The vet was unsure how to advise me about this kitten. Also, I find little data and help on his condition. Problems similar to his seem to be common in Manx, but I cannot find info on how to care for a cat with a problem to this extent. What should I expect in the future? Is his spine going to worsen as he puts on weight/ages? Are his problems passing bowels affecting his quality of life and should it be a huge concern that could lead to other problems? It is possible that his bowel control will decrease? ANY additional information or links would be greatly appreciated. He definitely deserves every chance and comfort possible.
Picked up cat as a stray. Belly is bloated, possibly due to constipation? Tested negative for worms, but sometimes doesn't show up in cats till after 8 weeks of age. Physical examination revealed that the spine is deformed, which you can tell be looking. Possibly has fused or missing vertebrae, or spina bifida. No x-ray was performed because the vet stated it would only cure our curiosity. When running he hops in a rabbit manner. When walking he mostly drags his legs. He can feel and move his hind legs, but lacks complete motion range and control, especially in his left leg. He is often sitting on his left leg, or letting it rest at a weird angle. His left leg also seems to be turned inward a bit. He cannot jump whatsoever. Overall he shows no signs of pain in movement, is happy, and is very active as a kitten should be. Besides his motor complications, he is having problems defecating and urinating. He is able to do so, but shows strain and you can tell it is uncomfortable.
Sounds like he does have severe congenital deformities. Spine for sure and perhaps others. The doctor was trying to save you money by not taking the x-rays, but such films would tell you how severe the deformity is and give you a prognosis - which it sounds like that is what you are looking for.
I would think the outlook is grave. Of course it is impossible for us to tell in a virtual environment. You can certainly give this little guy the best nursing care you can for as long as you can, but with these severe neurological signs and out ward physical deformities this early in life, the prognosis is not good.
As for assistance now, you simply have to take each symptom as it comes. Constipation would need enema / rectal lubrication and soft food diets, problems with urination would need to be corrected quickly as they cannot survive without urinating for very long. As he gains weight a deformed spine may not support the weight.
Yes, it is likely more complications will occur as he grows. All of course depends on the severity of malformations etc. etc.
Good luck and we wish you well with your kindness in attempting to care for a very handicapped kitty.
So sad! Unfortunately, this problem is seen mostly in Manx cats. It's a neurologic inherited disorder due to "neural crest cell migration" problems. It likely stems from decades of trying to breed cats with no tail... and as a result, they were breeding for cats with less and less backbone, resulting in some of the congential (which means "inherited") defects.
I'd recommend having a veterinary neurologist evaluate him to make sure it's not anything else, but unfortunately the prognosis for long term would be poor - it'd be a lot of nursing care, and a poorer quality of life if you have to give him enemas several times a time. That said, I've seen cats grow up in carts (who are paralyzed). Ultimately, he could get worse as he grows to a larger size.
Dr. Humphries and Lee have given some great medical advice and I just wanted to follow up on what Dr Lee said.
Manx breeders have been trying to eradicate this condition for many years through selective breeding. Sadly, due to the nature of the "tailless" cat, we will never completely see these cases go away. According to my research, this generally shows up when two "rumpies" (cats with no tail vetebrae at all). The trait is a dominant trait but does not always show up due to what geneticists refer to as incomplete dominance. Kittens who receive two copies of the gene almost always die in utero or are stillborn. Kittens who get one copy will carry the gene and pass to their offspring.
SO...if your kitty does happen to improve, neutering is a necessity. I would also consider discussing this with the breeder as they should likely avoid further breeding of this kitten's parents.
The kitten with Manx Syndrome has been doing well considering his physical disadvantages. He is now about 12-13weeks and weighing 3.2lbs. As with many cats with his problem, he has constipation issues. After a return trip to the vet he was put on lactulose .5mL every 12 hours. Although that helped considerably it was not enough and another trip was made with the result of an added Rx called Cisapride. Since he has been on Cisapride he has been urinating in his sleep every night. Before, this happened maybe once a week. He also seems that he is having to put more effort than usual into breathing and his breathing can be heard. I am worried that the Cisapride is causing this or that he may have a bladder infection or some other problem. My vet is out on vaca though the other vet should be calling me back very soon, I still would like some input and outside thoughts.
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