Does your cat have a broken paw? Two of the myths that surround cats is the one that says that all these small and adorable animals always fall on their feet, and that if something happened to them nothing would happen, since they have seven lives. But unfortunately reality differs a bit from fiction.
Our dear friends can also break a bone, and when that happens it is best to take it to the vet. In this special article we are going to tell you what do you have to do when your cat is fractured.
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Where can it fracture?
The cat is a very agile animal that loves to jump and climb the highest places, both those at home and those that can be found outside, such as trees. Thus, both in one place and in another can end breaking a leg.
If your friend is one of those who go out for a walk, he must be very careful not to get on places from which he will later have difficulty getting off; that is to say, you can be perched on the roof of a house and feel fear either because you have a real panic of heights, or because there is a dog that is barking at you. In this case, what they usually do is stay up there or turn around to try to find a safer place. However, it may also happen that you decide to jump. And that fall would do it being very nervous, so the risk of bone fracture is very high.
Nor can we forget about car drivers. They do not always stop when they see an animal, and sometimes they do but when the impact has already occurred. The human can do little to prevent his furry from being injured, unless he has witnessed it, but you will see that your friend comes home limping and perhaps with a wound on his body.
If you thought that the cat would be much safer indoors ... you were right, but not 100%. At home it is impossible to prevent him from climbing on the highest furniture; in fact, I can tell you that one of my cats jumps onto the television table and from there her hind legs propel them to make a jump of almost two meters until she reaches the highest part of a shelf. And he does everything with a naturalness that, when you see him lie down and look at you with a rebellious face, you want to give him a few kisses ... while you wonder why human beings do not have that agility.
They are tightrope walkers and sprinters, but above all they are very, very curious. If you have a balcony or if you have a tendency to leave the first floor windows open or semi-open when you decide to bring a cat home the ideal is to put a metal barrier so that you can go out to take the air and keep windows closed, since it is very common for them to end up falling into the void. So much so that it even has a name.
Tall building syndrome in cats
That is the curious name they gave it. In a study published in 1987 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, after studying the wounds and mortality rates of cats, they concluded that these animals suffered more damage the lower the plant, instead of being the other way around. From the seventh floor, mortality decreased.
This has an explanation, and that is that by having more time to turn around, they reduce the impact of the fall by using their own body as a parachute.
Fractures in Cats
Cats, like humans, can have different fractures, and they are as follows:
- Greenstick fracture: is when the bone is cracked, but not broken.
- Open fracture: when the broken bone can be seen with the naked eye. This is one of the most complicated, since if it is not treated quickly it can become infected.
- Closed fracture: the bone is broken, but the skin remains intact.
- Epiphyseal fracture: very common in kittens. It occurs when the growth plate breaks down.
Signs of a cat with a broken paw
When our friend has a fracture, the first thing we are going to see is that avoid putting weight on that leg. It is very likely that it is dragging, or limping (what to do if my cat limps). In situations like this we will have to know how that has happened to him because it is frequent, especially if he never goes outside, that another animal or person has stepped on him without realizing it.
If when examining the limb we notice that it is fine in principle, we will wait a few hours to see if it improves. But if we see that he really 'hangs' or that he is in a lot of pain, it is most likely that he has a broken bone that needs to be treated.
Other signs that will indicate that the animal is suffering are the constant meows, lack of appetite as well as the swelling in the affected area. But you must also bear in mind that he will not want you to pick him up and will not hesitate to scratch and / or bite you so that you leave him on the ground. So, put on protective gloves or wrap it with a blanket to be able to put it in the carrier without ending up with scratches.
Diagnosis and treatment of a cat with a broken paw
Once at the veterinary clinic, the specialist will proceed to carry out a series of examinations to determine the type of fracture that the cat presents, for later give him the most appropriate treatment according to the case.
The tests that they will do will be basically two: physical exam and x-ray. Thanks to these two, the vet will be able to know exactly what is happening to your friend, and only then will he proceed to treat him.
Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you can choose to cast the leg or in more serious cases, operate it to place steel plates in order to align the bones. Amputation is an option that specialists do not rule out, but they only resort to it when a limb or tail is really bad.
How to take care of a cat with a broken paw?
It is not easy at all. You have to try to keep him calm for a minimum of 4 weeks, and how to achieve this? What at first might seem like an impossible mission will cease to be as soon as we put on classical music (with low volume), place essential orange oil around the room where it is to relax, and above all having a lot of patience.