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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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have a cat with a tail pull injury equina damaged nerves loss

Resolved Question:

have a cat with a tail pull injury equina damaged nerves loss of bladder function little tone to anal and tail but otherwise is bright is on catheter and anti inflammatories manuel excretion as swelling and nerve damage.
is there anything else we can do to improve her chances ? understand function may not return. she has no pelvic damage can walk only 2 days in at the moment.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

Does she have any sensation in her tail? If so, then chances are very good that bladder function will return. If there is no sensation in the tail, then we can only hope that bladder function will return over time as spinal swelling decreases.


The problem with these injuries is not the vertebral fracture/luxation but the traction injury to the sacral nerve roots. This cannot be fixed with surgery. Although the prognosis is difficult to predict in an individual patient, many of these cats will regain urinary function in 6-8 weeks. The most important aspect of management is regular bladder expression as it sounds like you are doing to prevent urine retention that can lead to a urinary tract infection and detrussor muscle damage (which may prevent the bladder from returning to normal function due to stretching of the bladder). A common mistake is when you might notice overflow dribbling and thinks the cat is emptying the bladder. Therefore, it is important make sure to manually express the bladder anyway. We need to see her posture to urinate and urine come out on its own multiple times before we assume everything is functional.

Dr. Joey :

If she is painful, then pain relief is important. Acupuncture may actually be useful to control pain and perhaps help nerve function, but there is no guarantee on this. I have seen this dramatically improve comfort level in some of these cats.

Dr. Joey :

IF her tail does not regain function (limp and in the way of urination/defecation) then in the future you and your vet may need to consider tail amputation. I always recommend hold on this until we have proof there is not going to return of any function. You are so soon after injury that we really must give this a little time.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

You appear to be unavailable for a live chat or we are having a difficult time connecting. I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialog in this setting.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry been out of office. and thought I had a scam site.


we would just like to know how long to wait because vet seems to indicate function will not return only after two days. she is bright and purrty not fair.Frown

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.
No function takes weeks to return. I generally recommend conservatively 4-6 weeks to see improvement. We should not give up unless we really feel her quality of life is low prior to that point.
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