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The tail of a pet is the most important part of the body that performs specific functions. In particular, it allows the animal to coordinate movements and balance, to descend to the ground after a jump and even to chat. Unfortunately, in veterinary practice there are a lot of cases when a cat has broken tail. That’s why owners are concerned about what to do in such a situation?
What Is so Dangerous about the Tail Fracture?
Tail is a continuation of the spine and consists of vertebrae connected by cartilage tissue, nerve endings and blood vessels. In newborn kittens it is very soft and fragile. Since the bone system is not fully formed yet, fractures (often fractures of the vertebrae) of this vital organ in kittens are much more common than in adults. If the cat has broken tail in the middle or at the end, the fracture is closed and the nerves are not damaged, the injured area may heal on its own. Many street cats broke their tails dozens of times and each time they healed without any serious consequences. Animals continue to lead normal lives. Moreover, in certain breeds this organ is intentionally cropped.
Note!However, everyone knows that the consequences of a fracture can have a detrimental effect on the health of cats and separate physiological processes. The organ is located next to the urethra and anus and has common nerve endings with them, so the injury at the tailset is fraught with problems with the release of urine and feces. Lameness and paralysis of the tail are also possible.
Causes of Tail Fractures
External factors lead to injuries of vertebrae, so street cats suffer from fractures more often. In particular, this often occurs when getting under the wheels of a car. However, even carefully treated home pets can face this trouble. Although, they suffer from fractures of the tail less often, such problem occurs. For example, for most kids it is funny to pull the cat’s tail. Meanwhile, cats react nervously and even aggressively when people touch this organ, whether to say that the injury causes them great discomfort and pain. That’s why it’s so important to explain to kids that they should not drag the animal by the tail.
Sometimes, the owners slap the pet on the bud to punish it. In case too much force was applied, there may be damage of the vertebrae. Or, what happens very often, curious and playful animal simply falls from your hands. Broken tail is a common result of such pranks. But the most common source of injury is the door. The cat puts its tail on the doorway, and the owner, not noticing it, densely closes the door. Broken tail in cats also occurs as a result of a fight with another animal.
It is quite easy to notice the changes that have occurred visually. The straight tail becomes bent and increases in size. It becomes difficult for the cat to move the tail, even if only the upper part is damaged. The pet’s behavior changes, it becomes irritable, shouts and hides from the owner. The following signs may indicate a fracture:
- kink on the tail;
- severe pain;
- a rupture through which bone fragments are visible (with an open fracture);
- signs of a bite and damage to the skin;
- the tail is hot to the touch;
- redness, swelling, excessive softness of the tail (with abscess and suppuration);
- the tail is not supported by muscles, it is hanging, the cat is unable to raise it up;
- lameness, numbness of the hind limbs;
- incontinence of urine and feces;
- blood in urine;
- bleeding (in severe cases);
- paralysis of the tail.
As you can see, symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Owners should pay attention to the following fact: if the tail is deformed, but the place of the fracture is solid and painless, it means that this defect is congenital or fracture healed on its own. The first thing inexperienced cat owners often try to do to deal with the broken tailbone in cat is to straighten it. This manipulation will only aggravate the situation, as it can damage the functioning of not only the organ itself, but also the hind legs, intestines, bladder. Moreover, this action can cause uncontrolled arterial bleeding and, as a result, death.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Fractured Tail in Cats
If you suspect a fracture, the animal should be immediately taken to the veterinarian. First of all, the veterinarian determines which part of the body was injured. X-ray and examination of the cat will establish the degree of damage. In case of paralysis, the specialist will need ultrasound, blood tests and urine electromyography (to determine the patency of nerve impulses through the anus sphincter and muscles).
In case of a shallow wound, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection. Be sure to timely treat the damage with a weak solution of Betadine or chlorhexidine, since due to the cat’s inability to raise the broken tail, the wound can be contaminated with feces and urine.
What if the cat broke its tail at the tip? If this does not affect the ability to move, the injury will heal on its own and without consequences. But if the tailset is broken, surgery may be required to correct the location of the vertebrae. Also a plaster or a fixing bandage is applied for 2 weeks. In order to prevent the cat from licking the tail, Elizabethan collar is set around the neck.