why does my cat walk with a hunched back
Cats are exceptional at hiding how they are feeling, and when they are unwell they are unable to tell us. In the wild, predators will pick out the
weakest as they make the easiest targets. So, it stands to reason that when smaller animals (such as cats) are feeling sick, they will try to hide it. The eagle-eyed cat owner can pick up subtle cues. A hunched over cat will sit with all four feet on the ground, which is a typical position for a cat, however, instead of having his head up, being alert to his surroundings, his head will usually be bent forward and his shoulders rounded. Hunching over typically occurs when your cat is feeling unwell and/or is in pain (particularly in his abdomen). Other subtle signs may be withdrawal from the household (sitting alone), loss of interest in surroundings, change in litter tray habits (urinating small amounts/more often or straining to urinate), crying in the litter tray, lethargy, sleeping more, waning appetite. The coat may lose its shine and luster. Pet owners should always be on the watch for these slight changes in your cat s demeanor and habits. While hunching over can be subtle, it is usually a sign that your cat is not well or in pain and should be checked out by a veterinarian. There are many possible reasons your cat may be hunched over, far too many to cover in this article. Anything that causes pain or discomfort in your cat may result in a hunched over appearance. Urinary tract disorders (infection, blockage, inflammation) Cat hunching over water bowl: This can be a sign that your cat is suffering from kidney disease. Increased thirst is a common symptom. More than 70% of the kidney s function can be lost before symptoms become apparent.
We had a cat assumed this pose over his water bowl in his final days with kidney failure. Abdominal pain: You may notice pain and discomfort if you stroke the back of a hunched over cat. This can be indicative of, which has a number of possible causes. What will my veterinarian do? This depends on how your cat presents as well as a medical history provided by you. Your veterinarian will perform a complete medical assessment of your cat. Hunched over cats quite often have a painful abdomen, so your veterinarian will gently palpitate it to check for signs of discomfort, swollen bladder, kidney size, and shape. He may want to perform some baseline tests such as complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis which can give him a clue as to how the organs are functioning, if your cat has any crystals or stones in the urine, how concentrated the urine is. Once these tests are performed, he may decide on some further tests based on the results of the baseline tests. Hunched over cats quite often have a painful abdomen, so your veterinarian will gently palpitate it to check for signs of discomfort, swollen bladder, kidney size, and shape. He may want to perform some baseline tests such as complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis which can give him a clue as to how the organs are functioning, if your cat has any crystals or stones in the urine, how concentrated the urine is. Once these tests are performed, he may decide on some further tests based on the results of the baseline tests. Once these tests are performed, he may decide on some further tests based on the results of the baseline tests. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause.
While subtle, a hunched overPcat is usually a one who is not feeling well, it is always a good idea to see a veterinarian if you notice this in your cat. This symptom happens when a pet is bent into a humped position, which is a clear sign of a pet health condition. A cat or dog can have a hunched posture because of several reasons, such as kidney failure or pancreatitis. When your pet is suddenly having a hunched posture, it is advised to consult a veterinarian. If your dog or catБs posture suddenly appears hunched, this may be indicative of pain or discomfort. Such positioning warrants a veterinary examination so that the cause can be determined and treated. The hunched position is usually a sign that the cat or dog is experiencing abdominal pain or nausea. A cat that is hunched may be sitting up or it may partially lie in a sphinx position with all four paws tucked close to its body. In either position, the back and shoulders will be rounded and the head will be facing slightly downward. Dogs may stand with their backs and shoulders rounded and their heads facing downward. Some additional signs that may accompany a hunched position include lethargy, a decreased appetite, apathy, and self-isolation. Dogs may pant or whine. A cat may cry at the litter box or exhibit changes in elimination habits, and its coat may take on an unkempt and dull appearance. Observing your pet closely for any symptoms or unusual behaviors in addition to the hunched posture will be helpful information for your veterinarian. When a dog or cat that is in the throes of an experience that it finds frightening or unpleasant, such as a visit to the veterinarian, the instinct is to scrunch itself into the smallest size possible in an attempt to hide.
Once the perceived threat is over, then the dog or cat resumes its normal activity. This temporary hunched position in an unusual setting or circumstance indicates an attempt to camouflage itself in response to fear. However, if a dog or cat is observed in the home assuming a hunched position for a prolonged duration, this is a sign that your furry friend is in pain. Certain types of discomfort prompt humans to curl up into a ball in an attempt to relieve that discomfort, cats and dogs respond the same way and sometimes they might do this to relief back pain. Hunching over is also an instinct from their wild ancestry. In the wild, a sick animal is particularly vulnerable to predators. Hunching itself into a small size is an attempt to camouflage itself from the predatorБs view. A hunched posture can be a sign of the discomfort that accompanies numerous ailments. In order to make a diagnosis, your veterinarian will ask you questions regarding your petБs recent activities and any additional signs of illness that you have observed. The doctor will perform a physical examination that will include listening to the heart and lungs and palpating the abdomen to pinpoint the painful area, find masses and feel for other abnormalities. A blood chemistry panel and a urinalysis will likely be performed to evaluate organ function. A complete blood count will reveal infection or anemia. Depending upon the laboratory results and the veterinarianБs physical findings during the examination, additional tests may be ordered to confirm a diagnosis. Such tests may include diagnostic imaging tests such as radiographs or an ultrasound.
Other positional stances may appear similar to the hunched posture, and they may indicate pain or discomfort in another part of the body. Some of these positions include an, a head that hangs downward, a tail that is tucked in between the legs and an abdomen that is tucked or pulled upward. A dog may also assume a position in which its forearms are on the ground, as though the dog is about to lie down, but the back end of the dog remains upright. There are numerous health conditions that can result in the pain and discomfort that causes an animal to appear hunched. Some of these conditions include gastrointestinal blockage, kidney disease, viral infections and cancer. If your pet has assumed a hunched posture, observing for additional signs of illness will help your veterinarian to rule out some of the conditions on the extensive list of possibilities. The treatment plan will depend upon the diagnosis. If an ingested foreign body is causing a blockage that is making your pet uncomfortable, immediate surgery will be necessary. If a catБs discomfort is being exacerbated by kidney disease, a special diet, fluid therapy and medications will become a new way of life for the cat to slow the diseaseБs progression and provide some relief. If the dog is constipated, treatment with a simple diet change and stool softeners may be all that is needed to help your dog stand tall once again. Treatment can only be decided and administered once the cause of the hunched posture is determined. If you observe your pet in a hunched position, bring your companion to a veterinarian for an evaluation and relief from discomfort.
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