Cat Heal, Cats are extremely active, restless and inquisitive animals. It is precisely because of these natural character traits that they often receive injuries of the musculoskeletal system – fractures and dislocations. However, it is often difficult to distinguish these two pathologies from each other.
Causes of the disease
A fracture is a violation of the anatomical integrity of the bone and adjacent tissues. It can be acquired or congenital and occur under the influence of external force or pathology, respectively.
If we talk about congenital pathologies of the bone structure, then only 1-2% of the total number of visits to veterinary clinics with fractures is diagnosed. The reasons for the birth of kittens with fractures of the limbs are intensive labor activity of the uterus, osteoporosis, rickets, and osteomalacia in the expectant mother.
Veterinarians distinguish between two types of acquired bone injuries, based on the cause of their occurrence: pathological and traumatic. The first group includes fractures due to osteosarcoma, osteomalacia, etc.
Traumatic fractures occur not only due to various injuries resulting from a fall from a height, falling under the wheels of a car, a fight with an opponent, but also due to unprofessional obstetric care.
Unlike a fracture, a dislocation is a violation of the anatomical location and a change in the physiological functions of the joint. The bone remains intact. Dislocations are also divided into two categories: acquired and congenital. The causes of dislocations are similar to fractures. Now you can see here the best Love Cat Stuff at Love Cat Stuff
Not a single animal is immune from acquired dislocations and fractures. Breeds such as Persians, Maine Coons, and Himalayan cats are predisposed to congenital pathologies of the joints.
With fractures and dislocations, the animal has common clinical signs: pain, impaired motor function (limping), and swelling of the damaged area.
There are three types of fractures – closed, open, and displaced. Cracks are also serious damage.
Signs of an open fracture in a cat:
- violation of the integrity of the skin;
- the bone is broken, its ends are displaced and come out;
- tissue rupture in the fracture area;
- Strong pain.
For a closed fracture without displacement, the following symptoms are characteristic: the broken bone is in its usual position, the skin and tissues swell, turn blue, and redden. In a displaced fracture, the bone diverges in different directions; the soft tissues are partially damaged. There is a risk of internal bleeding.
A crack can be easily confused with a bruise. The bone remains intact; its edges do not diverge and are held by an intact area. The cat can move cautiously, while she experiences pain.
A simple dislocation is recognized by the following signs:
- skin and tissues remain intact;
- inability to lean on the surface;
- pain when touching an injured limb;
- The dislocated part of the body is asymmetrical.
- For complex dislocation, accompanied by rupture of ligaments and tendons, the appearance of hematomas in the injured area is characteristic.
Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic
The fact that the pet was injured is immediately visible, but contacting the veterinary clinic is still necessary. After examining the pet and conducting a series of diagnostic studies, the veterinarian will determine the degree of damage and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The necessary diagnostic methods include general and biochemical blood tests, x-rays in two projections, echocardiography of the heart. In some cases, an abdominal ultrasound is required.
Cat Home Care
If you have witnessed a cat being hit by a car or falling from a great height and you suspect a fracture, a splint should be placed on the injured paw. This procedure will immobilize the broken limb. A flat board can be used as a tire, or, in the absence of one, thick cardboard folded several times.
The tire must be applied in such a way as to be able to fix two joints close to the fracture from below and from above. The design should be wrapped with a bandage in several layers. After that, you need to take the victim to the veterinary clinic.
For open fractures, the wound is covered with sterile gauze pads, and a splint is placed on top.
If you are sure that the cat has a dislocation, then in no case do not try to set the damaged limb on your own! With your inexperienced actions and ignorance of feline anatomy, you can cause irreparable harm to your pet. Apply an ice pack to the injured limb, apply a tight fixative bandage, and take your pet to the veterinary clinic.
To alleviate the condition of the cat and save it from traumatic shock, many owners inject painkillers into the animal. However, veterinarians do not advise doing this at home. Without feeling pain, a cat can cause even more harm to itself.
In addition, analgesics distort the symptoms of trauma. Finally, sedation will be mandatory during the X-ray examination, and the preliminary giving of painkillers can adversely affect the health of the pet.
The animal should be transported to the veterinary clinic in a supine position in the back seat of the car. The pet should be placed on a horizontal surface – plywood, a board, a panel from a car – and fixed in the area of the shoulder blades and pelvis with a rope or belt.
The task of the owner is to provide the pet with the most comfortable conditions during the treatment of fractures. The mobility of a cat can negatively affect her well-being, so freedom of movement should be limited. The ideal option would be to place the animal in a cage for 2-3 weeks.
This design should be free enough, but at the same time not allowing the pet to move a lot. In the cage you need to put a tray, bowls of food and water.
How to treat fractures and dislocations
Simple fractures are treated conservatively. These include anesthesia, elimination of pain shock. To restore the damaged bone, immobilization is used with splints and splints. For pain relief, drugs such as Traumeel, Butomidor are used. Splints and braces are removed only after the veterinarian has given permission to do so.
With complex types of fractures, surgery is indispensable. Osteosynthesis involves the removal of small bone fragments and the reduction of large ones. Surgical intervention using fixing metal structures should be carried out immediately after diagnosing a fracture.
Pins, plates and spokes made of a special alloy with titanium remain in the animal’s body for life.
The regeneration process will be accelerated by drugs that improve fusion, vitamin therapy, and physiotherapy.
If the cat has been diagnosed with a dislocation, then treatment includes anesthesia and reduction of the damaged limb, followed by the imposition of a fixing bandage. In severe cases, surgical intervention is indicated.
As for the prognosis for fractures and dislocations, in most cases it is favorable. The only exceptions are spinal fractures with damage to the structure of the spinal cord. If a fracture occurs with a rupture of large vessels of the limb or peripheral nerves, then for the cat this ends with the loss of the limb.
Dislocations should not be underestimated: if the damage is not treated, it can subsequently lead to complex muscle deformities, destruction of the articular surfaces. As a result, the cat will limp for the rest of its life.
How long the recovery phase will last depends on the severity of the fracture, the general condition and age of the cat. In young individuals, it usually lasts three weeks, with a maximum of 30 days. In an old cat, the healing process is longer – 35-40 days.
To restore the motor function of the injured limb, elasticity and muscle tone, manual massage should be performed, the technique of which will be introduced by the veterinarian. Daily massage procedures stimulate blood circulation, healing of periosseous tissues and accelerate the process of bone fusion.
Cat food should be balanced, nutritious and easily digestible. The animal needs foods rich in phosphorus and calcium. However, it must be remembered that an excess of these components often leads to the formation of stones in the gallbladder and kidneys.
Vitamin and mineral supplements will also contribute to the speedy recovery of the pet, but they can only be given after consultation with a specialist. The veterinarian prescribes vitamins based on the needs of the animal.
Of course, you won’t always be able to control your pet to keep it from getting run over by a car or falling out of a window. However, no one cancels the observance of elementary safety rules. Make sure that the cat does not climb tall trees, close windows and vents during your absence.
Check your pet for injuries after each walk. If you suspect a fracture or dislocation, contact your veterinarian immediately.