The story of Pixie- and the vet who has an answer for arthritis pain in cats.


The Assisi Portable ™  is good for both acute and chronic conditions, as well as managing osteoarthritis pain in cats.  Today Dr. Medcroft, who has said she uses the Loop for “anything ending in –itis” shares with us another happy story of success in treating an aging cat with an infected wound and simultaneously reducing the pain from her arthritis.


Dr. Medcroft practices veterinary medicine in Baltimore Maryland.  She has had great experiences with the Loop helping patients with a variety of conditions.  Here she shares the story of a patient who had both an acute problem, a painful anal gland abscess, and a chronic condition, arthritis and lumbosacral pain. 

Cats are closer to being feral than dogs, and are more likely to instinctively hide their pain. Sometimes cats suffering from arthritis will get grumpy when being pet, or have a hard time jumping or using the litter box. They might never whine or make noise to show they are hurting.

Dr. Medcroft:  This is the case of Pixie, a 15 1/2-year-old domestic short-haired spayed female cat.  She had a number of problems when she presented to me, including a chronic respiratory problem.  We didn’t have a definitive diagnosis of her pulmonary condition but it had been stable.  On this occasion, she presented to me after a couple of days of lethargy and inappetence.   She seemed uncomfortable according to her owner.


My physical exam on her revealed a ruptured anal gland abscess which was very painful.  The macerated, infected tissue formed a one-inch hole adjacent to her anus.  According to her owner, Pixie’s ability to jump had also been greatly reduced for about 1 1/2 years.  A thorough workup included X-rays of her hips and spine which revealed significant bilateral hip arthritis and lumbosacral spondylosis which can cause pain and reduced mobility of the lumbar spine–these conditions explained her reduced ability to jump.


Pixie’s treatment plan included oral antibiotics, a short course of narcotics for pain, warm compresses of her anal region after thorough flushing in the hospital, and regular use of the Assisi Loop around the affected areas. I initially “prescribed” the Loop for her anal gland abscess to be used for 15 minutes every  8 hours at home by the owner because of its effect on wound healing and aid in the reduction of inflammation. Older cats, especially those with concurrent diseases, have a longer healing time.  I instructed the owner to position the Loop so that it went under her tail and up around her hips and spine with the on/off switch towards her head along her midline. Pixie tolerated this well and either sat on the couch or on the owner’s lap for her treatments.  For cats that don’t like to be held or touched for long periods of time they do well to sit in their carrier with the Loop placed over the area to be treated.


It took several days for Pixie’s appetite to improve and almost 2 weeks for the abscess and affected tissue to heal.  Within a week, she was feeling dramatically better.  Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, Pixie started to do things that she had not done for over a year, like a jump on the bed and move around more.  Overall, she was feeling better and became more active than she had been prior to her anal gland abscess.  Months later, Pixie’s owner continues to use the Loop as part of her regular pain management because she believes that it has improved the quality of her life by increasing her comfort level and her mobility.


A large percentage of cats older than 12 years of age have some degree of osteoarthritis and lumbosacral disease (stenosis, spondylosis, etc).  When you really pay attention to the way a cat moves in the exam room and question the owner about their cat’s activity and mobility at home, it becomes very clear that many of these cats have some degree of chronic pain.  Pixie is a good example of how dramatically they can respond to treatment with the Assisi Loop even though arthritis was not the primary condition we aimed to treat.