Joint problems in pets are not always easy to recognize. Dislocations in cats have specific symptoms and causes.
Joint dislocations in cats, or dislocated joints, occur if there is damage to the ligaments and tendons that hold the joints together so that the joints are moved out of their proper alignment. This is why joint dislocations occur. But it’s not always easy to understand that a cat has this type of condition, especially since these furry friends don’t show symptoms of pain as easily as we humans do. So, let’s find out all the signs of this problem, and how to intervene.
How to recognize dislocations
If we notice any signs that may make us think of cat dislocations, we must immediately contact our trusted veterinarian, for a more precise diagnosis and correct treatment.
Let’s look for some symptoms that can make us understand that the cat is unwell due to a dislocated joint. These problems, if they become very serious, could also cause our cat to remain hidden for long periods. Cats hide pain well, sometimes isolating themselves.
The most common signs to watch out for are the following:
- Obvious pain.
- Inability to use a particular limb normally.
- Deformation in the area of the affected joint.
- Loss of sensation in the fingers.
- Unusual angle in a paw.
- Swelling in the area near the injury.
How to recognize pain in your cat
As anticipated, cats tend not to show much when they feel pain, but rather to hide it. But understanding that the cat feels pain, and acting promptly by contacting our veterinarian is of fundamental importance for his health.
Some factors can help us understand that your cat is in pain:
- Behavioral and habits changes.
- Sudden aggression.
- Lack of appetite.
- Prolonged meowing, in a not very vocal cat.
- Poor hygiene and grooming.
- Excessive smearing.
- Slow or noisy breathing.
The causes of joint dislocations
Joint dislocations in cats are usually caused by injury. An injury often causes this type of dislocation. The most common reasons a cat has a joint dislocation are the following:
- If he is hit by a car.
- Due to a fight between cats or with other animals.
- If he is injured by a human being.
- After a fall from an important height.
There are of course also possible congenital causes in some cats. A congenital condition, such as hip dysplasia, can lead to joint dislocation.
How to treat dislocations
As we anticipated, the most important thing in case of suspected joint dislocation is to take the cat to the vet. In fact, only an expert doctor will be able to help us understand the origin and possible solutions to this problem.
If the vet thinks that the cat may indeed have a dislocated joint, they will usually arrange for a full physical exam, with an X-ray of the affected area for further analysis.
If the x-ray confirms the joint dislocation, there will be two main ways to solve the problem. A joint manipulation consists in trying to move the limb into its correct position, which is useful in less severe cases. The second possibility is surgery. In both cases, pain relievers are usually prescribed to help the cat recover from the procedure.