Swimming cat disease: learn more about the syndrome that affects kittens' paws

 Swimming cat disease: learn more about the syndrome that affects kittens' paws

Tracy Wilkins

Swimming cat disease is an alteration related to the feline skeletal system that causes serious locomotion problems. The kitten suffering from the syndrome has difficulties to support itself since it was a puppy. The disease, which is also called myofibrillar hypoplasia, is considered rare among felines. When it happens, however, it brings serious consequences that limit the movement of the cat.pet, and so early treatment of the paw-impaired cat is critical. Want to better understand what swimming cat disease is (which, by the way, has nothing to do with the pet's swimming abilities)? The Paws of the House explains below!

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What is swimming cat disease?

Swimming cat disease, or myofibrillar hypoplasia, is characterized by a maldevelopment of the muscles of the cat's paws. For the legs to move, motor impulses are required. The swimming cat, however, is born with an alteration in neuromuscular synapses. This is because the peripheral motor neurons have the myelin sheath (a structure that facilitates the conduction of myelin).nerve stimuli) formed inappropriately.

In addition, the pet with this disease has a deformation in the cat's own anatomy. The muscles of the kitten's leg do not develop properly. Because of this, the hip joint suffers from hyperextension, that is, they stretch more than normal and remain so for a long time. Hyperextension can also happen in the tibio-femoropatellar and tibio-tarsal joints. ASwimming cat disease gets its name because when the animal tries to move around, it makes paddling movements that resemble those of a person swimming.

What causes swimming cat syndrome?

The cause of myofibrillar hypoplasia is still unknown, but it is believed to be of genetic origin. The disease can therefore pass from parent to child. In addition, it is also speculated that external factors can serve as an aggravating factor for the development of the swimming cat syndrome. The main factor is the feeding of the cat during gestation. The pregnant cat who feeds on a dietexcessively protein is more likely to have puppies with the disease.

Symptoms of myofibrillar hypoplasia include difficulty walking and keeping upright

Swimming cat syndrome presents symptoms that are easy for the guardian to notice. The signs can start to be observed between the second and third week of life, when the kitten starts to become more agitated. The kitten will try to walk and stand up, but will not be able to because of the condition. Because of this, we see the swimming cat with its paws stretched out, the trunk always leaning against the groundThe motor problems also hinder the kitten's breastfeeding, as it is unable to go to its mother to suckle. The most common symptoms of swimming cat syndrome are:

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  • Difficulty walking and standing
  • Cat lying on the floor with paws stretched out and belly against the floor
  • Motor dyscoordination
  • Weight loss
  • Dyspnea
  • Sores on the belly, which arise because the cat stays too long with its trunk on the ground
  • Constipation
  • Excessive weakness

Physiotherapy is the main treatment of swimming cat disease

After performing an X-ray (and other imaging tests if necessary), the veterinarian is able to obtain a diagnosis of swimming cat syndrome. Treatment should therefore be started as soon as possible. The veterinarian may indicate the use of bandages on the cat's paws. Their function is to keep the legs stable in the correct position and to prevent hyperextension of the limbs. The bandages can be eithertied in the shape of a figure of eight or handcuffs.

In general, the main treatment for any cat suffering from myofibrillar hypoplasia is animal physiotherapy. The kitten undergoes daily or weekly sessions for a period of time stipulated by the veterinarian. The physiotherapy specialist will perform techniques with the kitten to give the animal more endurance and strengthen its muscle tone. In addition, the kitten will gain moreconfidence with physiotherapy, which is essential for him to gradually learn to stand and walk better.

If you have a swimming cat, you need to take extra care when it comes to feeding it. Since the cat does not eat properly because of the difficulty of going to the mother or to the kibble pot, you may need to use supplements. However, the lack of nutrients is not the only problem. The guardian needs to be aware of overweight, as the obese cat may have even more difficulty standing up. Finally, stay onpay attention to the floor of the house, which must not be slippery. The ideal is to bet on non-slip floors.

Myofibrillar hypoplasia in cats can be prevented with care in gestation

In order to avoid swimming cat syndrome, the guardian must be careful with the feeding of the pregnant cat. The ideal is to count on the help of a veterinarian specialized in nutrition to set up a diet without excess protein and with all the essential nutrients for the healthy development of the kittens. In addition, the ideal is not to cross kittens that have the swimming cat syndrome forprevent the birth of puppies with the same condition.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.