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Cats, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with domestic cats and show specimens alike.
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i have a male, neutered cat, aged 21 months.

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i have a male, neutered cat, aged 21 months. he was born with swimmers syndrome but after physiotherapy, he improved a lot. five months ago all that changed. his legs became much worse and he started to hide a lot.

i have had him checked over several times and the vet could find nothing wrong with him. tonight he came in covered in faeces, very hard poo that was stuck to his leg and is very reluctant to walk much. what can i do! im frantic with worry!

please respond as soon as possible! im terrified here!

Cats : Hi there, vet Andrew here. Are you at your computer?
JACUSTOMER-wmonf7cs- :

i am now. sorry im in the uk and the response came through too late for me

JACUSTOMER-wmonf7cs- :

could you message me when you are free to chat? it is urgent

Cats : Hi again. I'm sorry we missed each other but I am now free.
Cats : I can see you're worried and waiting for us to cross paths will only waste time. I'll switch to Q and A format and give you a comprehensive answer there. Ignore any message that says our chat has ended.
JACUSTOMER-wmonf7cs- :


Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it says our chat has ended but we havent had it yet!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi, it says we have finished our chat!

Your immediate problem is that he's covered in hard faeces and clearly uncomfortable, so let's deal with that. In order to remove the mess, you'll have to soak his fur with warm, soapy water. If he won't tolerate being bathed, get a flat wad of cotton wool soaking wet, then press it over the affected areas and squeeze gently. Remember the dried crusts will be pulling on his fur so be extra careful. Keep doing this and softening the poo and it should eventually come loose. At first, it may seem like it'll never come off, but persevere.Once you've got him clean we can address the problems that swimmer cats have:1: Chest compression - if he has a deformed chest then the likelihood is that his breathing will be affected. If he appears to be having difficulty breathing then discuss with your vet something to ease his airways - I have had success with Millophyline tablets.2: Splayleg - you mention he was given physiotherapy but this needs to be ongoing, along with massage to loosen muscles and ligaments. If his legs are still splaying badly then you must return to using the hobbles for his back legs that I assume you used before. 1 inch gauze is best, ***** ***** The condition is not thought to be painful but if you, as the owner, feel he's in discomfort then you must insist on some pain relief. Metacam liquid is best here.3: Abdominal and pelvic compression - this is where I think his main problem lies - he's hiding because he's in discomfort. As his skeleton is maturing and becoming less flexible, the problem of constipation in these cats becomes worse. I normally have these cats on a laxative such as Lactulose or a liquid paraffin-based faecal softener.4: Check him over for any sores related to how he moves about.Please let me know if you have any further concerns or questions. I will be at my computer for another hour or so.All the best, ***** *****
Cats and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your response. ron has no chest compression at all, his breathing is perfectly normal. as for the rest, i think you might be right and that he is in pain but doesnt cry when i pick him up. do these cats have a normal life expectancy? my vet seems to think that he has a neurological condition that might be a brain tumour but i dont think that can be right. he has pretty much always had leg difficulties and they do get worse when he is growning

As for life expectancy, if they survive to adulthood as Ron has, then there is nothing stopping them living as long as a normal cat, especially if you keep the complications under control.
There is no reason to suspect he has a brain tumour because he's a swimmer the two conditions don't really come together - your vet presumably think there's more going on and he's been unlucky enough to get two problems at birth. I wouldn't worry about that for the moment, just manage the problems he has and he should pull through.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you so much. he is going in for an xray and bloods on friday and we will try to get his bowels working before we go any further. thank you for all your help and i will be in touch x

Many thanks for your kind rating. I have scheduled an email check-in to see how you and Ron are doing.
Vet Andrew