more facts about this surgery that are important to be aware of - http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/declawing-and-science/ .
 
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animalcrazy8 replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
thank you for your advice,and thoughts. she was declawed at 9months,and she is now 3yrs old. I have never had my cats declawed,but we will do the best we can for her!
 
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animalcrazy8 replied to DeclawingCripplesPawsForLife's response:
thank you for the information! I understand how they hide pain,and its hard to see ou cat limp,and act like nothing is wrong,My husband,and I treat our cats like kids,so we will do what we can to get her pain to go away!


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