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Ask the Veterinarian/Cat tail injury


Our cat had disappeared for 2 days and came back injured.  We took him to the vet and they did x-rays.  He had broke his tail near the where the spine meets.  The vet told us that he doesn't have use of his bowel movements anymore and that we must make a decision to keep him alive or put him to sleep.  If we decide to keep him alive they said that we would have to express his bladder for the rest of his life.  My question is that will his nerves ever be able to come back, where he will be able to go to the bathroom on his own again?

Well that's a hard one Lindsey. There really is no way of knowing this.

Some cats do get some feeling back, most do not. If you don't express his bladder twice a day he will get sick very fast and die of uremic poisoning.

On the other hand, you could give him a few weeks and see how he does.
It's a really tough call.

The most important thing here is the quality of his life. Will he be able to live a full and happy, near to normal life? What about you and your family?

Are you willing to give this cat the kind of constant attention (and finances) to his physical needs that he will need for the rest of his life?

These are the things you must weight in your heart and minds. I would be inclined to give him a month and see how he does. If there is no improvement, then you know that you have tried your best and the then you can decide how he is doing and what your decision will be at that time.

But that's me. There is no shame in you deciding you can't put yourself, your family OR the cat through that.

It's a very hard decision to make so take a day or so to make it.

My heart is with you all....

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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