When To Take Your Cat To The Vet
If your cat has been in an accident or suffered another trauma, you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible, Lascelles says. If you leave something more serious and painful, the situation will get worse rapidly. Learn more about the causes of limping in cats, symptoms to watch out for, and how to help your kitty.
What Causes A Cats Back Legs To Stop Working
Diabetes, organ failure, and neurological problems can cause the gradual weakening of a cats rear legs. If your cats hind legs suddenly stopped working, this can sometimes be a sign of a blood clot, infection, or stroke.
If your cat is limping on their front paw, carefully examine their paw pad. Look at the skin for signs of wounds and dont forget to look between their toes. While cats are generally cautious animals, it is possible they have stood on something they shouldnt. If they have a splinter on their food, then they should have it removed.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Limping
When your cat is limping, it’s a sign of pain. Learn the most common causes of lameness in cats, ways to administer first aid at home, and how to know when it’s time to see a vet.
Seeing your cat limping means hes in pain, and it makes your heart hurt. Because you know your kitty is in pain. Many different things can make your cats front or back legs lame, from a simple thorn in the paw to a broken leg.
Figuring out why your cat is limping is the first step to helping them feel better. Learn the most common causes of lameness and when its an emergency.
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Should I Take My Cat To The Vet For Limping
It is always a good idea to take your cat to the vet for limping to prevent infection or get a proper diagnosis. If any of the following situations apply to your cat make an appointment with your vet:
- The limb is dangling in an odd position
- They have been limping for more than 24 hours
- An open wound
How To Keep This From Happening
If youve found that the swollen paw is as a result of an overgrown toenail, you will need to trim her nails more regularly. This happens most often when a cat has gotten older or they have a chronic disease that causes the claw shedding process to stop or buildup. If you see your cat limping, check her paws first and get her to the vet as soon as possible.
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Treating A Limping Dog
The treatment for your dogs lameness will vary depending on the cause. Your dogs treatment plan could be as simple as a few days of rest, or it could entail surgery, further testing, and a prolonged recovery. While this may sound intimidating, in most cases the sooner you get your dog in to see the veterinarian, the better the prognosis.
While you are waiting for your appointment, try to keep your dog as calm as possible and abstain from exercise or play to avoid making the limp worse, and if necessary, crate your dog in the car to prevent further injury.
For further questions about your dogs limp, contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.
Note: Never give any over-the-counter or prescription human pain medicationincluding ibuprofen or acetaminophento dogs as this can be toxic or fatal. Always consult your veterinarian.
How Long Will A Dog Limp With A Sprained Leg
We cannot estimate the exact during a limping dog can take to heal. It depends on the degree of injury and the type of treatment you are giving it.
Keep in mind that ligaments are tough tissues and they are the ones supporting the joints. They also keep and hold the bones in place.
Having mentioned that, the mild sprain may take up to seven weeks to heal while severe ones may take up to one year to heal.
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What Does It Mean When A Cat Is Hunched Over
A cat that is hunched may be sitting up or it may partially lie in a sphinx position with all four paws tucked close to its body. In either position, the back and shoulders will be rounded and the head will be facing slightly downward.
If the vet recommends an x-ray, then this will be performed under General Anaesthetic. This will allow the vet to move the limb about to get a good view without causing pain or discomfort. The cat will usually stay with the vet for a few hours and come home that same day depending on the diagnosis.
Limping Pet: Emergency Or Not
It can be hard to know when a gimpy pet means an emergency. It never fails, your dog or cat always gets hurt at the most inconvenient time. Your regular vet may not be open, or you might have a long list of things to do.
Limping can mean a lot of things: a sprain or strain, a broken or dislocated bone, an infection, a cut, something stuck in the paw, an insect bite, even cancer. So how do you know if it is an emergency or if it can wait until a more convenient time? Here are a few things to consider when you are unsure if your pet needs to be seen immediately:
Is your pet acting normal otherwise?A pet that is happy, eating well, and going about its normal routine is much less likely to have a serious problem than one that is not eating, hiding, or depressed. This rule is not fail-proof, however. If you have any questions, do not wait to have your pet seen.
Is your pet bearing any weight on the limb?A pet that is not putting any weight at all down on the affect foot may have a much more emergent problem than one that is just nursing the limb some of the time.
Did the problem happen suddenly or has it been going on for awhile?A problem that has been smoldering for a few weeks is less likely to be an emergency than one that comes on suddenly
Is your pet bleeding?
Do you feel any swelling or see any obvious abnormalities?If there your pet has an open wound or you can visually see that something is not right, it is best to have your pet evaluated as soon as possible.
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Is It Normal For A Cat To Limp
As we state above, cats are known for their durability. This means it is not uncommon for a cat to be limping, but not make any sound to alert us to their pain. They may have cried out when the injury happened, but we wont necessarily have been present.
If your cat is limping, check the leg in question. Just because a bone is not protruding, it does not mean it is not broken. The cat may have a minor fracture. Look for the following symptoms: Most cats will not attempt to walk on a broken leg, even limping. The only way to be certain is with an x-ray, though. Arrange this, for your peace of mind.
How Is Feline Calicivirus Infection Transmitted
FCV is highly contagious meaning it spreads very easily from one cat to another. Fortunately, the virus does not affect humans. Due to how contagious it is, FCV is very common in shelters and pet stores where up to half of the cats may be carriers for the virus. Most cats that suffer from FCV shed the virus for 2 to 3 weeks, that is to say, they can spread it to other cats for this long. Some cats can even carry the virus for months after infection. Some of the ways FCV can be spread and contracted include:
- Direct contact with body fluids of an infected cat. Such fluids include saliva, nasal, and ocular discharge
- Aerosolized particles from sneezing
- Sharing of bowls and bedding
- Contact with a human that has previously handled an infected cat
FCV can survive on surfaces for months. It is therefore important to clean and disinfect all surfaces especially in environments with many cats.
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When To Contact A Veterinarian
If you know your cat had trauma such as being hit by a car or in a fight with another animal, contact your vet or pet emergency hospital right away. Likewise, if your cat is suddenly unable to use one of his legs, or drags the leg when walking, he must be seen by a vet immediately. The sooner your cat is seen the sooner he can receive pain medication and appropriate treatment for the injuries.
Use a towel or blanket to slowly pick up your injured cat. Often, they will bite due to pain, so you must use caution. Place them gently in a pet carrier .
If your cat is occasionally limping or not putting any weight on one or more of his legs, you should schedule an appointment with your vet to determine the cause and treat for pain and discomfort. Cats that are limping, not putting weight on one or more of their legs, or not jumping up/down as usual are experiencing pain and they need treatment.
This Is Why Your Cat Is Limping And How To Help Her
Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM
Certified Content. This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary adviser.
What should you do if your cat is lame? Well, you could get him a trendy haircut and some dance lessons. You can tell him to stop making comic book references every few seconds and update his Tinder profile.
Oh, wait, you mean cat paw injury, cat limping, that kind of lame. If what you really meant was Why is my cat limping? then keep reading.
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What Causes A Cat To Limp On Its Back Leg
A sprain is a trauma to the soft tissue which can occur in the ligament of the cats leg. These are the most common causes of limping in cats, especially on their back legs. A cat that has suffered a sprain will meow to alert its owner, show lack of appetite, start panting and may growl when touched.
Twiddledee, a male cat I am fostering, limps intermittently, episodes seem to last around two days, intervals of around every two weeks, and then Tdee walks normally: he started limping Tuesday night, running on three legs, not putting any weight on the front right paw. Friday morning still limping, but Friday night, he was running normally.
Confine lame cats and restrict their activity. If lameness persists for more than 24 hours, seek veterinary care. How Should You Transport a Limping Cat? Transporting an injured cat can worsen injuries, so proceed with caution. Place the cat in a pet carrier while supporting the head and hips.
A cat who limps is in pain. Since a kitty will never complain about pain or other symptoms, its up to you to pay attention to your pet and take her in for professional treatment when needed, Lascelles says. Cat owners should not assume pain will go away on its own. Pain should be investigated.
Can Growing Pains Cause A Dog To Limp
Can dog limps when walking but not running be enough reason to visit a vet? Well, it should be! Some dogs such as the giant breeds have broad bones that are prone to disorders.
While they are growing, this can cause a lot of pain to your dog. Such disorders are hypertrophic, panosteitis as well as osteochondritis diseases among others. The pain may occur during the third and twelfth months. It is normally very painful.
It is worth mentioning that most dogs undergoing this stage will grow out of it as they mature. You can also administer anti-inflammatory medication to manage the symptoms.
Even though young dogs may be affected, this condition only occurs in the third and twelfth months.
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My Cat Has A Very Swollen Leg
If the cat has a small wound, it usually means the cat is limping, but there is no swelling. Some causes of limping in cats do present more obvious symptoms. If your cat has swelling on the leg, then it is likely there is something more seriously wrong with it. The swelling is generally caused by one of two things:
- Infection: when an infection is present, the body’s immune response kicks in and send antibodies to the infection site. This results in swelling which should go down as the infection clears up.
- Breakage: if the cat breaks a bone, then fluid mainly in the form of blood can collect at the site of the break as the body’s attempt to keep it protected from further harm.
We will discuss fractures and breakages further below. For infections, we need to be very careful as they can stem from various causes. Although cats are very clean animals which will try to lick their wounds, it is still possible for even small skin abrasions to lead to infection. If this is the case, the infection can grow bigger and lead to swelling. If the infection is bad enough, antibiotics may need to be prescribed.
Parasites can also lead to limping. While many parasites infest the gastrointestinal tract or skin of a cat, some may localize themselves in a limb. For example, some species of roundworm such as the Dracunculus insignis are mainly found in the connective tissue in the skin of their host’s legs.
Why Is My Cat Limping What Should I Do
It doesn’t matter if your kitty is an indoor cat or outdoor adventurer there are countless ways that your cat could injure a leg or paw and wind up limping. That said, injuries aren’t the only cause of limping in cats. Today our South Charlotte vets share a few reasons why your cat may be limping and what you should do.
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Treatment Of Lameness In Cats
In addition to treating the underlying cause of a cat& rsquo s lameness, vets want to manage the pain the cat is feeling. They will start with a less invasive treatment before moving to a more invasive pain treatment if the less invasive options don& rsquo t work.
The first option is pain medications, which range from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, which reduce joint or ligament inflammation. While the cat is taking this medication, the vet will be watching the cat closely to ensure it doesn& rsquo t develop kidney, liver, or gastrointestinal damage. Along with this form of treatment, the vet may prescribe cage rest.
If NSAIDS don& rsquo t work, the vet will prescribe opioid pain medications, such as tramadol, buprenorphine or butorphanol. These medications are reserved for more acute pain. The cat can take oral medications or receive injections of this medication.
Chondroprotectants are drugs that protect the cartilage that surrounds the joint. These medications are reserved for cats diagnosed with osteoarthritis as they work to slow degradation of the cartilage in the affected limb. Again, these medications are given orally or as injections.
If the cat has a congenital condition that limits the use of the limb or causes significant pain, the vet may suggest surgery to the cat& rsquo s owner.
Insect Bites Infections And Abscesses
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Insect bites, infections and abscesses
These are other common causes of cat limps. But I thought these could take time before their effects are seen, why is my cat limping all of a sudden? Maybe the cat has been struggling with the pain for some time now.
She is now overwhelmed. Infections and abscess are characterized by tenderness, redness and swelling of the skin surface just below the feet. Bites from ticks and fleas are other disastrous ones when it comes to cat limping.How frequently do you treat your cat like parasites like fleas? If not as regular as is required, then you might also be a home to many of them. Just look at how you have been eating a lot of late. You are busy feeding other little blood-sucking creatures.
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Signs Your Dogs Paw Is Swollen
If you notice that your dogs paw is swollen, it is probably the first sign of inflammation. This condition mostly occurs on the front paws, and especially to breeds like boxer and mops, as well as dogs that are prone to allergies.
But note that other breeds are not excluded. It is just that there are breeds that are more sensitive than others.
Here are some of the most common signs of the inflammation on the paw:
Depending on the degree of inflammation and accompanying pain, limping is probably the first sign you will notice that there is something wrong with your dog.
- Redness between toes
Redness between toes is a sign of inflammation which means that you need to start treating your dogs paw right away in order to avoid further complications.
- Red Bumps
Red bumps, that look like swollen bubbles on the fingers, arise as a result of the inflammation process and are hard on the touch, usually round, red and hairless.
They can be present in just one place or in different places on all four paws
- Pus if infected
If there is an inflammation present you may notice pus leaking from the bumps until the inflammation is being treated.
A dog that has problems with this condition will constantly be licking the paw as a result of the itching, which leads to further irritation of the skin and hair loss.