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How to Tell if a Cat Has a Broken Leg

Whether they stay indoors or go outside, cats are at risk of accidents. In this blog post, our Portland vets will provide guidance on how to recognize if your cat has a broken leg and the steps you can take to get it treated.

Cats Can Get Into Accidents

Cats are delightfully curious and playful creatures. However, their inquisitiveness and penchant for mischief can sometimes lead them into trouble. If you notice that your cat is hurt or injured, you may be concerned about whether it's a serious injury or if it will heal on its own.

How to Tell the Difference Between Breaks and Sprains

Fractured and sprained legs can be challenging to distinguish, as they share many symptoms. However, the primary difference is that a stretched ligament or tendon causes a sprain, while a bone injury causes a break. Both types of injuries can occur due to various accidents or incidents, such as falls, car crashes, or attacks by other animals.

Signs and Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg in Cats

Any of these symptoms in your cat can indicate a broken leg or an internal injury that requires emergency or urgent veterinary care.

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

If you suspect your cat has a broken leg, take him or her to the vet immediately. Though your kitty may not show it, broken bones can be extremely painful for cats. Your vet can accurately diagnose the problem and prescribe pain medication to ease your cat's discomfort.

What to Do If You Think Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

If you suspect that your cat has a broken leg, it's important to act quickly. Keep your cat still and warm by wrapping it in a towel or blanket.

Contact your vet immediately to explain that your cat is experiencing an emergency and needs urgent veterinary attention.

Stay calm and follow any instructions the veterinary professional provides over the phone. Transport your injured cat to the emergency animal center quickly and safely.

Treating Cats With Broken Legs

When you bring your cat to the veterinary hospital, the veterinarian will provide emergency care such as fluids, pain relief, and breathing assistance. Once your cat is stable, the veterinarian will discuss various treatment options and recommend the best course of action.

Your veterinarian may suggest non-surgical options such as rest, a cast, or a splint, but your cat might require surgery for serious injuries. In such cases, a specialist veterinary surgeon may need to perform the surgery if it is too complex.

If your cat needs to stay overnight, be sure to inquire about visiting hours and when you can expect an update from the veterinarian."

Caring For Your Cats Broken Leg At-Home

After bringing your cat home from the vet, you will receive detailed instructions on how to care for them. You may need to limit your cat's activities to aid in their recovery.

To do this, keep your cat in a warm room without furniture that may encourage jumping. Alternatively, you can use a cage that allows your cat to move around but prevents jumping.

Remember to provide your cat with easily accessible food and water, and administer any prescribed medications as directed by your vet."

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.

Do you think your cat may have broken its leg? Contact our vets in Portland as soon as possible for emergency veterinary care.

New Patients Welcome

Cedar Mill Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Portland companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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