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How to Tell If a Cat Has a Broken Leg

As cat lovers ourselves, we understand that accidents can happen whether your cat is an outdoor adventurer or an indoor feline friend. Our Murfreesboro vets share signs to look for if you think your cat may have a broken or fractured leg. 

Accidents Happen

Cats are inquisitive, energetic and playful creatures. While these traits can give their owners hours of fun and amusement, they can also get our kitties into trouble now and again. If you've noticed that your cat is injured, you're likely wondering whether this is a serious injury or something that can heal on its own. 

What is the difference between a sprain and a break?

Symptoms of a sprained leg and a broken leg are similar, but there are a couple of important differences. A sprain is a stretched tendon or ligament, whereas a break occurs when the bone is injured. 

Sprains and leg fractures can both be caused by a variety of accidents, from being hit by a car to falling from a building or other significant height. 

Common Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg

Your cat may be suffering from broken leg or other internal injuries if they are displaying any of the symptoms listed below. A broken leg is a veterinary emergency and will require immediate medical care.

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

Do you suspect your cat has a broken leg? It's important to get your feline friend to the vet right away. A fractured or broken bone can be very painful. While cats are often stoic animals, it's important to have a veterinarian diagnose the issue and provide your cat with treatment and medication to help alleviate pain. 

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

It's time to take action if you think you may be dealing with a cat with a broken leg. Try to keep your cat as still as possible, and keep your cat warm by wrapping her in a towel or blanket. Call your veterinarian right away to let them know 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 to your injured cat to our emergency clinic as quickly and safely as possible.

Treating a 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. 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.

At-Home Care for Your Cat

Your vet will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your cat once you get home.

It's likely that you will need to restrict your cat's activities. Preventing your cat from jumping and running is 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.

If your cat is showing signs of a broken or fractured leg, contact our Murfreesboro vets right away.

Caring for Pets in Murfreesboro

Brogli Lane Weaver & Alexander Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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