Paralyzed Cat's Recovery Is Going 'Swimmingly'
Four months ago, a British cat named Mog was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Although he didn't sustain any broken bones, he spent six weeks at a vet hospital due to nerve damage that left his front legs paralyzed.
His owner, Veronica Ashworth, was told that 1-year-old Mog would never walk again.
But amazingly, he started to recover.
At first he could only sit up on his hind legs like a prairie dog, unable to put weight on his paralyzed limbs. As time went on, though, Mog learned how to move by pushing himself around.
After witnessing Mog's determination to get moving again, his vet suggested that hydrotherapy classes might help to relieve his pain and regain his strength. Ashworth decided to give it a try.
Physiotherapist Ros Boisseau set to work helping the cat.
"The first time I put him in the water he looked at me in horror but I told Veronica to call him and then he meowed at her and struck out across the pool to her," Boisseau said.
Mog soon got over his terror and started enjoying the experience. He's been attending sessions for 10 weeks now, and according to Ashworth has made "vast improvement." He can now bear weight on his front paws, and Ashworth and Boisseau expect him to take his first steps very soon.
"By using and stretching out his legs he is slowly regaining the strength in them," Boisseau said. "He really is amazing. Ive never treated a cat with hydrotherapy before - cats dont tend to like swimming."
"I know its quite unusual for cats to swim but hes such a character," Ashworth said. "Most cats do anything to avoid water, but he seems to really like swimming in the pool. He takes it quite seriously."
But, Ashworth added, "Hes such an extrovert that when there were some students in watching him swim he was really showing off."
Mog is the first cat Boisseau has ever treated, but she doesn't anticipate that cat owners will be beating down the doors in search of hydrotherapy.
Ashworth says that Mog is "hilarious" to watch when he swims in the pool. He meows loudly and gurgles as he swims his laps.
"Now he can do circuits of the pool," she said. "He makes a lot of noise about it but he does it. I think he realizes it is doing him good."
She says Mog has always liked water, and he used to hang out near the bathtub and the sink.
Despite the recovery he's made thus far, Mog is still suffering a significant amount of nerve damage. But he's doing better every day.
"His left leg is still bent but a few weeks ago he started to put weight on his right leg, which was amazing. It really is a huge improvement," Ashworth said.
Im really happy that its this which has improved his quality of life.
[Source: Small World News Service]