I am not a vet, or anything close to one, so to try and help Feta I’ve been doing a lot of research.
For example, massage. How can I give her a really good massage if I don’t know what, exactly, I’m rubbing?
You can see another representation here:
This gives a much better sense of what we’re working with on Feta’s hind end. Looking at that big, swooping hind-end muscle that connects to the leg bones, you can imagine how if it were weak and pulled too tight the cat wouldn’t be able to bend the leg normally, and would have a very stiff, straight hind leg. The same holds with all those other smaller muscles, like the ones around the hips and going into the stifle (that upper joint on the leg).
This seems to be what’s going on with Feta, and why we’re working so much on massage, heat/electromagnetic therapy, and passive range of motion stretches. By relaxing those tight muscles, we are hoping she can get some range of movement back. Then, we can work on strengthening those muscles so she can better support her own weight.
Speaking of which, Miss Feta is on a diet – it’s especially important for Tripawds to stay lean, so excess body weight doesn’t strain their remaining legs and joints, which are already working overtime! Unbeknownst to me, Feta the Fatty has been raiding the automatic cat feeder, so she’s been sneaking extra kibbles when I’ve not been looking. We’re (okay, I am) now working to get her a little leaner so she can work on her hind-end exercises more easily.
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