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Cats are agile and graceful animals that can make impressive jumps. But even the best athlete can miss from time to time. Collisions with cars and falls are two of the most common ways a cat breaks a bone. Animal and human attacks can also cause bone fractures. The most commonly broken bones are the pelvis, femur, tail and jaw.What do you need to look out for?
Cats tend to hide their pain. So you need to be on the lookout for the following signs:
- Howling, growling, moaning or crying, especially if they are touched
- Not walking, or not using the tail or a limb
- Not grooming or eating
- Bruising or swelling at the injured area
In some cases, your cat might have a compound fracture – it is when you can see broken bones poke through the skin. Additionally, he might also have injuries secondary to the traumatic one, like bruises, cuts and disorientation.Primary cause
A fracture is a break or crack in the bone that is caused by abnormal stress to the bone, and is the result of a traumatic event like getting hit by a car or a fall.Immediate care
You need to remember that your cat will be in pain, and animals suffering from pain can bite, regardless of how gentle they are. The second thing to keep in mind is that if the event is severe enough to fracture the bone, it could cause shock and inconspicuous problems, some of which might not be detectable for days. The purpose of home treatment is to stabilize the injury till your cat is given a once over by the vet. Areas with profuse bleeding or with the bone sticking out must be covered with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Refrain from disturbing the broken bone. Place him on a rigid surface or wrap him up in a thick towel to carry him to the vet.Veterinary care
- Diagnosis – Your vet will evaluate the overall health of your cat to make sure that there aren’t any serious underlying problems. He will then take multiple X-rays of the fracture.
- Treatment – Treatment depends on a number of factors. The most important ones are age, overall health, the bones that are broken and the type of fracture. A cast or splint might be sufficient for the lower leg. In certain cases, surgery might be needed to realign the broken bones and to place pins, screws, metal plates and wire to hold the pieces together. Some severe fractures require amputation, particularly if the tail is involved. Fractures of the pelvis and spine will be treated by restricting activity (cage rest). Pain medication will be a part of the treatment plan.