Cat’s paw fracture: how to recognize and treat it

What are the signs of a cat paw fracture? When to be alarmed and how to intervene without making the problem worse.

Is your cat limping? Sometimes this is not enough to diagnose a broken leg. In fact, there are various signs to recognize to understand if a cat has a broken paw and above all we must avoid do-it-yourself remedies which, in addition to being useless, could even worsen the problem. If we have been in an accident and are almost certain that the cat has a broken paw, the key thing to do is not to touch it. Better to get advice from the expert or contact the veterinary assistance of the area. Here are all the situations in which a cat paw fracture could occur and how to intervene appropriately.

Cat’s paw fracture: how it can happen

Although it is believed that cats are animals that cannot get hurt, almost as if they were immortal, in reality it can happen that they are victims of more or less serious accidents. Having a pet is equivalent to taking care of a child, so it involves great responsibilities: better think about it before adopting one and evaluate how much care and time we can dedicate to them.

The cat has an inquiring nature: he loves to know, experiment and often overcome his own limits, or at least put them to the test: this is why he sometimes finds himself in very dangerous situations, which put his life at risk. He loves heights and manages to fall on his feet, on all fours, even when it comes to a window or a very high shelf.

He likes to perform his feline stunts and in the course of his exercises he could injure his paw. The male cat could get hurt in an attempt to defend his territory, perhaps giving rise to clashes and fights with his peers. Certainly one of the positive sides of sterilizing the cat is also not having to run into problems of this kind. He could then have been hit by a car or have fallen from a tree: in short, there are various and many ways in which he could get hurt!

How to recognize it: the alarming signs

As always, in order to diagnose a cat problem, it will be necessary to evaluate its overall health conditions: if it cannot move well, if it remains completely motionless, if its paw hangs like ‘a dead weight’ then it is appropriate to think about a fracture. In some cases it may even be visible: perhaps the bone may have broken out of the flesh and tearing it apart.

If the fracture is not clearly visible, let’s evaluate the movements of the feline as a whole: let’s see which part is moving with difficulty, so as to recognize the possible fractured area. Lameness is certainly one of the main signs: if he limps conspicuously, we should immediately take him to the vet. If, on the other hand, he has wounds, it will be necessary to take care of the leakage of blood and then take him to the nearest veterinary emergency room. But let’s take a closer look at what are the things to do to help a cat that has a broken paw.

What to do if the cat has a broken paw

It will be necessary to intervene promptly and not to overlook the problem that could not only condemn him to immobility and impaired walking for life, not to mention that in some cases, infections can put his own life at risk. If we think that the leg may be broken, we avoid moving it or moving it too much: mine could feel an even stronger pain and react violently, perhaps with a good scratch. Also moving it could make the problem worse.

So when taking him to the vet it is good to immobilize the part; if, on the other hand, the area is injured and there is blood leaking, then let’s think about disinfecting it. After the cleaning operation we apply a bandage to the part to prevent the cat from licking it and causing an infection. There are spray patches on the market that are easy to use and immediately effective: in this way it will be easier to create a protective layer around the wound.

Better to avoid the use of splints but we abound with sterile gauze to make the bandage more stable. We also cover the gauze with a net, so as to make any attempt by the cat to free itself from the bandage vain. In the absence of a net, which we should always include in our first aid kit for animals, a women’s sock is also fine, but neither too wide nor too tight.

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