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Paralysis in cats: What does it mean and does FIP cause it?

Updated: Jan 23

Every pet owner inevitably experiences anxiety when witnessing their pet's struggle to move or facing complete immobility. One medical condition responsible for such challenges in cats is paralysis, defined as the loss of the ability to move some or all parts of the body.

Determining the root cause of paralysis necessitates various diagnostic tests, including physical examinations and blood tests. The prognosis varies from optimistic to poor, contingent on the underlying diagnosis.

Understanding Paralysis in Cats:

Paralysis, defined as the loss of movement in part or all of the body, can be either temporary or permanent. Typically arising from issues within the nervous system or muscles, it can manifest as total or partial, affecting one leg, both legs on the same side, or the entire body.

Causes of Paralysis in Cats:

Paralysis commonly results from problems with motor nerves responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the muscles for movement initiation. Causes include direct nerve damage, damage to nerve pathways in the brain or spinal cord, or issues with the muscles themselves.

Multiple factors contribute to paralysis in cats, such as:

1. Injury:

Accidents like falls from heights or being hit by a vehicle can lead to nerve or spinal cord damage.

2. Infection or Inflammation:

Infections in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves can also cause paralysis.

3. FIP Virus Infection (Neurological Symptoms):

In cats with FIP, the virus can attack the nervous system if not promptly addressed, resulting in symptoms like loss of balance, limping, and an inability to stand or walk.

Symptoms of Cat Paralysis:

While symptoms can vary, common indicators include:

  • Inability to move or walk

  • Difficulty standing up

  • Weak or stiff movement

  • Pain

  • Difficulty in urination

Apart from paralysis, cats with the FIP virus may exhibit additional symptoms like fever, significant weight loss, breathing problems, ocular symptoms, jaundice, anemia, and urinary tract issues.

Diagnosis and Examination:

Veterinarians employ various methods, including physical examinations, X-rays, MRI or CT scans, and blood tests, to diagnose the cause of paralysis. For long-term paralysis of unknown origin, viral infections like the FIP virus may be considered.

Tests like the FCOV AB Test, Rivalta test (if fluid buildup is present), and hematological and chemical blood tests may be necessary for a comprehensive diagnosis.

Treating Cat Paralysis from the FIP Virus:

When facing cat paralysis, obtaining effective treatment is crucial. In cases of FIP virus infection, consulting with a veterinarian for GS-441524 from CURE FIP is recommended.

Developed by Dr. Niels Pedersen, GS-441524 is a clinically tested antiviral proven highly effective in treating various types of FIP in cats, including neural-type FIP marked by paralysis. Treatment efficacy with GS-441524 exceeds 89%, providing hope for cat owners dealing with FIP.

Additional therapies like physiotherapy (special exercises to strengthen muscles and promote healing) and acupuncture (to alleviate pain and restore functions) may be recommended in certain neural-type FIP cases.

While not all paralysis cases can be prevented, taking preventive measures, such as ensuring cats avoid falls or accidents and implementing routine vaccinations and parasite treatments, can contribute to a healthy life for the cat.

FIP is a serious disease, but early detection improves the chances of a positive outcome. If your cat displays symptoms of FIP, seek prompt diagnosis and treatment from your nearest veterinarian. For questions or concerns about FIP and its treatment, feel free to contact us on WhatsApp or visit our Facebook / Instagram for more information.

Start the treatment as soon as it is confirmed FIP:

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