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Achilles tendon problems in cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH Calico
Age: 5-8 years
Chloe recently started walking with her heel down to the ground on the right side(2 weeks ago). Took her to the vet and he thought she might have an achilles rupture. We thought about surgery but decided that since she is an indoor cat and successful repair was not certain to leave it alone. Yesterday her left one started doing the same thing.

Took her back to Dr. And had her checked for diabetes. He says all labs were "fine". Looking at possible surgery now but trying to decide if it would be any use as it is not a garrenteed fix. ( money is also a little tight and we are expecting a baby next month!) Not sure what course of action to take. I just don't understand what could have possibly happened to her, and why both would rupture so close together. There are 2 other cats in the home that she plays with. No other way known that she could have gotten hurt! I just don't know what to do. Trying to weigh our options. Will surgery actually help her or will it just cause her more pain and she would do better to just learn to walk back on her heels? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Chloe is having these problems. It's definitely an unusual case.

It makes sense that your vet would test Chloe for diabetes as this is by far the most common reason for a cat to walk with "dropped hocks" like you have described. Diabetes is usually fairly easy to diagnose as most cats with diabetes have a very high glucose level. However, if Chloe has any symptoms at all of diabetes (increase in thirst and urination) then I would consider having her tested again in a few weeks. There are some cats with diabetes that can have intermittent high glucose levels early in the disease. One test that I would do is something called a fructosamine level. This gives us an idea of the average glucose level over the last month or so.

If diabetes is not the cause though, then it's really a tough call on what to do!

I can't recall in 13 years of practice ever treating a cat for a bilateral (i.e. both sides) achilles rupture. So, I did some research for you. I came across this great article about achilles rupture in cats. The study looked at cats with achilles rupture and they did see the odd one that had the rupture bilaterally. In this article, they definitely do recommend surgery as the best option.

Here is what I would likely do if it were my case. I would likely give Chloe a trial period of rest for a few weeks (and possibly prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication in case of pain). Then I would reassess her and see if she has made any improvement. If so, then I would continue with rest (as much as possible) and anti-inflammatory medicine. If there has been no noticeable improvement I would advise you to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to give his or her opinion on whether or not surgery would be a good option.

I can understand your situation being a month away from having a baby as I am in the exact same place! My little one is due mid September. :)

Please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.