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Unread 12-17-2008   #1 (permalink)
friarted
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Default Concerns about bony spine & hair-loss

My LD friend is concerned about her cat but is not on the Net, so I'm posting this for her. I'll try to answer Qs as best I can & if I can't I'll check with her-

My 5 y/o cat seems healthy, but I've noticed that his spine seems very bony and prominent. I have a lot of experience with cats and I've never seen a cat with such a pronounced spine. He weighs ten to twelve pounds and is fat, so it seems strange that his spine should protrude so much. I've worked with cats that were severely underweight and starving and they didn't seem to have a spine like this. He also has been losing fur on his back. It started falling out in small patches but now it's an area as big as my hand. I thought it might be excess shedding because it falls out very easily, but the color and structure of his hair is changing in these areas. Instead of being black, I am now noticing a lot of white bristly whisker-like hairs that I've never noticed before. He doesn't have these stiff bristly dead-looking hairs anywhere else. I've shaved his back and checked him carefully for mites but have found nothing. He seems to be losing flexibility and I don't notice him taking full-body stretches anymore. His back cricks and creaks when he moves in certain ways.

Over the years, he has also been subject to strange fits where he hisses and growls and becomes terrified for no apparent reason. We attributed this to a kind of epilepsy or maybe trauma from before I found him. (He walked into my house one day & made himself at home.) This has sometimes seemed to improve with medication and even a teeth-cleaning. But it still occurs occasionally.

My veterinarian has examined him and he said as long as the cat's body weight is adequate not to worry. I don't know how he can tell me not to worry. I've never seen a spine like this. I'm not sure if the spine, the hair loss and the fits are connected but I'd greatly appreciate anything you could tell me.

He did have a full blood panel done and was given a clean bill of health several months after these problems started. A few months ago he has urinary blockage due to a magnesium imbalance which vet care, medication & diet has remedied. He is fine in that regard now.

I'm on a limited income, so I can't afford a lot of veterinary treatment. I appreciate any advice you can give.
 
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Unread 12-18-2008   #2 (permalink)
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Hi & welcome!

I'm afraid I cannot help you & to be honest I never saw a thing like the one you described & in street cats also...
Look, if the vet said you must not be worried, so don't be worried. Anyway, I think that a second opinion can be helpful.

Good luck & keep us posted,
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Unread 12-18-2008   #3 (permalink)
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Typically with a black cat,if the fur comes back white and bristly it is like that from something happening ( a scar sort of) and being you said the spine seems to be very prominant it sounds like maybe something happened to this poor kitties back.I understand you said your on a limited income but this could be very serious!Maybe apply for care credit and if that works you can take the cat to the vet and pay a small monthly fee to pay back the card.Or call around and see if you can get a vet to work out a payment plan or if the humane society or spca can help you out.Good luck and I hope everything turns out ok.....Keep us posted!
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Unread 12-18-2008   #4 (permalink)
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i have the same problem with cassi she seems quite fat but i have noticed her spine more, maybe it could be the winter weather to why there coat is changing as cassi also has lots of problems with her fur
 
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Unread 12-18-2008   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, everyone- I will pass all these on to my friend.

As an aside, thanks to the Mods for taking care of the intruder. I've been a decade on the Net w/o being g**tsed & I didn't have time last night to get a Mod to remove it when it struck.
 
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Unread 12-19-2008   #6 (permalink)
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You welcome & good luck.
Pls keep us posted.
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