Leia's Sciatica/Osteoarthritis and Hind Leg Degeneration

Hello again, readers,

Today we wanted to talk about Leia's semi-recent diagnosis of Osteoarthritis and/or sciatica type pain and how the diagnosis itself came about.

We were in the process of switching up Leia's medication for her CRD - something we've written a previous post about on our blog before. When we were switching Leia from Metacam/Meloxicam (NSAIDS) to Prednisolone (oral steroidal), we noticed Leia's walking seemed to change. It seemed like a rather unusual side effect, why on earth would management for her CRD have an impact on her walking abilities?

When Leia showed no change from the Prednisolone, she went back to the vet, and we decided to bring up her walking too so the vet could perform an assessment.  Leia was pivoting and putting less weight through her back-left leg. Given that Leia's walking got worse after swapping from Metacam, the vet believed it was down to the pain-relief aspect of the drug, more than the fact it was a non-steroidal.

Due to the fact there was a pain element to Leia's change in walking habbit, her age, with Leia also having a manx mutation which changes the structure of the back-end, the vet believed Leia has osteoarthiritis and/or sciatica type pain. With that in mind, the vet believed it would've been sensible to reintroduce Leia to the Metacam.

In recent days, Leia has also shown signs of HLD (hind-leg degeneration). Leia has been seen dragging her foot on occasion, and now has even more difficulty climbing (she had difficulty climbing due to her being manx - leading to a balance impairment). We have made amendments to the cage (keeping food, water, litter, and some housing low), we have ensured the cage is easy to move around. Leia also has to have more frequent nail trims and slight amendments to her diet. Technically, HLD cannot be cured and as it's names suggests, it is a degenerative condition. However, it can be managed to some degree. We will link some useful websites on HLD. The diagnosis does not change Leia's current medication.

Useful links for more information on HLD:

  1. http://ratguide.com/health/musculoskeletal/degenerative_osteoarthritis.php
  2. http://www.isamurats.co.uk/hind-leg-degeneration.html

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