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How to Tell If My Cat Has a Broken Leg?

Although cats are generally graceful creatures, they are still vulnerable to accidents and injuries. That's why knowing what to look for is important if you suspect your cat has a broken or fractured leg. Our vets in Exeter can provide you with more information and advice on this topic.

Accidents Happen

Cats are curious and playful animals that may occasionally get into trouble. If you've noticed that your cat is injured, you may wonder if it's a serious injury or something that will heal on its own.

What is the difference between a sprain and a break?

Although the symptoms of a sprained leg and those of a broken leg are similar, a sprain is a stretched ligament or tendon, whereas a break is an injury to the bone.

Sprains and leg breaks can both be caused by anything from car accidents to falls.

Common Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg

If your cat displays any of the symptoms listed below, she may suffer from a broken leg or other internal injuries that require immediate medical attention.

  • Refusal to put weight on the leg
  • Crying or howling
  • Wincing
  • Hissing or biting at you 
  • Decreased appetite
  • Refusal to groom 
  • Visible deformity or open wound
  • Noticeable bruising or swelling 

If you suspect that your cat has a broken leg, it is crucial to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. A broken or fractured bone can be extremely painful for your cat. Although cats are often stoic animals, having your vet diagnose the issue and providing your cat with medication to help alleviate pain is important. 

What To Do if You Think Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

If you suspect your cat has a broken leg, acting quickly is important.

Keep your cat as still as possible and wrap it in a towel to keep it warm.

Call your vet clinic to tell them what has happened and that your cat requires urgent veterinary attention. 

Stay calm and follow any instructions that may be given to you by the veterinary professional on the phone. Then, bring your injured cat to an emergency animal center as quickly and safely as possible.

Treating a Broken Leg

When you arrive at the veterinary hospital, your veterinarian will start emergency treatment, which may involve intravenous fluids, pain relief, and/or ventilation. Once your cat is stable and comfortable, the veterinarian will explain the different treatment options available and advise you on the best course of action for your pet.

Your veterinarian may suggest non-surgical treatments such as cage rest, a cast, or a splint to aid in the healing of your cat's broken leg. However, in many cases, surgery may be necessary. If your cat's injury is complicated, a veterinary surgeon may be called upon to perform the operation.

If your cat needs to stay overnight at the emergency clinic, make sure to inquire about visiting hours and when you can expect an update from the vet.

At-Home Care for Your Cat

After your cat's injury, your vet will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your cat once you get home. It's important to restrict your cat's activities to promote faster healing.

Make sure your cat doesn't jump or run during this period of recovery. You can keep your cat in a warm room without any furniture that may encourage it to jump, or purchase a cage that will provide your cat with enough space to move around but prevent it from jumping. Additionally, make sure your cat has easy access to 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.

If your cat shows signs of a broken or fractured leg, contact our vets in Exeter immediately.

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Pacific Crest Companion Animal is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Exeter companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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