Cat Is Limping on the Front Leg – How to Treat Your Pet?


A healthy cat is a lively animal, whether it stays solely and exclusively at home or goes on a free range. Such level of activity may cause an immense variety of injuries, for example, cat can start limping on the front leg. More often than not this is not an independent disease, but rather a signpost of certain underlying diseases. How to recognize that your cat is indeed limping on its front paw? Everything depends heavily on the physical condition of a particular pet, the severity of a certain incident. Most often accompanying symptoms are:

  • cat limping on front legsthe animal cannot put its weight on the aching paw and trys to shift the body force to a healthy limb;
  • the cat moves with an uneven, slow pace;
  • the cat steers away from performing the movements that are usually typical to it;
  • the pet does not allow anyone to touch the injured paw, it is obviously in pain;
  • the cat cannot stop licking the wounded limb.

Why Is My Cat Limping?

When the symptom of lameness is constant, in other words can be witnessed almost from animal’s birth, the chances are high that the problem is in genetic abnormalities in the development of the skeleton itself (dysplasia).

Sometimes a cat begins showing evidence of serious limping due to a variety of metabolic disorders (for example, osteodystrophia). Less common are such severe illnesses as osteosarcoma.

When the cat all of a sudden begins limping on its forepaw and there is no visible damage, the most common causes are closed wounds, sprains, small bone fractures and even ligament rupture. Even an unfortunate jump from a small height, for example, a chair or sofa, can cost the cat a serious injury and, as a result, limping. The cat may limp on its front leg after a seemingly non threatening fall. Another common exciting cause of lameness with cats can be arthritis, a disease that damages nerves or claws and affect the sensitivity of the paws.

Cat’s Lameness and Calicivirus

The lameness may also develop due to infection contamination with feline calicivirus. Before developing further, cat limping on the front pawcalicivirus may cause temporary lameness in certain felines, and the condition has even got a title of its own – a lameness syndrome. Infected cats often show pained reaction to the palpation of joints, there is an increased sensitivity to a touch. Other symptoms of calicivirus are sneezing, runny nose, fever, mouth and nose discharge, etc.

Many studies indicate that when exposed to the influence of calicivirus, a systemic infection sometimes thrives. And in its turn an SI causes the localization of the virus directly in the tissues of a joint. Thus, the calicivirus is more than capable of causing temporary polyarthritis. It happens more often to senior cats than to small kittens.

It should be noted that lameness, when it is directly associated with calicivirus, would mainly manifest itself in kittens. In cases where lameness is beginning to tell on a cat after the vaccination, it is usually caused by an allochthonous infection. However, sometimes the reason is in the vaccine itself.

Lameness Syndrome

The severity of a lameness syndrome varies widely enough, ranging from latent inflammations causing slight temporary limping, to a severe form of polyarthritis, when the pet stubbornly refuses to move and rejects food. As a general rule, the affected cats recover over time unaided.

What Should be Done?

cat is limping on the front legIf you’ve noticed that your cat is limping on its front leg, it is necessary to inspect the paw at an instant’s notice. The cause of limping may be identified instantly, for example, a wound or a foreign object in the paw itself. The cat could begin limping on its front leg after a fight in the backyard.

If there is still no visible damage, you need to show the cat to the veterinary. The specialist will conduct a manual assessment and, most likely, the pet will be prescribed an X-ray radiography. Only after a thorough examination the causes for the lameness as well as the seriousness of cat’s current condition may be specified and afterwards the cat’s treatment strategy could be planned.

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