Disabled kitten with sore paws. Siberian masquerade.
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Swimmer Syndrome In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Swimmer syndrome in cats is a medical condition that affects a cat’s legs and causes them to splay outwards. Some claim that cats with this condition have a posture similar to a frog.

The condition involves issues with the ligaments in the joints of the legs. It mostly affects young kittens; although, thankfully, veterinarians can treat the condition if they address it early enough.

If you see concerning signs in your cat, then get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for swimmer syndrome in cats.

Symptoms Of Swimmer Syndrome In Cats

The principal symptom of swimmer syndrome in cats is the kitty’s legs splaying outwards.

This usually appears very early on in a cat’s life. In some cases, the condition can be seen after a kitten is only seven days old.

Causes Of Swimmer Syndrome In Cats

Sad grey cat with broken leg at vet surgery. Male doctor veterinarian with stethoscope is bandaging paw of grey cat at vet clinic.
(Picture Credit: Yelena Shander/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of definitive information about the cause of swimmer syndrome in cats. In some cases, vets have speculated that it might be a genetic condition, which can often affect a number of kittens in the same litter.

Other suspected causes of swimmer syndrome in a litter include the mother cat eating an unbalanced diet and problems with an individual kitten’s leg joint ligaments.

Treatments For Swimmer Syndrome In Cats

If you think that your kitten suffers from swimmer syndrome, your veterinarian will want to carry out a physical examination. Vets primarily diagnose the condition by visual means.

Early intervention is very important, so once your veterinarian provides a diagnosis, they will likely suggest a course of physical therapy to help correct the condition.

Your vet might suggest taping and wrapping your kitten’s legs in a manner that will help to realign the legs. Vets often use medical tape to achieve this goal.

If your vet advises you to tape your cat’s legs for treatment, then you must follow their directions precisely, as inappropriately bandaged legs could make the issue even worse.

Along with taping a cat’s legs, your vet might also suggest undertaking daily physical therapy activities and exercises to help strengthen the legs. These might involve a range of motion exercises and massages that your veterinarian can show you how to conduct safely.

Have you ever had a cat who was born with swimmer syndrome? Did your vet help you treat the condition? Then let us know in the comments section below!

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