The paralyzed cat. Neuroanatomic diagnosis and specific spinal cord diseases

Arianna Negrin, Scott Schatzberg, Simon R. Platt

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Practical relevance: Neurological diagnosis in veterinary practice can be very cAlthough gait disturbance is one of the most common neurological presentations in feline medicine, the clinical approach to the paralyzed cat can be challenging. After excluding orthopedic and cardiovascular diseases that may mimic a neurological condition, the clinician has to address a long list of different diseases that may affect the spinal cord and produce paresis. Clinical challenges: In many cases a definitive cause of spinal weakness in cats is difficult to prove. Even when treatable diseases are identified, the prognosis is very much dependent on the severity of the clinical signs and their chronicity. This review sets out to describe the specific approach, diagnosis and management of cats with spinal cord disease and to outline the most common diseases responsible. Patient group: Patients of either gender and all ages and breeds can be affected by spinal cord disease. Evidence base: Many diseases affecting the spinal cord of cats, which include fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, exogenous spinal cord trauma, spinal cord lymphosarcoma and feline infectious peritonitis, are well described in the literature. Many of these descriptions, however, have been based on case reports or series. While there have been several retrospective studies that describe the characteristics and incidence of these diseases in cats, there are no long term treatment trials or outcome studies to assist with prognostic determinations. © 2009 ESFM and AAFP.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-372
    JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


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