Neuromuscular diseases in cats –a feline condition that may be classified in accordance to the location since the ones involving the peripheral nerves and / or nerve roots, those that involve the neuromuscular junction, as well as the ones that may involve muscle. Each of the neuromuscular diseases may produce clinical symptoms of the lower motor neuron dysfunction, hence noteworthy variation in clinical indications may happen. These conditions may result in the varying paresis degrees, hypotonia, hyporeflexia, and muscle atrophy. Some prime muscle disorders might be characterized by the muscle hypertrophy instead of atrophy. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about neuromuscular diseases in cats including causes, symptoms, as well as treatments. Read on to learn about these and more!
What is Neuromuscular Diseases in Cats?
Many conditions may affect the multifaceted nerve network, which direct the muscles of the cat. Cats who have these nerve-muscle conditions might exhibit some strange behavior like spontaneous contractions and spastic movements. Further, consult the vet if you think that your cat has a condition, which affect the muscles and nerves, as timely intervention is significant for the management or treatment of the neuromuscular diseases in cats.
Moreover, the two major components of the nervous system of a cat are the peripheral nerves and the brain. Also, the peripheral nerves direct signals from the brain through the extremities and organs,. This is to regulate all the processes, which keep her alive. There are some peripheral nerves control the involuntary process like digestion, heart rate, as well as breathing. Some others send signals, like those that are used for playing or walking with a toy.
The most common kinds of neuromuscular diseases in cats are as follows:
- Muscular dystrophy –This affects male cats and shows with excessive saliva production, difficulty in exercising, vomiting, stiff neck, and hopping while running.
- Myasthenia gravis –This leads to stiff muscles, labored breathing, as well as tremors from a paralysis in the larynx. Further, the myasthenia gravis is a hereditary neuromuscular condition.
- Drug-induced neuropathies –This may affect the cats who’ve been exposed to toxic chemical, like chemotherapy and fertilizers. These may damages the nerves.
- Diabetic polyneuropathy –This affects the cats with diabetes that has blood sugars that are controlled poorly. The cats experience atrophy and paralysis, which may progress over time.
- Tetanus –Rare in cats, which may cause stiff paralysis in the extremity upon the infection.
- Motor neuron disease –This involves the death of the nerve cells, which control the skeletal muscles.
There are a number of causes of the neuromuscular diseases in cats. Some illnesses are hereditary or congenital, while the others are attained after infection or trauma with a parasite, virus, or bacteria. Once the vet diagnoses a cat, they can explain the possible causes of that certain neuromuscular condition in more facet.
There are so many neuromuscular disorders, which affect cats, yet most manifest the same symptoms. Also, schedule an appointment with the vet immediately if the cat shows one of the symptoms listed below:
- Crouched stance,
- Weakness after physical examination,
- Loss of body movements control,
- Loss of muscle tone,
- Inept movements,
- Absence of reflexes,
- Muscle weakness, as well as
The vet may start the indicative process with a complete physical exam of the cat, including the comprehensive history collection. Further, if a vet suspects the cat is suffering from this condition, the physical exam may include an evaluation of cat’s gait for walking, tripping, stumbling, limping, or weakness. A redressing exam, whereby a cat’s placed on the back and detected since it may recover its own standing place, is frequently done, in order to test synchronization. Additionally, the wheelbarrow test may also offer insights through the functioning of the front legs of the cat.
The vet may also palpate the front legs and neck to search for the pain areas or muscle tone loss. The hind and trunk quarters might be evaluated for the abnormal muscle tone or posture. The vet might also inquire through the current situations or dietary habits of the cat.
Several lab tests are necessary for the prognosis of the neuromuscular disorders in cats. The blood tests might be necessary in riling out the exposure to neurotoxic substance. The myasthenia infections and gravis may also be perceived with the use of blood tests.
Treatments for Neuromuscular Diseases in Cats
The treatment for neuromuscular diseases in cats may vary as significantly as the causes. Infections may be treated with antifungal, antiviral antiparasitic, or antibiotic drugs. Surgery might be suitable in repairing a nerve-muscle junction, which has undergone a trauma.
For the conditions, which can’t be treated, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, or steroid medication may be used in managing the symptoms. Only the vet is qualified in prescribing the medications for the cat or after the treatment plan. Regardless of the specifics of the cats in tracking rehabilitation and recovery or suggest behavioral or environmental changes in better managing the condition of the cat.