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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21747
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Oriental cat whose tail has suddenly over last 24hrs dropped

Resolved Question:

Oriental cat whose tail has suddenly over last 24hrs dropped and trails on the floor when walking. No obvious pain or distress. Indoor cat.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Despite being dropped, does she move the tail voluntarily at all?

If you pinch the tail tip, can she feel you do so?

Has she been urinating or passing stools normally?

Any history of trauma or spinal disease?
Has she been struggling with her back legs or spinal arthritis prior to now?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No don't think she is moving it voluntarily.
Have not pinched tail but did run my hand down her tail a couple
Of times and got no response
They have indoor box so haven't noticed but think she has been
As have cleared the box
No, no history of trauma or spinal disease.
Am not as home now until later today . My email address is
*****@******.***
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hi again Prisca,

I am afraid the website blocks email addresses (all I can see is *****@******.***). Still I will reply here and hopefully it will send an email to you that I have done so.

Now I have to say that I am very concerned about the state of her tail. If she cannot move it at all and cannot feel sensation when the tail is handled, this is a sign that she has lost nerve function to the tail itself and that it is paralyzed.

If she had had outdoor access, we'd be most worried about a car accident or severe spinal trauma that has damaged the communication between her brain and tail. With her being indoor with no history of trauma, this means we have to consider internal issues. Therefore, we would be concerned about conditions where the spine is compressed or inflamed. We can see this with spinal inflammation or infection, clots lodges in the spine (though these tend to cause painful kitties) secondary to a vertebral disc rupturing or protruding into the spinal canal, and with spinal tumors. So, we can appreciate there are a number of serious issues we have to consider with Sheba's signs.

In this case, as long as she is comfortable and can pass urine (since some spinal lesions can disrupt the nerves that control bladder emptying), you can monitor her over today with a view to having her seen once her vet is open tomorrow. Of course, if she were painful, dribbling urine (because of lost control) or uncomfortable, then we'd want to have her seen sooner. The vet can assess the extent of her tail dysfunction and determine the underlying cause. Depending on their findings, they can advise you on which is present here and what treatment options and prognosis they carry for Sheba.

Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have her seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have office hours today. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get her seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local vets or Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get her checked out sooner then there are options to have her seen today too.

Please take care,
Dr. B.

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