Cornell University Hospital for Animals


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smokey, a 5 year old female cat, presented to the Emergency Service at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals for hind limb paralysis. Smokey had been playing with her canine brother when she accidentally crashed into a table, and immediately lost the ability to move her back legs.  She was taken to her regular veterinarian, who diagnosed a spinal fracture on x-rays, and referred Smokey to Cornell for emergency surgery. Upon arrival Smokey was unable to move her legs, and the doctors were unsure whether she was even able to feel them.  Despite a very guarded prognosis, Smokey's owners wanted to give her every chance they could for recovery.  A CT scan confirmed a lumbar spinal fracture with compression of the spinal cord, and Smokey was taken to surgery to remove the compressive bony fragments and stabilize the fracture.  The following morning, Smokey was miraculously able to feel AND move both of her hind limbs.  She was an amazing patient, purring and nuzzling throughout her stay.  While it is not uncommon for patients like Smokey to stay in the hospital for at least a week, Smokey was discharged just 3 days later (the day after Christmas), and was already able to stand on her own!  She continued to improve in leaps and bounds at home, and was running around the exam at her 2 week recheck.

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