Botulinum toxin type a for the treatment of muscle contractures secondary to acute spinal cord injury in a young cat

Katia Marioni-Henry

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


K. Marioni‐Henry, T. Schwarz, D. Gunn‐Moore

Hospital for Small Animals, Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, Midlothian, UK

A 4‐month old male entire DSH cat presented for sudden onset of right thoracic monoparesis following a jump; within 18 hours, the clinical signs progressed to right hemiplegia with loss of sensation in the distal right thoracic limb and left hemiparesis. MRI revealed changes consistent with a small‐volume‐high‐velocity traumatic C6‐7 disc extrusion with suspected secondary C5‐7 spinal cord haemorrhage. Rehabilitation exercises were started immediately after the diagnosis of acute spinal cord trauma. The cat displayed significant improvements with return of sensation in the right thoracic limb and, with the help of a splint applied to the right thoracic limb, the cat was ambulatory on four limbs. Ten days following the onset of clinical signs, the cat manifested progressive discomfort on manipulation of the right elbow and carpus and developed a valgus deviation of the right carpus. Radiographs of the thoracic limbs did not reveal any skeletal abnormalities and muscle contractures were suspected.

Severe wrist and finger flexor stiffness is not uncommon in human stroke patients. In subacute stroke patients with a non‐functional arm early botulinum toxin type A (BTX‐A) forearm injection appears to prevent disabling finger stiffness 6 months later, possibly by minimizing the development of contractures.

Two weeks following the onset of clinical signs, the kitten's right thoracic limb was injected with 100 IU of BTX‐A . No complications were associated with the procedure and 24 hours following the injection the carpal valgus resolved. The effect of BTX‐A peaked approximately 2 weeks following the injection leading to severe hypotonia of the distal limb and requiring the constant use of a splint. The effects of BTX‐A are still present 2 months after the injection and the kitten tolerates well the splint.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1452
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2015
Event27th ECVN-ESVN Symposium: Feline Neurology - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 18 Sep 201420 Sep 2014


Conference27th ECVN-ESVN Symposium


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