The Case of Benson the Cat
Benson is an 11-year-old Burman cat. In October 2010 his back legs collapsed and his dedicated owner took him for all kinds of therapy, including acupunture and hydrotherapy (amazing for a cat) and he recovered relatively well. However, in January 2011 due to the weakness in his back legs he fell and tore a cruciate ligament in his right back leg. This required surgical repair.
The surgery was a success, but he continued to be weak and wobbly in his back legs (Paresis: A condition of muscular weakness caused by nerve damage or disease; partial paralysis.)
I first saw Benson in February 2011 and found he was still suffering with a neurogical weakness in his back legs. As his problem was definitely spinal, I sent him for x-rays and we discovered he had some osteoarthritis in his upper lumbar and lower thoracic spine.
The bony spurs in this area combined with a suspected bulging disc were clearly causing a stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and this was creating pressure on the spinal cord and interfering with information going to and from his back legs. There was no joint movement in this area of his spine, so with a series of gentle specific spinal adjustments, soft tissue work and ultrasound, spinal movement was restored in this region, which created more dynamic space for the spinal cord.
Subsequently, Benson has recovered good strength in his back legs and is even apparently jumping walls now.
I see a lot of animals with paresis and paralysis, once diagnosis is confirmed it’s always worth considering and trying specific conservative treatment. Response is also normally relatively quick in animals.