Whether your cat is a brave outdoor adventurer or a contented homebody, accidents can happen. In today's post, our Augusta emergency vets discuss signs that your cat's leg may be broken, and what to do.
Even Nimble Cats Have Accidents
Our feline friends are playful, curious creatures that can get into trouble now and again. If you've noticed that your cat is hurt you're probably wondering whether it is a serious injury or something that will heal on its own.
Spotting The Signs of a Sprain vs Break
Although the symptoms of a sprained leg and those of a broken leg are very similar, a sprain is a stretched ligament or tendon whereas a break is an injury to the bone.
Both sprains and leg breaks can both be caused by anything from car accidents to falls.
Signs That Your Cat's Leg May Be Broken
If your kitty is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed below, they may be suffering from a broken leg or other internal injuries that require immediate medical attention.
- Refusal to put weight on the leg
- Crying or howling
- Hissing or biting at you
- Lack of appetite
- Refusal to groom
- Visible deformity or open wound
- Noticeable bruising or swelling
It is vitally important that you get your cat to the vet as soon as possible if you believe they might have a broken leg. A broken or fractured bone can be very painful. Cats are often stoic animals but it's important to have your vet diagnose the problem and provide your cat with medication to help alleviate pain.
What To Do If You Think Your Cat May Have a Broken Leg
If you think that your cat may have a broken leg, it's time to take action so that your cat's pain can be managed and the leg can be treated and begin to heal properly.
Try to keep your cat as still as possible, and keep your cat warm by wrapping her in a towel or blanket.
Call your emergency vet clinic to let them know what has happened and that your cat requires urgent veterinary care.
Stay calm and follow any instructions that may be given to you by the veterinary professional on the phone. Then bring to your injured cat to the emergency animal center as quickly and safely as possible.
Treating a Cat's Broken Leg
When you arrive at your veterinary hospital your vet will begin emergency treatment which may include intravenous fluids, pain relief, and/or ventilation. X-rays will likely be taken to assess your cat's leg and determine the details of the break. Once your cat is stable and comfortable the vet will explain the various treatment options available, and advise you on which treatment will be best for your pet.
Your vet may recommend non-surgical treatments such as cage rest, a cast or a splint, to help your cat's broken leg heal, but in many cases, surgery will be required. If your cat's injury is complex, a veterinary surgeon may be called in to perform the operation.
Should your cat require an overnight stay at the emergency clinic be sure to ask staff about visiting hours, and when you will receive an update from the vet.
Caring For a Cat With a Broken Leg
Your vet will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your kitty once you get back home.
It's likely that you will need to restrict your cat's activities. Keeping your kitty indoors and preventing your cat from jumping and running will be essential to healing the injury as quickly as possible.
Try keeping your cat in a warm room, free from furniture that may encourage her to jump. Or consider purchasing a cage that will give your cat room to move but prevent her from jumping. Be sure to provide your cat with easily accessible food and water, and follow your vet's instructions regarding any medications prescribed for your cat.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.