I'm sorry to hear of this with Gigi. Lymphoma is certainly an important consideration as it's the most common tumor affecting the spine of cats and is typically seen in a young subset of patients (median age 24 months). I see no reason to consider IBD or prednisone therapy. Diagnosis of spinal lymphoma requires a high index of suspicion and careful attention to involvement of other body systems. Hematologic abnormalities are frequently found and include anemia, leukopenia (decreased white blood cells), thrombocytopenia (decreased blood platelets), and circulating lymphoblasts (immature lymphocytes). A careful fundic (back of the eye) examination, three-view thoracic (chest) X-rays, lymph node aspirates if lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is evident, and recheck abdominal ultrasonography are all warranted.
Inflammatory and infectious myelopathies (spinal cord disorders) need to be considered as well as they represented 32% of cases of spinal cord disease in 208 specimens submitted for histopathologic evaluation in one study. The majority of cases will occur in cats younger than 2 years of age with clinical signs present for less than 30 days. These myelopathies most often affect the cervical (neck) spinal cord which would explain her losing function in her front legs as well as hind legs. The FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) virus is the most important of the infectious agents and we sporadically see Crytococcus, Toxoplasma, bacterial meningomyelitis, Coccidioides, Histoplasma, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), FeLV (feline leukemia virus), rabies and others.
Advanced imaging such as CT or MRI should be considered when attempting to distinguish inflammatory myelopathies from other spinal disorders. Treatment is aimed at the underlying cause and may include antibiotics, antifungal agents, bladder management, pain control, and corticosteroids such the prednisone. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.