This handsome boy is 10 year old Leo.
In March, Leo’s owner found him crying out and dragging his back legs. It had come on very suddenly with no prior signs of injury or pain. Leo was taken to our out of hours cover service to be treated straight away.
On examination he had no deep pain reflexes in his back legs, his legs were very cold due to the compromised blood supply, and he could not move his tail. On further examination it became clear that Leo had suffered an embolism. The condition that Leo had was an aortic thromboembolism, or saddle thrombus. A clot generally forms in the heart and travels along the aorta which supplies the abdomen and back legs of the cat; it is a serious and sometimes fatal condition and Leo’s owner was given a very guarded prognosis.
Aortic thromboembolism can be very painful but Leo showed no signs of distress and was even purring during his assessment. He was started on pain relief, clot busting drugs, supportive intravenous fluids and monitored closely overnight.
The following day Leo was transferred to our care. Despite such a serious condition, Leo was bright and wasn’t showing any signs of pain but his back legs were still worryingly very cold. He was happy and not in pain and after discussion with his owner, a treatment plan was decided.
Leo’s owner was keen to have him home overnight and nurse him herself which required helping him in and out of his litter tray and assist him with feeding. Leo would then stay with us during the day to be assessed and treated.
Leo went on to make great progress starting with the odd promising twitch in his tail, to gradually building up his strength to function again as a normal cat.
Leo will need to be on medication for the rest of his life and unfortunately this condition may reoccur, but 6 months on from that distressing evening in March; he is enjoying life and is a very happy cat.
We think Leo and his dedicated owner are quite remarkable and this is why he is our Pet Of The Month for August.