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Persian Cat Limping with Paw Discoloration

by Brittany
(Fort Worth Tx USA )

Reader Question: Help for a Limping Cat


My Persian is nine years old she showed signs of an injury six weeks ago. I took her to the vet who did X-rays and said there were no signs of breaks or fractures. However, she has been on aspirin and confined for four weeks and has progressively gotten worse.

Her paw pads are normally pink and the rear two are blackening and rough. When she tries to walk her left rear foot curls under its self and slides out from under her. The right rear foot has started to do the same thing.

I don't know what to do for her when the doctor couldn't see anything wrong in her X-rays. Could it be a circulatory problem or something else?

What the doctor told me was that she had pinched her sciatic nerve but that it should get better with confinement and the aspirin. the problem is that it has now spread to the other leg as well. She used to curl if you got her by the scruff of the neck and now her back feet just dangle and when you touch them. She does not seem to feel you there.

I'm scared for her she has been such a sweet girl and my kids and I love her more than anything in the world please help me so I can make her better.

Veterinarian Suggestion for Worsening Cat Paw Problem

Hi Brittany,

I’m sorry for what you and your Persian have been through lately and am worried about her worsening condition. Many problems that could be responsible for symptoms like you describe do not show up on X-rays (e.g., neurologic diseases, immune disorders, and circulatory problems). It sounds like it’s time for a thorough diagnostic work-up.

I can’t speak for your veterinarian but many doctors handle problems like this by first ruling out the most common and easily diagnosed conditions and if initial tests (e.g., X-rays) are inconclusive, they treat the pet symptomatically. This is a perfectly reasonable approach, but if the pet’s condition doesn’t improve additional testing is necessary.

Talk to the veterinarian who is working with your cat. The doctor may want to see her again or could refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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