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It is not uncommon to see a domestic cat limping around. More often than not, the animal would be limping for the most part on its hind paw. In this case, the cat steps with caution, trying not to put unnecessary pressure on the sore limb and rather shifting her weight to the other side. Sometimes it keeps the injured paw entirely on weight, hopping on the remained three paws.
What Can be the Cause of the Cat’s Lameness
The pet can show such symptom as limping on its hind leg for a great variety of reasons, and not all of them are visible on the face of it:
- Intra-Articular Fracture;
- Closed Dislocation;
- Strained Ligaments;
- Bone Fracture;
- Closed Wound;
- Joint Pathology;
- Joint Arthritis or Arthrosis;
- Lumbar Region Injury.
How to Identify a Fracture or a Closed Wound of Cat’s Hind Paw?
If one looks closely, mechanical damage is not so very difficult to notice. The wound can be intra-articular or otherwise located on the interface of cat’s pads, between the fingers. It happens sometimes that when performing a jump, the animal makes an unfortunate takeoff off the surface. In this case, a dislocation of a joint or a sprain is almost always unavoidable. Obese cats used to sedentary lifestyle would be most susceptible to such type of injury.
The joints of such animals are poorly developed, and this fact makes the risk of injury highly increased in case of a precipitous movement or rough push. Dislocation, sprain and closed wound are often accompanied by slight swelling, rather tender on palpation.
What Should Be Done if the Cat is Limping on its Hind Paw When There Is No Visible Damage
When a cat tries to spare a hinder leg or cannot put its weight on it at all or when at your attempt at inspection of an injured limb, the animal hisses and scrabbles, it can only mean one thing – a fracture.
On closer inspection, the puffiness becomes visible, the paw is inflammatory and tender. A significant reason for limping with cats can often be a pathology of the joint development. When the kitten is small symptom of lameness can rarely be observed. The weight of a cub is insignificant, and, therefore, the impact on the paws is also insignificant. In the process of growing animal’s lameness becomes more noticeable.
Lameness among Cats
Another cause of limping among felines may be due to contraction of such diseases as arthritis or arthrosis. Arthritis usually progresses as the animal matures. The influence of certain external factors on the cat’s body can provoke infectious diseases. As those become more intense with age, inflammatory processes in the joints may be initiated by the underlying condition .The older the cat is, all the greater the possibility of disease recurrence is. And such condition is accompanied by periodic pains and, as a result, limping.
Arthrosis and Traumatic Artrosis
Arthrosis and of itself is a chronic, non-inflammatory disease. For a long time there may be an asymptomatic disease course, as degenerative changes in tissues, bones and cartilage develop gradually. There are many reasons, the most common of which is a congenital abnormity of anatomical organization. As it happens with arthritis, adult felines are most susceptible to this disorder, but there are exceptions in cases when the inherent changes are too extensive. In this occasion, lameness iscan be observed in younger animals.
Artrosis can be of a traumatic nature. Cat may show limping on its back leg after vaccination. The cat could be injured while playing outside, and there were no marked symptom. As time goes, the bruised tissues, bones and cartilage begin malignant change of formation. Do not knock out of the reckoning the possibility of an injury in the lumbar region.
The animal could have been hit in the street or it could have been hurt somehow during a cat fight, or, for example, in an incident with neighbor’s dog. Cat may start limping on its back leg after fall as well. In case of traumatic injury to cat’s back, nerve endings could get entrapped, and such condition now causes discomfort when walking.
First Aid Treatment of the Cat
- If you’ve noticed that your cat is limping on its hind leg, it is necessary to identify the cause on an instant’s notice.
- If you identify a wound, the first thing to do is always disinfection. If at all possible, remove the hair around the wound and afterwards you may rinse it with Furacilin solution.
- Block access of dirt to the wound, bandage the injured limb and do not hesitate consult a veterinary.
- If suspecting a dislocation, sprain or even fracture, keep the pet at rest as much as possible, give it some anesthetic together with cordial agent and then send for the veterinary.
- It is important to do an x-ray in the clinic. On an as-needed basis a bandage may be decided upon. The fracture is fixed by applying a splint and a plaster cast. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed if necessary.
Arthritis treatment includes administration of antibiotics in the form of a accessory food substance. Glucosamine, chondroitin may be prescribed. Administration of fish oil and painkillers. A light massage and short daily exercise are indicated for treatment of arthritis. Animals under treatment require special food and comfortable living conditions.
By way of drug treatment in the event of inflammation anti-edema and anti-inflammatory can be justified. Massage and the Minin reflector therapy may also be applicable. With severe back injuries, the prognosis, alas, is unfavorable. The animal is in immense pain, sometimes the condition can even lead to paralysis of the limb.